By: Cheri Fuller
This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.”
Isaiah 30:15 NIV
Worry to Wonder
Acceptance says, “True, this is my situation at the moment. I’ll look unblinkingly at the reality of it. But I’ll also open my hands to accept whatever a loving Father sends. Thus acceptance never slams the door on hope.” Here are some steps to take toward accepting your situation:
Write in your journal the things and people in your life, including their behaviors, you have the hardest time accepting. Take a good, honest look at what you have difficulty accepting.
Then ask, “What are You asking me to do regarding each problem? What do You want me to take action on?” Ask what is your part, what is God’s part, and what is the other person’s part, so you don’t try to do everyone else’s part. Then write what God’s Word has to say about each issue. Go to the concordance in your Bible for help in discovering wisdom to apply to these situations. Store up His truth and then talk to Him about it by turning these verses into prayers.
Shift from questioning or demanding of God, “When are You going to take this problem away?” to asking Him, “What is it You’re shaping in my life through this trial or difficulty? What can I learn from this experience?” Oh, how the Lord is often just waiting for us to ask this so He can show us. A humble, teachable attitude can minimize the frustrations we feel when the trial we’re in continues long past when we think it should be over.
This kind of attitude reminds me of what Andrew Murray suggests we say in time of trouble:
First, The Lord brought me here. It is by His will I am in this strait place; in that will I rest.
Next, that He will keep me in His love and give me grace in this trial to behave as His child.
Then, He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He means me to learn and working in me the grace He intends for me.
Last, in His good time He can bring me out again, how and when He knows.
Say I am here, he says: by God’s appointment, in God’s keeping, under His training, for His time. I have to admit that in the midst of some of my own personal trials, this seemed a hard message to hear. But the more I’ve pondered Murray’s advice, I realized that knowing that my situation doesn’t take God by surprise and that there will be a time He brings me through it, and that He will use it to shape and mold me to be more like Christ, is encouraging after all and helps me to embrace God’s will instead of resist and resent it.
Cultivate a sense of humor, a lightheartedness about yourself and your problems. Sometimes this is the hardest thing for us serious folks who are burdened and worried about a circumstance! When we look at ourselves and our issues too seriously, we become difficult to live with and lose perspective. A lively sense of humor helps us accept ourselves and become more accepting of others. It is good news that God loves and accepts us in spite of our messes and failures.
Develop a sense of gratitude and wonder about life. As Marilyn did, don’t forget to acknowledge to a friend or write down the ways God has given blessings in your wilderness season or trial. Perhaps because I lost my parents, grandparents, and best friend early in life, I believe that each day is a gift from God we haven’t earned or deserved, so there is always something to thank Him for. There’s always something to celebrate even if things are difficult: the beauty of a glowing blue and red sunset; an unexpected note your teen who’s been giving you trouble left that said, “I love you, Mom,” a juicy piece of watermelon on a hot day. . . Just like the expectant wonder you felt long ago about Christmas, delight in God’s blessings, large and small, every day no matter what the difficulties are.
And be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me? (Hebrews 13:5–6 AMP)
Lord, grant me Your grace to be satisfied and accepting of my present circumstances and with what I have, knowing that You’ll never fail or forsake me, that you will always support me and that You are for me. Nothing can happen to me apart from Your loving hand. I take comfort and am encouraged and want to say with confidence, You are my Helper! I will not fear or be terrified!
Jesus, I want to know more of Your kindness and peace, but most of all, I want to know You! Open my eyes to get a fresh vision of You. Thank You for giving me everything I need, for sharing Your goodness with me. Thank You that by Your power You’ve given me the rich and wonderful blessings You have promised. How can I not trust You, such a great God that You are!
© 2015 by Back to the Bible.
“From Replacing Worry for Wonder, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission.”