Calm

This past week my husband preached on the Armor of God out of Ephesians 6.

We were discussing the sermon and how to apply it in our small group. We got to the armor of “shoes readied with the gospel of peace.” We began discussing it and how we are supposed to apply this verse.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure.

Sometimes in this is the joy of discussing scripture, we get to put more pieces together that help it make sense, because we are talking it out loud, and the spirit is not only working in us, but the lives around us too.

I’ve struggled with anxiety; therefore, peace is a word in the Bible I’d run to in anxious times hoping it would come flying off the pages into my heart.

However, this night one of my fellow sisters said, “I’ve learned peace has nothing to do with calm.”

This rocked me to my core, to an untruth I’d believed for awhile. I looked at her and audibly spoke “yes.” Exactly. Clarity. Truth.

We spoke about what peace meant for our feet. I believe in this passage it’s meaning was to sturdy us. I suggested that maybe peace in the gospel is that the gospel has made us right in God’s eyes, giving us peace with ourselves. (Ephesians 2:14). Peace with the war that goes on within us. Like Paul talks about in Romans 7, he does what he doesn’t want to do then ends with but “thanks be to my Savior Jesus Christ.”

There is peace, and it’s not always the calm I once looked for. It’s peace with the fact that my God accepts me exactly as I am: wholly and freely His, because of my Savior Jesus Christ.

Are you willing to hope?

Hope.

A simple word defined, “to expect with confidence, trust.”

How many times in this life have you lost confidence or trust in something or someone?

Countless for me.

So today I was challenged with this idea of hope.  Should I get my hopes up?  Should I allow myself such anticipation?  And I was reminded that I’m hoping in the wrong things.

I’m hoping someone won’t disappoint me or let me down.  I’m hoping this new shirt will make me feel happier.  I am hoping this new endeavor will sustain me.

But that’s not hope, not true hope.

We need to move our hope up higher, to a person who will never disappoint.

Maybe you’re thinking, Tara, I have been so disappointed by God.  He has let me down, not shown up, or left me.  I’ve felt those things too.  So, I challenge you to do something new.

Look back at some of those painful and disappointing times in your life and ask God to show himself.  Ask Him to show where He was.  Trust Him when He speaks.  It’s true.  He was there.

He is incapable of disappointing us.  Of letting us down.  Of leaving us even if we’ve left Him.  He is omnipresent, everywhere, all the time.

Now, you don’t have to look back forever, just long enough to let God show you He was there, He was moving, on your behalf, so He can be with you.  He sent Jesus.  He sent Him for you.

Romans 5:5 (NLT)

 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

So who are you hoping won’t hurt or fail you?  Hopefully it’s not a person or a thing, because they will hurt and fail you.  It’s not hopeless though.

All through the Psalms you’ll find the phrase “I put my HOPE in You.”  Move that hope to the right place.  And allow people to be people.  It will move pressure from them, pressure they cannot carry for us.  And let God surprise you with hope.

He is worthy of all our hope.