Going through a trying time? Not sure where things will lead? Anticipating a variety of outcomes, none of which sets well?
All of us, sooner or later, will find ourselves facing trying times. And the added downer is that trying times are repetitive. (They come and go, then come and go again) During such times decisions must be made and we don’t always have the clarity we feel we need. We find ourselves worrying about what is next. Thoughts of possible troubling outcomes rise up in our thoughts. So we resort to wording our prayers to persuade God to suit our desires for the outcome.
When trying times hit us our human nature insists on knowing how this all will play out. Thus the game board is set in place to play the ‘IF’ game. And as is predictable with human nature, our thoughts move to the negative. As a result, the processing of these negative outcomes puts us in a quandary.
Over the last several years of trying times and even more recently, I have become very familiar with the temptation to try and second guess God? (As if that was even possible!) Here’s how the temptation typically plays out.
A problem takes center stage. We enact auto pilot and react. Then as things progress, we scramble to figure out where to land. And the ‘IF’ game begins. Every card we play presents a negative scenario. It’s a loose/loose situation; it seems!
As a result, I’ve come to recognize the “If” game is a tool of the enemy to create hopelessness and despondency. The enemy is relentless and it’s a strenuous struggle to not give over any ground to him. My only reliable defense is to call upon God. Depending upon the severity of the struggle, it may need to be a day by day exercise. (hour by hour in some cases) I sense that God’s will not my will should be the intent of my prayers. Therefore the following has become my plan of action:
Reject this game and replace it with God’s truth.
God is going to do what God is going to do. Therefore, I must submit to whatever His will is in this matter. Even though I may not know exactly what that is, I do know that I can trust God to work it out for the good.
Therefore I am faced with a choice.
I can play the “If” game and reap the consequences
I can choose to adapt God’s way of thinking and reap the rewards:
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” HCSB Philippines 4:6-7
I choose the reward of peace!