The first is that God is still with us when the what ifs we fear become reality. Beth Moore had a great session in week four of the study that really hit home with me. What if my worst fear came true? What then? God asked Beth that question, and he's dealt with me in that area too. What would you do? What would I do? Beth answered the question as we all should. (The following is the Kristina, who has a very bad memory, version. My version lacks quite a bit of emotion and the charm of a southern accent, but you can read a little drama into this!) The conversation went (a little) something like this:
Well, I'd cry and scream and lay on the floor and cry some more. I would be angry. I would be crushed. I would have a big time pity party.
And then what?
I guess I'd have to get out my Bible and read some verses because I can't live a day without the truth in my life.
And then what?
Well, I'd have to find a whole lot of verses to memorize to help me deal with life. I'd have to put them on index cards and carry them around to remind me of the truth. I would need a lot of verses and cards.
I guess eventually I'd have to quit crying, get up off the floor, dust myself off.
Then I'd go back to living my life, teaching Bible study, serving You.
Through the pain, God is with us and never changes. We have access to everything we need for every crisis. His grace is enough. His goodness is not reliant on our circumstances. His love never changes.
OK, that's great. (Actually, it really is.) But what about when the crisis is over, God has been faithful, and life does go on? What about the fears that return later. Fears of it happening again? Of a repeat? Of the new trust being betrayed? What about that?
Beth gets credit for this lesson too. But she gave words to a truth I've experienced.
God gives us grace to endure difficulty.
Yes, He does. And He has. For me.
But God does not give us grace for fear and worry.
He says "Fear not, for I am with you."
He says, "Do not be anxious about anything."
I can either embrace my fears in disobedience to Christ
or take those thoughts captive and banish them to the glory of God, and live in confidence of His goodness and love.
"Do not worry about anything, but in everything, with prayer and petition, let your request be made known to God, and the peace of God, which is beyond our understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
When I give my worries to Christ in prayer, he guards my mind against those worries.
I may not have power over all my circumstances, but I DO have power over my thoughts. Because sometimes my fear is just a figment of an over-active imagination. I borrow trouble. That means the trouble does not belong to me. When it doesn't belong to me, I don't need grace. I need reality.
Reality is: When____________ , then God!
So as I look over this past year, I see the faithfulness of my God. And as I look forward to another year, I am confident in Christ and trust Him to remain faithful still.
Philippians 4:6, Isaiah 41:10, 1 Peter 5:7