Good morning Friends!
If you are in a season of depression and anxiety, don’t forget to read this post to be encouraged that there is a purpose for your pain.
But today I want to talk about something difficult but crucial that we must do in order to find peace.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, Hebrews 12:5
First, remember that the Lord only disciplines those He LOVES. So if you are a Christian and have found yourself in a difficult season, take heart! You are loved!
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
Psalm 23: 1-4
Psalm 23 is a beautiful picture of the pasture that God’s sheep dwell in. The Lord is our Shepherd and we are His sheep. When we are in His pasture, we have everything we need. He lays us down in green pastures (peace), He leads us beside still waters (nourishment). We are refreshed and guided down the right paths. We don’t have to be afraid of anything! His rod and staff are keeping us where we need to be.
The pasture is your home and once you are there you will never want to leave!
But the thing is, God has to get us to a place where we want to be there. I know for me, I was so busy thinking that I wanted the things of this earth that I didn’t even know there was a pasture to be peaceful in.
When we go through hard times, we are brought to our knees and close to God. In this time, we gain perspective. We come to understand what is important in this life and what isn’t. This is a very painful experience. Many times we end up wanting to cling to worldly things no matter how much insanity and anxiety clinging to them brings us.
Surrendering whatever it is that you are clinging to is really terrifying and painful. Think of Abraham!
Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
Genesis 22: 1-2
Think of how Abraham was feeling. The God of the universe asked him to kill his only son as a sacrifice!
Those of you who do not know how this story ends are freaking out right now. Here is the rest of the story…
When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
Genesis 22: 9-12
God was testing Abraham to see if he truly feared Him.
What is it that God is asking you to let go of? I’m telling you, if you want to have peace, you have to let it go. This is utterly terrifying because you do not know what God will do. Remember Abraham. He did not know that he was being tested when He chose to do what God asked of him. He denied himself and chose to obey the Lord.
Friend, this is what you have to do.
You have to surrender whatever it is. This is part of refinement. You have to be emptied of everything before you will even appreciate the pasture.
I know this is hard but there is peace on the other side. But as long as you are clinging to the thing that God is asking you to sacrifice you will be in the never ending cycle of worry and anxiety.
Look what God told the Isrealites about serving other gods. Sound familiar?
Then the Lord will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods—gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your ancestors have known. Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the Lord will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart. You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life. In the morning you will say, “If only it were evening!” and in the evening, “If only it were morning!”—because of the terror that will fill your hearts and the sights that your eyes will see.
Deuteronomy 28: 64-67
Today, get alone with the Lord and surrender whatever it is. Cry out to God and tell Him all of your feelings but deny yourself and surrender. Do not expect to feel peace in the moment but this is the way to everlasting peace and joy, my friends. I promise.
If you would like me to pray for you, I will! Let me know in a comment or message and I promise I will pray.