The Peace That Passes All Understanding.
Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico, Boca Grande, Florida; BJ Gabrielsen photo.
I recently learned that I may be becoming resistant to the treatments that have kept my cancer under control for nearly nine years. I was also informed that in such a condition, I could possibly expect 3-5 “good” years of life remaining even with newly approved, available prostate cancer treatments. My initial feelings of despair and disappointment lasted a few days during which I candidly poured out my broken expectations and concerns to God much as David did in many of the Psalms. As a result, I have learned some valuable lessons some of which I share below.
Time is a precious gift. As Moses reminds us in Psalm 90:12, it is a matter of eternal significance how we spend the time apportioned to us in this world. “Teach us to number our days aright that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
John 14:27 has become a promise from Jesus to which I tenaciously cling. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world gives do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled nor let it be afraid.” To see us through rough times of life, God provides His protection and peace. But protection does not mean that troubles won’t occur. Jesus allowed the disciples to experience the fear and anxiety of being in a boat on a turbulent sea. He permitted them to suffer because He had something far more important in mind. He wanted to teach them to recognize their own helplessness, His sufficiency and their need of Him. The peace that God provides is not dependent upon the quieting of our circumstances or the removal of external pressures e.g. physical conditions. The promised peace comes in two ways. First, Jesus Himself becomes our peace. Through His death, He has reconciled us to God the Father and we are no longer estranged from Him. “Therefore being justified” (declared innocent) “by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”, Romans 5:1. In addition, having a right relationship with God is accompanied by the inward presence of the Holy Spirit who enables us to experience an increasing sense of inner tranquility. If we are experiencing prostate cancer at its various stages and impacts, are we using all that God has provided? Following God in a right relationship leads to a deepening relationship with Him. He chooses to reveal Himself to those who seek Him and obey His instructions. And when we see that God always keeps His promises, our confidence in His faithfulness will soar. Hebrews 10:23 states ” let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering for He who promised is faithful.” Whatever our situation, we know we can trust Him. Then He will transform our worries into joyful anticipation about what He is going to do next in our life. Even if hard times await, we’ll be convinced that God will work them out for good (Romans 8:28).
To ensure you have a relationship with God, see the website link. Some of the above was cited from the Feb.6th, 2015 In Touch Devotional by Dr. Charles Stanley.
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