About a year ago, I was reading through the book of Romans. At the same time, I was struggling to make decisions about jobs and relationships. When I got to chapter 5, I made a note, “As I’m struggling to remember who God is and what he does in my life, I open to this passage…the heading is ‘Peace and Joy.'” I was trying to figure out what it meant to trust God with these seemingly complicated pieces of my life…and I desperately needed to remember Paul’s words in this passage.
Today, I found out that a friend from church had a miscarriage. I can’t help but feel a little angry with God…that little family of three was more than ready to become a family of four! This loss of life doesn’t make sense to me. But when this friend shared that she was “peaceful,” I was again reminded of Paul’s words…
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope.” -Romans 5:1-3
Peace doesn’t happen when you’ve signed a contract at the “perfect” job or when everything falls together in perfect order. Joy doesn’t come when you’ve fallen madly in love with a handsome fellow who makes you laugh or when you cuddle a baby. Instead, peace and joy happen when you pursue God through all of the messes of life and trust that He has a plan. This passage is an essential reminder that these details matter in my head…but there’s more to life than these details.
So, rather than staying up late making pro-con lists or writing even more cover letters or asking God “why” (even though He loves for us to talk to Him about everything!), it is better for us to step back and trust God. And more importantly, to worship Him! There is nothing in life worth rejoicing over apart from God.
“Though you have not seen him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” -1 Peter 1:8-9
He has given us salvation. What more do we need? Without His demonstration of love, we wouldn’t have anything worth doing. We wouldn’t have peace or joy! No matter what you’re questioning, fearing or dreading today…take time to worship God.