Author Paul David Tripp says, “We are always either mourning the fact that we aren’t getting our way or celebrating that grace welcomes us to a new and better way.” He goes on to say, “I think there is probably a mix of mourning and celebration in all of us.”
I can say that my family is experiencing the reality of what Mr. Tripp is saying. Life has not exactly turned out as we had planned. The circumstances we find ourselves in are not ones we would have chosen. We can either bemoan where God has allowed us to be, or embrace the grace God provides to see us through. In our lives, there has definitely been a mix of mourning and celebrating, but we are choosing to embrace where God has us, trust in Him, and walk by faith.
Hard things happen to everyone in life. It’s not a matter of “if” challenges will comes your way, it’s how you will handle them “when” they do.
First, we have to embrace what God allows into our lives. This is very hard to do. I often say that there are two kinds of “storms” God brings our way: storms of correction and storms of perfection. Storms of correction are storms God uses to show us the error of our ways and get us to repent and return to Him. Storms of perfection are storms God uses to grow us in our faith. Neither type of storm is enjoyable to endure, but what God allows, He provides for. My family is embracing where God has us and we are growing. We are learning to lean on Him and keep our focus on what matters most.
Second, we have to trust God in all things. It is easy to trust God when life is good, but real trust happens in the trenches of life. When life falls apart, we have to trust the only One who can put all things back together. As the old hymn says, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” The truth is, we will never obey God if we do not trust Him. When we fully trust God, we will be better prepared to obey Him fully!
Third, we have to walk by faith! The Bible is clear, “The just shall live by faith.” The Bible also says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Faith is important to God and He wants us to trust and believe in Him. When you embrace where God has you and trust in Him completely, you will walk by faith. The challenge is walking not by what you can see, but by what you cannot see. As the Apostle Paul said, “Hope that is seen is no hope at all.” God wants us to walk by faith as we trust Him with what we cannot see. That is the essence of faith. After all, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.”
Today, let us embrace where God has us, trust fully in Him, and walk by faith. When we do that, we will be well on our way to experience the peace that surpasses understanding and the strength that only God can provide.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I happened onto this page because I had seen a notice about praying for two teenagers and seen the shirt “p4c”.
My heartfelt prayers to you and your family. I see where your sons were involved in an accident and one was more severely injured than the other.
I then saw that you were a Pastor and clicked on the link pastorjfreeman.com and then saw this post called “Embrace, Trust, Walk”. It truly hit me because I myself am going through a loss of a job but the journey is much different than one similar over 14 years ago.
I am much more comfortable on this journey because of changes my wife made in our life of following Jesus. I had asked a question to God earlier this evening and just happen to wake up now, looked at my phone and ended up here. I feel now I was brought here to read this page, this message and to instill in me to continue to “Trust” in Him.
I am going to save your message and use it in my daily devotions along with your name and information for a reminder to me.
Since I do not know all the details of what occurred to your family, I have said a prayer for your family, as a whole, for healing. May the years ahead for your family be greatly enriched and blessed beyond all measure.
Bella Vista, Arkansas