“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you”. 1 Peter 5:6-10 ESV
When I take walks on the beach, I can absorb the serenity and peace of my surroundings. It is the place where I can clear my mind and where I have my best talks with God. I talk and He listens. The anxieties and worries of the day that overshadow my thoughts I want to get rid of and resist. By having a conversation with God, I receive clarity and my mind is restored and I know by the Holy Spirit, God is comforting me and directing me in my thoughts. Many of you know exactly what I am talking about. Maybe it isn’t the beach for you, but a comfortable chair in your home, at a desk, on a park bench. God can meet us anywhere!
Years ago, there was a mindset that we should charge forward and “make things happen” for ourselves. It was an age of abundance and we were told we should have our share! The world was teaching that we could rely on ourselves for a great life: desire it, go for it, and make it happen. That thinking had no room for God. Not to say that ambition is bad because it isn’t. God wants us to follow Him and He makes the path straight. Remember that in Jeremiah 29:11 God says that “He” has the plan for us. To get there, we have to surrender “our ways” for “His ways”. When we want something so much that we become obsessed with it and we ask God to bless our latest obsession, that isn’t godly at all. But how many times have we done that? Trying to control God in a tug of war for our wants and desires won’t get us far. Nothing happens in a power struggle. It is only when we “let go and let God” do we see His hand.
Does God always answer every prayer? No. Does He promise to always be there and stand beside us? Yes! Sometimes we have to experience things that are unpleasant or uncomfortable, but in the end, the trial or turmoil or strife we were held captive to is for our benefit and God’s glory. He is always teaching us. Showing us the right path. Walking us through it. Whatever He takes us, we are assured we are not alone. Just like those walks on the beach that I love so much, He is holding my hand every step of the way and He is holding yours too. “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful”. Hebrews 10:22-23 ESV