January 5, 2016

Proverbs 3:25-26 Have no fear of sudden disaster
or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
for the Lord will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being snared.

There are some real differences in translation between the NIV and the Japanese, but they don’t affect the over-all thrust of the passage. Where the NIV says, “the ruin that overtakes the wicked,” the Japanese says, “even when the wicked come at you.” Where the NIV says, “the Lord will be your confidence,” the Japanese says, “the Lord will be by your side.” Either way, though, the point is that genuine wisdom depends on God, and He is faithful. There are many things in life with the potential to make us afraid, and that is what the devil wants to use them for. The reason God allows them to exist is that He wants us to learn to trust Him, refusing to be afraid regardless of the circumstances. The peace that can be had through trusting God is available no other way, because it is independent of circumstances. That’s what Paul was talking about in Philippians 4:6-7. That passage gets quoted often, but how often does it really get applied? Trusting God isn’t a matter of lip service, it’s a decision of the heart, of the will. When that is at the core of our being, nothing can shake us.

This is a lesson I’ve been learning over the years, allowing it to work down from my brain into my heart. That process isn’t complete yet! Recently I’ve been having some fairly intense training in that area, but right now I feel like I’m being given a break. It’s rather pleasant! I need to receive the rest and refreshing the Lord has for me at this point, because a month from today my wife will have an MRI preparatory to brain surgery, and that will certainly be an exercise in trusting God. I am not to borrow anxiety ahead of time. As Jesus said, each day has enough troubles of its own! (Matthew 6:34) Rather, I am to “live in the moment,” resting and rejoicing in the assurance of God’s power and love, the knowledge that nothing is too difficult for Him.

Father, thank You for this reminder, and for this “break time” you’re giving me. Thank You that I could be Your agent of blessing at the funeral yesterday, and that I felt the blessing was received. Thank You that I’ve been able to sleep a bit later the past couple of mornings. It’s interesting how something as simple as that can impact me. It’s been many years since You first told me (that I heard it) to rest, relax, and rejoice, and I’ve not been too quick in learning to do that. Thank You for Your patience with me. Help me indeed rest, relax, and rejoice in You whether my circumstances are calm or hectic, whether I am seeing fruitfulness or not, simply trusting You with everything, so that Your purposes may be fulfilled in and through me on Your schedule, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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