PEACE IN THE MESSY MIDDLE

It is very possible as you read this you are struggling with situations that are about to get the best of you. The bills are piling up or the doctor hasn't given a good report or your spouse is threatening divorce or your kids are in rebellion or the pressure and demands at your job are eating your lunch. Nowadays it seems virtually everyone is in the middle of one kind of mess or another.

I know how messes feel. I know the sense of fear, of impending panic, of dread, anger and hurt. And I also know this: You can experience God's presence and his peace in the middle of a mess. The issue is that too often people think that God is anything but for them. They think he's mad, annoyed, disappointed, irritated, out to get them — or, at the very least, totally oblivious to what's going on in their lives. He may not be for all your ideas, he may not be for everything you're doing — but he is for you. You need to know this. God is for you! He loves you! He cares about you! He wants what's best for you!

When you're in the middle of a mess, your world seems very small. It feels like your problems are overwhelming you. It feels like everything is closing in on you — like your days are numbered and your options are limited. You know you’ve been there. Therefore, God wants to free you up to live in the place of possibility. If you're in the middle of a mess, call on him. Ask for his help. And then, look for his help. It's on its way. “From my distress I prayed to the Lord and the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” (Psalm 118:5-6)

When life turns on you, as it often does, the natural reaction is typically one of fear — fear of how you'll survive the situation, fear of what your friends will think, fear of how your enemies will laugh, and fear of what will happen next. It's only natural to respond this way, but when you have confidence in God's goodness, you don't have to be afraid. What can people do to you? What's the worst that can happen? You'll be criticized, you'll be laughed at, and you’ll be ridiculed? You'll be fired, you'll be broke? You'll be single? The truth is that that the worst-case scenario only happens a handful times throughout the course of your life — but even if the worst that could possibly happen does happen, it's not enough to separate you from God. “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

You may be asking, "Why do I have to go through this?" The fact is that everybody goes through messes. Everybody has problems. Everybody deals with heartbreak. Some of the messes you bring into your life by your own bad choices, some of the messes are caused by others — but you and everyone else goes through this—no one is exempt. Please realize that God is with you right now, he is for you, and he will help you.

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