The week went from bad to worse and I wondered how I was going to make it. I was hit with some news that I never expected in my wildest imagination, all this after we had experienced 3 losses in 2 weeks. I was worn out. I was tired. I was anxious. I was fearful. I was experiencing emotions that did not serve me well and I wanted them gone.
What do you do when life doesn’t go the way you want it to?
Our focus is no longer our happiness, but celebrating what is happening and could possibly be happening, behind the scenes.
Psalm 37:4 says that when we delight in the Lord, He gives us the desires of our hearts. What was happening was certainly not on my heart’s desires list! But God’s will and God’s perfect plan for my life was. So, I pressed in and drew closer to Him.
Before the verse I just referred to, we are asked first to trust God verse 3, then verse 4 is delight and then verse 5 is commit. My only option was to press in because the situation was so hard that I needed to trust God more than focus on delighting in what He was doing and expecting my desires to unfold. Trust grows the more we surrender to God and the more we seek Him. Trust grows the more we focus on who He is. When we truly trust God, we are able to surrender not in a position of defeat but in a position that says “God I want my plans to be in alignment with yours and that delights me.” I am able to live in obedience through humility, knowing that what God is doing is good even if it doesn’t feel good or the good outcome is hidden in the storm. When our desires are aligned with His, we live in fulfillment.
In delighting in God, we are excited about and anticipating that whatever is happening, God has a plan and this is for Kingdom purposes. Our focus is no longer our happiness, but celebrating what is happening and could possibly be happening, behind the scenes. We return to kingdom purpose and realize that God always has a plan. When we delight in God, our desires become about His will and peace enters the storm. As I pressed in and praised God, while laying down what was out of my control, peace entered.
It is easier to commit when we are in a good mood and a good place. My situation did not change but my perspective did. Prayer and praise lifted my attitude. I chose commitment and God met me with His peace. I did not have answers, yet I had the Lord. I chose to believe that with God all things are possible and He was going to fix this situation.
The end of this passage vs 5-6 promises that God will do what is desired. His desires and our desires will be connected and as He answers we will shine in righteousness. My week began very hard. It stayed hard and then all of a sudden, in one moment the shift came. God fought for me. God defended me. God used me to change another person’s heart. If I had almost given up. But faith called me to hold on, believe and obey and God answered.
What do you do when life doesn’t go the way you want it to? You go the way of God and keep following Him. As we the unplanned enters our circumstances, we continue to plan to trust God, delight in Him and commit our ways to Him. We can’t do things in our own strength but we can move forward trusting the Lord. God always has a plan and it may not be the same as ours but it is always good.
Psalm 37:3-6 (New International Version)
3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.