Unmet expectations are often the battleground where disappointment wrestles with our mental and emotional peace.
I never planned on two miscarriages.
Nor the sudden cut in pay when, as a family of eight, we really needed every penny that we earned.
Breaking my foot and the resulting surgery really messed with a long-scheduled vacation.
And a church split in the fellowship we pastored certainly wasn’t on my agenda.
You think you’ve got your plans all laid out…
- How many kids you’ll have
- The upward trajectory of your business
- The perfect marriage
- Years of retirement to enjoy
- God’s voice guiding you in a specific direction
Things don’t work out as planned.
Life throws you for a loop and disappointment lands in your lap.
Life is full of unmet expectations!
How do you find peace when your mind is going crazy with questions of why?
AND your emotions are riding the rollercoaster of confusion, shame, anger, grief, or worthlessness?
The answer: God is way ahead of you.
He is already standing in your disappointment before you ever arrive there.
In His hands there’s a gift He’s waiting for you to open.
He knows your life will encounter a lot of unmet expectations, so He wrapped up peace as a part of His redemption package.
Just for YOU!
He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me. For there were many against me (Psalm 55:18 NKJV italics mine).
You see, peace is only valued when it is lacking.
It is in turmoil that you learn to value peace.
So how do you unwrap that peace?
When your heart (the mental and emotional part of your soul) is troubled, you have to make a choice.
Jesus said it like this:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid (John 14:27 ESV italics mine).
“Let” is a powerful word that means to exercise your spiritual muscles. In this case, you face a fearful emotion or thought, look it straight in the face and say “No! You won’t rule my heart.”
You are in charge of YOU!
Not fear. Nor anxiety. Or worry. Not any kind of thought that wants to sabotage your peace.
You may have to wrestle those thoughts with the Word of God a while to let peace squeeze through the door of your soul and set up guard around your heart and mind.
If you do, peace will be the sentry, protector, or security guard, of your soul.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7 ESV italics mine).
I’ll admit that these spiritual “NO” muscles take a lot of exercising before they build up enough muscle memory to automatically slam the door on fear and negative thoughts.
But if you practice enough, peace will rule in your soul.