A New Beginning, Devotionals, Faith, Forgiveness, Hope

In Acceptance Lieth Peace

In Acceptance Lieth Peace

IN ACCEPTANCE LIETH PEACE: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Elisabeth Elliot (1926–2015) was the widow of a martyred missionary, Jim Elliot. With her very young daughter, Valerie, she eventually returned to the Waodani in Ecuador, the very people group who killed her husband, and continued the work of bringing the gospel that he had begun. Hers is a story of forgiveness, hope, and acceptance of the will of God, knowing He is a good and trustworthy God. 

She writes in Be Still My Soul: Reflections on Living the Christian Life about six choices that lead to acceptance of the will of God, bringing peace. Elisabeth tells us, “[God] didn’t give me a bridge over troubled waters, but [God] kept the promise that when I passed through the waters, He would be with me …. The one thing that [God] requires of us in response to deep waters is acceptance.”

CHOOSE YOUR ATTITUDE

Christ’s work on the cross made way for a continual exchange of the new for the old. You may not like this current season or circumstance you are facing, but you can choose your heart posture. God exchanges our weakness for His strength. He takes our sins and covers us with His righteousness. He gives us joy in place of sorrow. If you make that choice to trust God’s faithfulness in the joys and pains that happen through life, God can bring you delight even in the darkest moments.

CHOOSE TO OFFER YOUR PAIN TO GOD

Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:28–30, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” God wants to share in our pain if we do choose to offer it to Him.

Whether it is pain from a broken relationship, death of someone dear, a disaster that seems totally unfair, or any other pains that you can think of: our God is one who, in Elisabeth’s words, “knows how to bring good out of evil”. We can trust Him with our pain. 

If you make that choice to trust God’s faithfulness
in the joys and pains that happen through life,
God can bring you delight even in the darkest moments.

This offering of our pain may have to be done over and over again till we sense that lifting of pain. It is not easy and it may be a slow process. Yet, you are not alone. God can take our rants, frustrations, and laments along the way, and He is in the midst of continually refining us. That is how loving and patient God is with us. Choose to offer your pain to God, that you would find peace.

CHOOSE TO RECEIVE WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN WITH OPEN HANDS

There are things that we cannot change. We can sulk about it, live in regret, and beat ourselves up, or perhaps even do nothing about it. But perhaps, another alternative we can consider is to receive what God has given us with a surrendered heart. As Elisabeth puts it, “It is a willed choice”. With this surrender, we are letting God work in our lives for our good.

CHOOSE TO RENEW YOUR COMMITMENT TO HIM

For one who knew pain, bereavement, and loneliness, Elisabeth encourages us to choose Christ once again, in spite of the emotional state we may be in. Just like the psalmist declares in Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.” The negative emotions may be present, but we can choose to renew our commitment to Christ and trust in Him.

This offering of our pain may have to be done over and over again
till we sense that lifting of pain.
It is not easy and it may be a slow process. Yet, you are not alone.

There are things that we cannot change. We can sulk about it, live in regret, and beat ourselves up, or perhaps even do nothing about it. But perhaps, another alternative we can consider is to receive what God has given us with a surrendered heart. As Elisabeth puts it, “It is a willed choice”. With this surrender, we are letting God work in our lives for our good.

CHOOSE TO PRAISE HIM

One of the hardest things to do is to praise when there seems nothing to give thanks for. But we can look at the example of the prophet Habakkuk and how he praised God and rejoiced in Him even when he saw no fruit, no crop and no cattle. Habakkuk declared, “Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Saviour” (Hab 3:18).

Habakkuk declares God’s awesomeness and glory, reminding himself that God is the sovereign God who is his strength (Hab 3:19). It is not a pretense that we put up, but a quiet confidence and trust, when we know and rejoice that God is who He says He is — our faithful promise keeper.

CHOOSE TO DO THE NEXT THING

In her book, Elisabeth shares a poem by an unknown author that became one of the “mottoes of [her] life”. It goes like this:

From an old English parsonage, down by the sea
There came in the twilight a message to me;
Its quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven,
Hath, as it seems to me, teaching from Heaven.
And on through the hours the quiet words ring
Like a low inspiration — “DO THE NEXT THING.”

Many a questioning, many a fear,
Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity, guidance, are given.
Fear not tomorrows, Child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus.
“DO THE NEXT THING.”

Do it immediately; do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence, tracing His Hand
Who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence, safe ’neath His wing,
Leave all resultings, “DO THE NEXT THING.”

Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
(Working or suffering) be thy demeanour,
In His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance be thy psalm,
Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing,
Then, as He beckons thee
“DO THE NEXT THING.”

When we accept God’s will for our lives and continue to take the next step, do the next thing we know to do, we can be assured that He is with us. The next thing may be to send a text message to a friend where reconciliation needs to take place, or it may be to turn up for church service this Sunday. For others, it may mean choosing not to lie to your parents the next time they ask you something. Whatever the next thing might mean to you, do it as a worship unto God and know that God sees you.

WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE TODAY?

 “In Acceptance Lieth Peace.” This was the title of a poem by the missionary Amy Carmichael, and a phrase that Elisabeth relied on as well.

Perhaps just as Elisabeth did so many years ago, we too, can make these six choices in our daily life to walk with God, trusting in His faithfulness to be with us in the darkest of times.

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