Joy and peace that surpasses *all* understanding


“You give me peace that surpasses all my understanding and love that is deeper than all I know
You give me peace that surpasses all my understanding and love that is deeper than all I know…” Pastures by Housefires 

“Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:5-6 

I remember the happiness deep, deep in my soul when I wrote the below on my Facebook page back in February: 

And this truly has been my year. There has so much joy that I feel like my heart is about to explode. I simply smile long and deep and thank God for it all. 

I can’t tell you how many times I have simply wrote in my notes or journal this: “I. Am. So. Happy. Thank You Jesus for saving me!!!” 

I remember back in August, I was at this wedding and one of my former co-worker took a good look at me and said, “you seem so happy.” I was truly taken aback by that comment because that’s how I truly felt deep down in my heart and soul. 

During the time I wrote my last post, which was a hard time for my frail heart, I vividly remember this girl looking at my picture and saying to me “you look content.” What swirls in my mind about that picture and the time it was taken is, it was such a time of discomfort and hurt and I was simply just sad. 

But how can one “look content” with the breaking of the heart? 

Crushed by Love and still content and joyful

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11-13 

One of my favorite word is steadfastness- unwavering, firm in purpose. 

How in the world do you keep your heart, and your *one* life steady? You put your hope in something unwavering. And in my 25 years on this earth, one thing that I know is unwavering is the God of the Universe. I don’t care what anyone else says or believes. As human beings, we all deeply know that we are flawed *and* that we are not perfect. And my reasoning is, if something is not perfect, there is a high possibility that that something is wavering. That something has a high probability of being unsteady simply because it’s not perfect. 

But the God of the Universe who is holy, powerful, and omnipotent is truly perfect. And a perfect being is so capable of being firm in purpose and unwavering. 

And trusting God and putting my hope in Him is the only thing that keeps me steady even when my heart is crushed and shattered. Especially in the brokenness of who I am and the disappointments of life, I need an anchor that is better, higher, and wiser than my circumstances. 

What is your heart anchored in? 
your family? 
your job?
your loved one? 
your pet? 
money? 

All those things are good in and of themselves but they will not save us, they will not give us joy and peace that surpasses all understanding! Why? 

  1. Because they fail us always. And thank God they fail us, because only then do we learn to cast our eyes on something greater- namely God. 
  2. Only an omnipotent God is able to give joy and peace that surpasses all understanding. Nothing else will give you this deep, deep down joy and peace. Nothing. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we stop chasing things that utterly meaningless. 

When we know we have God on our side, we scream from the top of our lungs this: “…I got a song that will NEVER die. I know Your love is the reason why.” Not today by Hillsong. 

Even for the dark night 

Do you take time to wrestle with your soul? 

To daily remind your heart and soul the truth and the hope that is IN you… regardless of the evil around you and the frailty of literally everything. 

I know David wrestled with his soul and we see that in Psalm 42 and Psalm 43. 

At the end of Psalm 42, he writes: 11 “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.” 

Again, Psalm 43:5 “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.” 

You wrestle with your soul by reminding yourself of the truth- that God is really, really good and that He always, always deserves our praise. It doesn’t matter that your soul feels cast down, “Hope in God. for you shall AGAIN praise Him, your salvation and your God.” 

The truth is what God says Not what our hearts and our soul think or feel. 

Happiness 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 

I am generally reluctant to use the word “happy” and I try to be careful when I use it. Because I can be unhappy in a situation but still have joy and deep, deep peace! Why my reluctancy to use the word “happy”? The word “happy” is often used to determine our circumstances not the state of our hearts. And the state of our circumstance is temporary but the state of our hearts is not- it is eternal. 

So happiness is not what I am after. I am after joy and the peace of God- which may or may not produce “happiness” as we understand it. Truth be told, would we say that Jesus was “happy” on His way to the cross? “He endured the cross- we are typically not happy about the things we endure- for the joy that was set before Him.” 

Happiness has become the idol of the 21st century. But it can not be so for followers of Jesus. It doesn’t matter if “I am not happy” in whatever situations I am in, if God wants me in it, I will stay in it. 

And besides, joy and peace that surpasses all understanding that God gives is more deeply rooted in our soul and heart more than happiness.

So this year I turned 25. My favorite age. I couldn’t wait to turn 25. And God has been *so good* and *merciful* to me that I am beyond speechless. I never been more confident in who God is and who He is in me. I never felt as good as I feel in my own skin. No other time before have I stared in my own eyes and saw the glimpse of God’s joy in me. His wind has made me steady, His love has shone so brightly in me and through me. I’m in such an awe and beyond thankful!! To know that I will always fly on the wings of forever with Him, that I am forever deeply rooted in Him. To know that I really know God, and that NO ONE and NOTHING can EVER take that away from me. 

Lord, I trust You and I am thankful for the journey I am on with You. Sure, I have failed You many times this year. Sure, I have gazed my eyes too long on the wrong things. The beauty of my journey is solely You not in what I do.  Your bring me back to You, You remind me who I am. You woo me again, and again, and again, and again. 

I have this unshakable faith in me that “…neither death not life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in ALL creation, will be able to separate me from Your love.” Romans 8:38-39. 

You are the well, I am forever running to… 
You are the Love I will always long for… 
You are the Peace that I find my rest in… 
You are the Joy that satisfies all the brokenness in me… 
You are the mercy that has and will always woo me back to You… 
You are the comforter that clings closer than a blanket on cold days and nights… 

You. Are. Everything. I. Ever. Desired. And. Will. Ever. Desire. 

“I love the perfection in Your presence
The redemption on Your face
Your heart’s forever for me
Even if I look away
You still call my name
You call my name
 
Could You be this good
Could You be this good
The way that You forgive me
The way that You hold on to me
Could You be, could You be this good
 
I love the rest that grows inside me
As I see more of Your grace
I love the courage You inspire
And the hope You call awake
When You say my name
You say my name
 
You kept no record of wrongs
You know me now by Your son
There’s only love in Your eyes
There’s only love in Your eyes
 
You keep no record of wrongs
You know me now by Your son
There’s only love in Your eyes
There’s only love in Your eyes” Could You Be This Good by Kristene DiMarco

She looked in the future with Him, with eyes beaming with expectation and deep joy of knowing that He is forever by her side…

 

Share this