In our transactional world, we learn that when we put in the work good things happen. There are so many areas of life where this is indeed true: diet, exercise, and gardening, among others. However, with many other – even most – areas of our life, when we attempt to apply these rules in God’s economy they just don’t always prove true.

Perhaps you’ve said something like this—I know I have: “God, I’m trying to do everything right, everything I believe I am supposed to, and yet disappointments and heartaches always seem to follow me.”

It is easy to believe this and allow the struggles of life knock us out of phase, but the longer I live and the more I watch God work, the more I learn to look to His Word when things don’t seem to make sense.

Though it doesn’t seem right or fair, bad things do happen—even when we are doing our best to do what’s right. Jesus said it this way: “Do you really believe me? The time will come and is already here when all of you will be scattered. Each of you will go back home and leave me by myself. But the Father will be with me, and I won’t be alone. I have told you this, so that you might have peace in your hearts because of me. While you are in the world, you will have to suffer. But cheer up! I have defeated the world.” John 16:31-33 CEV

Jesus did not promise us life would be easy if we did our best. Rather, He promised that if we abide in Him (John 15), if we trust and follow Him we would have peace.

Peace, not comfort, ease, or happiness is the what God’s economy affords us when we do our best to serve and follow Him. And it is His peace, in spite of our circumstance, that will keep our hearts and mind in phase.

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