How much does peace of mind cost? A quick online search reveals several options:
- A tax preparer offers a “peace of mind” warranty when paying for its services.
- A life insurance company offers peace of mind when buying one of its policies.
- A funeral home offers peace of mind when purchasing a prepaid funeral plan.
- A food products company offers peace of mind when purchasing its natural, environmentally friendly products.
If peace of mind however, could be purchased from man, then no one with enough money should ever suffer from stress‐related causes. But since the rich continue to suffer from stress just like the poor, man must be peddling a defective product to relieve it.
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:11 ESV)
If you've given up on man's way of dealing with stress, what will peace of mind cost you if you get if from God? Well, it's not cheap. You can afford it, but it's not cheap.
It will cost you everything about yourself that you trust in.
As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.'” “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. (Mark 10:17–22 NLT)
The young man went away sad because he had great wealth. And he wasn't willing to give up his wealth because it offered him more peace of mind (in his opinion) than the Prince of Peace Himself. Seems silly doesn't it?
But he didn't know what he had in Jesus. When he called Jesus “good teacher,” Jesus challenged him to acknowledge that only God was good. And the man, rather than recognize he was talking to God Himself in human form, left off the “good” the next time he referred to Jesus as “teacher.”
While we are quick to shake our heads and wonder how the young man could be so foolish, are we that much different? Don't we resist giving up what we can see (however flawed it may be) for something we cannot see? Aren't we unwilling to let go of what we have in our hands so we can be free to pick up a promise we're not quite sure of?
It's not like we don't know what we're getting if we quit trusting in ourselves and start trusting in God. We have an entire Bible describing this exchange. But it's different when it becomes personal.
Yes, I know “we” can trust God. But can “I” trust God? Let me explain.
When God asks me to trust Him, exactly what am I getting myself into? Yes, it all sounds good in general terms, but I want to know more details. If I trust Him as in Luke 12:22‐31 for example, what are all these things He's going to add to me? Am I going to be able to have a nice 4X4 truck, or am I going to have to drive around in a sub‐compact car? Will I be able to live in a nice house in the middle of forty acres, or will I have to live in a third‐floor apartment? Will people still like me, or will they consider me some kind of a religious radical?
But God does not lay out all the details of my life of trusting in Him right next to my life of trusting in myself… so I can easily decide between the two. No…! I have to take a risk. I must choose between trusting what I have in my hands with what He has in His—and I can't see what He has in His. I can't see what He has in His. Let me say it again, “I can't see what He has in His.”
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. (2 Corinthians 1:8 NIV)
Are you beginning to see how absolute despair makes absolute trust possible? Paul and his companions faced death so often while ministering in Asia that they despaired even of life itself.
But this despair made room for trust in God. The resistance these men faced put them a place where they had nothing to trust in within themselves. They were dried up, destitute of anything within themselves. They did not have a hard choice between what was hidden in God's hand and what they had in their own, because they had nothing at all in their own hands. The choice was easy.
Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver [us]…. (2 Corinthians 1:9–10 NKJV)
This sentence of death within themselves freed them from trusting in themselves because they had nothing within them left to trust. It was easy to trade—nothing in exchange for God Himself.
But they weren't trading for the God who would save their lives. They were trading for the God they would trust with their lives. And there's a big difference.
They didn't know the details of what their lives would look like, living by complete trust in God, any more than you or I do. But they weren't trusting in the details; they were trusting in Him. They didn't want the details; they wanted Him.
If you are carrying around a sentence of death within yourself in one form or another, you are in an excellent position to trust God. What do you have to lose? You may not know what He has in His hand, but you certainly know what's in yours. So what's the hold up?
Make the trade just like Paul and his companions did. And when you find out you can trust Him without knowing ahead of time just how He's going to specifically raise you from the dead (so‐to‐speak) you will have confidence for the next time… and the next time.
If however, your life is like that of the rich young ruler and you are more curious than desperate, then take a risk by trusting in whatever God has for you. I can't tell you exactly what you will be getting into. But I can tell you that what you are holding so tightly in your hands right this minute will look like, in retrospect, some sort of a sentence of death... compared to whatever God has for you in His own hands.
Have a good day,