Grief Became Peace: How to Overcome Fear

Grief became peace when I realized recent losses I’d suffered stripped away worthlessness to reveal what’s truly valuable.

Before I share what the buried treasure was, let’s back up a bit…

A deep stirring in my heart started the night before when I read the June 29th devotional in Streams of the Desert. I bought the book from a thrift shop several years ago because I was drawn to the verdant cover. Green is my favorite color. It symbolizes life, renewal, and growth to me. But often death must precede life.

For as it said in the June 29th devotional:

“God has nothing worth having that is easy.

There are no cheap goods in the heavenly market.”

What God bought for us—salvation from sin and an eternity with Him—cost the suffering and death of His one and only Son.

Grace is not a cheap gift.

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And our invitation to the Promised Land will cost us suffering too if we accept it and begin the pilgrimage to the front gates of His glory. We will, like the Israelite, see giants along the way. And these giants will stomp out any victories God desires for us if we focus on them instead focusing on the Lord.

The foolish focus on giants, the wise focus on God.

The foolish focus on giants, the wise focus on God. #faith #ThursdayThoughts Click To Tweet

And here’s where the buried treasure I alluded to comes into play: faith. For not only is it impossible to impress the Lord without faith, it’s not possible to keep a proper focus without it either.

Grief Became Peace: How to Overcome Fear wendylmacdonald.com

We need to exercise faith to fend off giants threatening to disrupt our joy in the Lord.

We need to exercise faith to fend off giants. #Christian #memoir Click To Tweet

 

Our losses can be counted as discouragements—as giants—or they can be counted as gain. For loss draws us to Christ when we realize everything is dung compared to growing stronger in our faith. Faith doesn’t grow without adversity just as muscles don’t grow without resistance being applied against them.
When resistance comes against us, and we’re tossed into a lion’s den, or into a fiery furnace, we need to focus on God and not on the flames or the jaws of death. Jesus is a God-with-us Savior. He is beside us when the giants surround us.

 

Our faith—not our fear—pleases Him.

Our faith—not our fear—pleases God. #faith #quoteoftheday Click To Tweet

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I don’t think it’s a coincidence that God is described as a consuming fire in Deuteronomy 4:24:

For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

His jealousy is righteous. He’s right to burn off the dross of false gods in our hearts. When we’re in the furnace of adversity, all the things we’ve been worshiping melt under the glow of His majesty.

Our goals and our gold can’t save us.

Only God can.

The golden images we worshiped aren’t worth anything next to the One who created everything.
And so on the morning I grieved, I asked God to give me an undivided heart. I asked Him to help me focus fully on Him instead of on my fear of the giants around me.

In God’s economy, exercising faith brings victory.

Submitting to fear brings failure.

Grief Became Peace: How to Overcome Fear wendylmacdonald.com

In God’s economy we must love Him more than our sin or our kin

—more than our biggest dreams

—more than our safety

—more than anything.

More.

Our intimacy with the Lord is hindered if our loyalty is divided. A less-than-all-consuming faith doesn’t satisfy us or God.

Grief Became Peace: How to Overcome Fear wendylmacdonald.com

Burn Away

Burn away all lesser gods
With Your consuming fire
So our hearts are purified
And filled with holy desire

~
Burn away our foolish fear
And fill us with faith instead
That we may walk boldly
With Christ as our Head.

Wendy/2017

 

Blessings ~ Wendy

Grief became peace: How to overcome fear wendylmacdonald.com

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Do you have a mixed memory of miserable and marvelous from your school days? I do. You can read the short memoir piece here: A Keepsake Worth Keeping

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I’m nosy-to-know if you’ve had a time when grief became peace because you overcame fear. 

Grief Became Peace: How to Overcome Fear wendylmacdonald.com

22 thoughts on “Grief Became Peace: How to Overcome Fear

  1. All “good stuff” Wendy. You know, fire permanently alters whatever it touches. And the soul is never the same when touched by Holy fire. Our God is a consuming fire and the only God who answers by fire. Our God is an awesome God! – DT

  2. Dear Wendy, I love how you worded your petition: “give me an undivided heart”. Lately, several things have come into under my radar about division and juxtaposition (one of Carole Sparks recent blogs). Today, I read in my devotional: “God divides the private life of his saints and makes it a highway for the world on one hand and for Himself on the other.” from Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest. I am wondering if it is ever possible while still on earth to have an undivided heart?

    1. Thank you, sweet friend. Our walk is a moment by moment journey of love—isn’t it? And we can only do all things through the God of love who saves us, keeps us, fills us, and empowers us. We’re blessed to have a God who is able to use even our blunders for good. Amazing–amazing love. <3 Only Jesus was able to walk perfectly.

  3. I needed to read this today, dear Wendy. You know my story well, so you know that having to speak in public scares me. Yes, me, the former TV “star”.

    Myrtle the Purple Turtle, however, will be forcing me to stick my neck out — I have a series of media interviews and a literary panel discussion over the next two days, and have, without quite realizing it, been worrying. Your post reminded me to put it in God’s hands. THANK YOU for delivering God’s message.

    We are instruments of God’s grace.

    1. I’m so proud of you, dear Cynthia. Having had my own car accident, that was minor compared to what you went through, has made me admire you all the more.
      My giant of fear concerning left-turns is slowly shrinking because of faith. I couldn’t do this journey without God. I’m adding your name to my daily prayer list while you “stick your neck out.” I love Myrtle the Purple Turtle. Go, Myrtle, go! <3

  4. Amen Wendy. For three days now giants have tried me, tested me, trying to discourage me, but they have not won! This morning as I grieved over so many things…crying out to God for Him and Him alone….I prayed, “Papa! Father! please, there are so many hurting…I know you heal you can do it in a millisecond it is not your will that we should be sick or have disease…you are bigger than cancer, bigger than anything, but many times people die without being healed of course they have the ultimate healing when they go home to you…and sometimes you just call us home. Lord it’s hard to see the suffering…what do you want me to do?” He simply said, “Hold onto faith!” So when I read this post today, just now…it was confirmation for me Wendy…all we can do is hold onto faith…keep believing, keep living, focus on Jesus and not the giants!! Thank you! <3

    1. Thank you for blessing me, dear Marla. Your words are a reminder to me of how valuable believers are to each other. He works through every part of the body of Christ to build, encourage, and protect each other. You’ve encouraged me not to forget the importance of focusing on Jesus. What a good Father we have–so good. <3

  5. What I discovered was this, The day my recovery from grief (my giant) began was the day I was able to accept God’s Sovereignty. The giant that stood between God and I was my insistence that he owed me an explanation. When I realized what I am actually owed, I thanked God for my salvation.
    I love Proverbs 2. The Benefits Of Wisdom. I especially like the image it gives of searching as you would for silver. That is something we dig deep for and hold close to our hearts.
    I also like to follow that with James 1:22, “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.”
    I am fortunate to have survived an awful lot of foolishness in my life.

    1. Gene, I don’t take your words lightly because I haven’t walked through the dark valley you’ve been through. Your faith encourages me. I’m glad you chose to trust God in the midst of your giant’s shadow. Sadly, I witnessed a dad choose atheism when he lost his child. But I’ll continue to pray God’s Light and Love breaks through. Nothing is too difficult for Him. Blessings as you continue to “dig deep.”

  6. “Our intimacy with the Lord is hindered if our loyalty is divided.” This has been in my thoughts for many days. To view creation through our faith in God is the only way. Too often we try to understand God through creation, and we see, then, only a fragment of the Divine.
    The brilliant colours in your photos are particularly striking.
    Peace

    1. Thank you, friend. Yes, I agree “we see, then, only a fragment of the Divine.” Well said. He is too big to package and label. He is the Great I Am whose love is deeper, higher, wider, and longer than we could ever imagine. Blessings.

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