Stop Waiting for a “Sense of Peace”

into the unknown Aug 31, 2020

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. (Hebrews 11:8)

Last week, we debunked the myth that Christians should wait for an amorphous “sense of peace” before making big decisions.

This morning, I’m sharing the first of three biblical truths that can grow our confidence to make decisions at work and at home. Here it is: God rarely gives us all the information we want before making a decision.

That may not sound freeing, but trust me, it is. Hang with me for a minute.

Genesis 12:1 tells us that God asked Abraham to leave behind his country, people, and family and head to an undisclosed location—clearly information Abraham would have loved to have known before deciding whether or not he would obey. But as we just read in Hebrews 11:8, Abraham obeyed God despite the fact that “he did not know where he was going.” Do you think Abraham experienced a warm and fuzzy “feeling” of peace about making this move? I doubt it.

Just like Abraham, God doesn’t give you and me all the information we feel we need to make important decisions at work and at home. Through His Word, His people, and the Spirit’s leading, God often only gives us clarity about one step at a time. He gives us wisdom to discern “the next right thing” and then expects us to step out in faith even if we don’t “feel a peace” about where that next right thing might lead. At the risk of offering two Frozen II references in a single paragraph, oftentimes God calls us “into the unknown.”

This truth is paradoxically freeing. If we grasp this, we can stop waiting for an unreliable feeling of peace, and start relying on the certain peace that comes from recognizing that if God took care of our eternal needs, He will surely care for our temporal ones.

Here’s what one of my favorite Bible teachers, Jen Wilkin, says on this topic: “We want a peek into what’s next. For the unbeliever, it’s horoscopes, palm readings, and tarot cards. For the believer, it’s much the same thing, loosely draped in religious trappings: asking God for an extrabiblical sign, claiming a Bible promise out of context…We tell ourselves that if we knew the future, we would put that knowledge to good use, but how likely is that? It’s far more likely that we would use that knowledge to stoke the flames of our self-reliance and to forward our own interests.”

Man, that’s good.

Chances are that God’s not going to give you all the information you want before you make a decision about that job, product launch, or move. Let that truth free you to make a choice and rely more on Him and His assurance of peace in the process.


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