Your Way, Not Mine
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
Kamil and Joelle were devastated when their eight-year-old daughter Rima was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. The disease led to meningitis and a stroke, and Rima lapsed into a coma. The hospital medical team counseled her parents to make arrangements for Rima’s funeral, giving her less than a one percent chance of survival.
Kamil and Joelle fasted and prayed for a miracle. “As we pray,” Kamil said, “we need to trust God no matter what. And pray like Jesus—not my way, Father, but Yours.” “But I want so much for God to heal her!” Joelle answered honestly. “Yes! And we should ask!” Kamil responded. “But it honors God when we give ourselves to Him even when it’s hard, because that’s what Jesus did.”
Before Jesus went to the cross, He prayed: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). By praying “take this cup,” Jesus asked not to go to the cross; but He submitted to the Father out of love.
Surrendering our desires to God isn’t easy, and His wisdom can be difficult to understand in challenging moments. Kamil and Joelle’s prayers were answered in a remarkable way—Rima is a healthy fifteen year old today.
Jesus understands every struggle. Even when, for our sake, His request was not answered, He showed us how to trust our God in every need.
I want to be “all in” for You, Father. I trust in Your unfailing love and give myself to You as Your servant today.
God always deserves our commitment and praise.
“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him.” Hebrews 12:5
Suggested Further Reading: Deuteronomy 8:1-6
What son is there whom the Father chasteneth not? You ministers of God who preach the gospel, is there amongst your ranks one son whom his Father chastens not? Unanimously they reply, “We all have been chastened.” You holy prophets who testified God’s word with the Holy Ghost from heaven, is there one amongst your number whom God chastened not? Abraham, Daniel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Malachi, answer; and unanimously cry, “There is not one among us whom the Father chasteneth not.” You kings, you chosen ones, you Davids and you Solomons, is there one in your high and lofty ranks who has escaped chastisement? Answer David! Were you not obliged to cross the brook Kedron in the darkness? Answer Hezekiah! Did you not spread the letter before the Lord? Answer Jehoshaphat! Did you not have the cross when the ships were broken that were sent to Tarshish for gold? Oh starry host above, translated out of the reach of the trials of this world, is there one amongst you whom the Father chastened not? Not one; there is not one in heaven whose back was unscarred by the chastening rod, if he attained to the age when he needed it. The infant alone escapes, flying at once from his mother’s breast to heaven. There is one whom I will ask, the Son of God, the Son par excellence, the chief of all the family. Son of God Incarnate, did you escape the rod? Son without sin, were you a Son without punishment? Were you chastised? Hark! The hosts of earth and heaven reply—the church militant and triumphant answer: “The chastisement of our peace was even upon him; he suffered; he bore the cross; he endured the curse as well as any of us; yea, more, he endured ten thousand-fold more chastisement than any of us can by any possibility endure.”
For meditation: Christians have different gifts and different callings, but this is something shared by all. How do you react when God disciplines you? Does the experience leave you dismissive, discouraged or (as God intends) disciplined?
I am not saved by believing— I simply realize I am saved by believing. And it is not repentance that saves me— repentance is only the sign that I realize what God has done through Christ Jesus. The danger here is putting the emphasis on the effect, instead of on the cause. Is it my obedience, consecration, and dedication that make me right with God? It is never that! I am made right with God because, prior to all of that, Christ died. When I turn to God and by belief accept what God reveals, the miraculous atonement by the Cross of Christ instantly places me into a right relationship with God. And as a result of the supernatural miracle of God’s grace I stand justified, not because I am sorry for my sin, or because I have repented, but because of what Jesus has done. The Spirit of God brings justification with a shattering, radiant light, and I know that I am saved, even though I don’t know how it was accomplished.
The salvation that comes from God is not based on human logic, but on the sacrificial death of Jesus. We can be born again solely because of the atonement of our Lord. Sinful men and women can be changed into new creations, not through their repentance or their belief, but through the wonderful work of God in Christ Jesus which preceded all of our experience (see 2 Corinthians 5:17-19). The unconquerable safety of justification and sanctification is God Himself. We do not have to accomplish these things ourselves— they have been accomplished through the atonement of the Cross of Christ. The supernatural becomes natural to us through the miracle of God, and there is the realization of what Jesus Christ has already done— “It is finished!” (John 19:30).