Accept What Cannot Be Changed

“I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11-13 NLT)

Worrying about what cannot be changed won’t give you peace. Becoming resentful or bitter about what cannot be changed will not give you peace. Feeling guilty about things that cannot be changed will not give you peace.

There is only one thing that will bring peace in your life, and that is acceptance of what cannot be changed.

When Paul wrote the book of Philippians, he was in prison in Rome, awaiting execution. In Philippians 4:11-13, he wrote these words: “I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (NLT).

Paul probably wanted to change his circumstances, and he could have lashed out at God and questioned what was happening to him. Instead, he trusted God for the things that he could not change and chose to give God the glory.

I can tell you one thing that keeps us tense and nervous and stressed out about the things in our lives: our demand for an explanation. When something goes wrong in life, we say, “Why is this happening, God? Why did you allow this?”

Here are three things you need to understand: First, God doesn’t owe you an explanation for anything. God is a good, just, and fair God, and he understands things that you don’t. You need to just say “OK.”

Second, even if he did explain why things happen the way they do, you probably wouldn’t understand it. You cannot comprehend the ways of God.

Third, explanations never bring peace, anyway. Explanations never satisfy.

What comforts us is the presence of God in our life — not God’s explanations but his care and concern and comfort. Stop looking for something that you really don’t need, and stop trying to change things that are out of your control. Then, you will have peace.

Talk It Over

• What are the circumstances in your life that you have tried to change but instead need to give to God?

• Instead of “why,” what requests do you need to make of God to help bring you peace?

This devotional is based on the current Daily Hope radio series at www.rickwarren.org.

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