The Hardest Part of the Journey

Thankfully, making peace with God is a simple process. He makes it simple because He doesn’t want any of us to perish. (2 Peter 3:9) 

Though peace with God is simple, unfortunately, we can’t make the leap from making peace with God to finding true peace with others without first landing on some inner peace. Since that’s the hardest part of the journey for many of us, we’ll spend the next few weeks exploring four stepping stones that may help us navigate a troubled spirit: Reflect. Remember. Rejoice. Reset. 

REFLECT

David, when reflecting on his sin with Bathsheba, prayed, “I know that you delight to set your truth deep I my spirit. So come into the hidden places of my heart and teach me wisdom.” (Psalm 51:6, TPT)

David realized he had some hidden places that needed attention. Unresolved hurt or unconfessed sin lingers in the soul no matter how hard we try to smile it away. Without us realizing it, it marks us by coloring the way we view the world around us. Sometimes, it even affects how we view God. 

Solomon, when passing wisdom on to his sons, said, “Above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are. Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23, TPT)

Solomon learned the importance of taking care of his innermost being. Our feelings of fear, unworthiness, or rejection will always show up in the way we respond to others. Courageously taking inventory of our emotional health is not only smart, but it offers the Spirit a chance to comfort, correct, and teach us. How reassuring it is to know that our audience of One is what matters most!

Jesus instructed the Pharisees to reflect on their own lives when He said, “First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.” (Matthew 23:26, NLT) Jesus knew that a religious exterior could never overcome a messy interior. So often in our culture, busyness defines our religious exterior. If we stay busy enough, we won’t have time to reflect and make any changes. Don’t get me wrong; doing good with the right heart delights God and brings us joy. But perhaps nothing delights Satan any more than when our religious busyness leads us away from having true peace with ourselves. He knows if he can keep us from taking the time to reflect on what’s going on inside, he can keep us from becoming peacemakers. Trust me on that one.

Let’s all take time this week to do some hard things that reap great rewards: 

  • Identify and reflect on those hidden places in our hearts. Let’s be wise.
  • Pay close attention to how we think and what we value most. Let’s be teachable.
  • Inspect what’s on our insides. Let’s be courageous.

Next week, we’ll go back and REMEMBER some things. 

“So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control our mind leads to life and peace.” (Romans 8:6, NLT)

Posted in
A poster saying “The Hardest Part of the Journey”

Donna Jackson

My God Story – Ella Van Deusen

By Donna Jackson | June 21, 2022 |

I’ve waited weeks now to introduce you to my sweet friend Ella Van Deusen! We first met when I began to serve the elementary aged children in our church. At the age of ten, Ella’s understanding of God and His Word made leading her small group a huge blessing. I’ve watched her grow into an…

One of the Good Ones

By Donna Jackson | June 14, 2022 |

You may call me shameless, and that’s okay.  However, I have someone who deserves a pat on the back. Some royal treatment. A great big “attaboy”. I’m sure you have a “someone” in your life who deserves the same. Even the apostle Paul told the Romans they should give honor to those to whom it is…

Weary and Discouraged

By Donna Jackson | June 7, 2022

As the iconic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” opens, we meet George Bailey, a banker who soon finds himself trapped under a boulder of challenging circumstances. Even though he has a wife, children, extended family, and friends who love him and would gladly help, he still feels trapped. At his lowest point, he feels like…

Your Story

By Donna Jackson | May 17, 2022

Have you ever wondered how your life’s story would read if it were part of the Bible? Would it be complicated or comical? Melodramatic or monotonous? Apathetic or adventurous? Heartbreaking or heroic? I wonder what Moses thought of the whole Exodus story. His exploits were definitely legendary – the stuff blockbusters are made of –…

I Don’t Want To

By Donna Jackson | May 10, 2022

For several years, our small tribe of women met for Bible study with female inmates in our local jail. They shared their stories of abuse, drugs, tragedy, and great sorrow. We did our best to point them to Jesus, the only One who could heal their hurt and help them find lasting peace. Since we…

No Time to Play Games

By Donna Jackson | May 3, 2022

Last Monday rubbed my patience about as raw as sushi. And I hate sushi. Everything I tried to do went sideways. In my mind, I imagined flinging my computer across the room so it would feel the same amount of grief it had caused me. Every click of the cursor apparently filled the hard drive…

A Life That Matters

By Donna Jackson | April 19, 2022

The motley tribe of seven disciples sat quietly beside the sea trying to understand the most recent swirl of events. Their time spent as Jesus’ close companions had given them direction and a purpose. But now, everything was changing so quickly. Their teacher, friend, and Messiah had been tortured, humiliated, and killed by Roman soldiers.…

You May Argue, But …

By Donna Jackson | April 12, 2022

Whenever my brain waves begin to lay flat and my mind becomes exhausted from a day of writing, I grab a glass of tea and the TV remote. I depend on Joanna Gaines and Giada DeLaurnetiis to give my mind a break. They offer the inspiration I need to fill a skillet or two for…

What Do You Want for the Children in Your Life?

By Donna Jackson | April 10, 2022

What do you want for the children in your life? That was the question I posed this week to a room full of courageous ladies in drug rehab. Answers flew back: “Happiness”, “Peace”, “Strength”, “A relationship with God”. In a previous Bible study, they had asked for a message on parenting. My wheels immediately began…

Why Travel Perfection Road?

By Donna Jackson | April 5, 2022

On the outside my grandmother Josephine looked like any other grandmother. She wore glasses, gray hair, and her share of wrinkles and spots. But on the inside pumped the heart of a playful little girl. We cut paper dolls out of the Sears and Roebuck catalog, sang at her piano, and turned brand-new pointed Crayola…