On November 12, Joel Osteen tweeted: “When you remain at peace, almighty God will fight your battles.”
I shared this with a friend, who responded via email:
“I need to think about what that means. Do I just ignore my troubles? While I will always believe He knows what’s best.(God that is)”
I completely understood my friend’s dilemma. I, too, grapple with questions like that. I recognize “free will” as a gift from God. But, I worry that I can’t be trusted with it. Knowing me the way He does, WHY would God give me such a powerful thing as free will? I suppose I want to just put all of the hard decisions on God – “Just make me do the right thing, Lord.” But, I know that is not possible. He trusted me with free will – I just need to trust in His trust.
I go back and forth with this, as well. Free will somehow seems to conflict with “God will provide,” etc.”
But, this particular inspiration from Joel Osteen: “When you remain at peace, almighty God will fight your battles” – my personal interpretation of this one is that the message is in the “REMAIN AT PEACE“ part.
I feel that by saying “REMAIN AT PEACE,” he is essentially saying, “Don’t lose faith or ever fear that God will let you down.” Additionally, I interpret “REMAIN AT PEACE” as an admonition not to “freak out,” over-react. In the face of trials and troubles, don’t “medicate” (with alcohol or illegal drugs) – because NONE of those will sustain you or get that “battle” won. Those are UBER-TEMPORARY “fixes,” that ultimately (often IMMEDIATELY) make the situation worse.
“REMAIN AT PEACE” – do not ever give up (and in the case of alcohol abuse – don’t use it as an excuse to “backslide” with the mindset of, “Oh – what’s the use? I’ve lost this battle, anyway – I might as well get drunk!”
My understanding of this “REMAIN AT PEACE” is what I used to tell my kids “KEEP YOUR COOL – You have got to have COOL.”
Keep doing what you believe is the right thing to do.
Just don’tever lose faith, give up, “medicate,” or “freak out.”
My personal understanding of this particular Osteen inspiration is that he is urging us to just stay the course. We all know that is not an easy thing to do.
“Peace” (of mind and HEART) is difficult to maintain. But, it comes much easier when we keep the faith that “God has got our backs.”
And finally, I related this to the Book of John, chapter 18, when Jesus was arrested. His loyal disciple Simon Peter, enraged and ready to defend his Lord, drew his sword and cut off the ear of one of the arresting soldiers. Peter was definitely not“remaining at peace” – and not keeping his cool – though reacting understandably in a very human way. Yet, Jesus told Peter to put his sword back in its sheath. He then healed the soldier’s ear, and told Peter, “Shall I not drink the cup which my Father has given me?”
Obviously, it was easy for the SON OF GOD to know the “big picture” – that, in the end, it would all be fine. But, Peter, mere mortal, could not remain at peace, and went straight for his sword. He had no knowledge of that “big picture” and “happy ending,” so to speak that would be the outcome of this trial.
I was immediately but perhaps superficially inspired by that Joel Osteen tweet. So, when my friend posed his question, I was put in a position to respond and share my interpretation. Consequently, my own understanding deepened as I looked into my heart to find what, about this particular encouraging insight, had touched me.
In an effort to answer the questions of another, I found deeper understanding for myself.