Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Peace About the Future

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: We tend to be paid lovers of God.

Leslie Basham: This is Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy: We love God as long as He’s sticking things in our grubby, little grasping hands that are what we want. But then God begins to pry open our fingers and take some of those things from us and we start to bawl and squall and our hearts are all of a sudden disquieted, we prove that we were loving God for His gifts rather than for Himself.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Wednesday, June 1.

Nancy: We’ve been talking for the last several days about Psalm 131, and if you’re in a place where you can get a Bible and follow along, let me encourage you to do that. I said earlier in the series that this has become my new life preserver in life.

This passage God has been so using in my life in recent days in some of the ups and downs and the storms that are going on around me. Life is just that way. It has storms, and God has used this passage to be a life preserver to me. We’re throwing it out in this series hoping it will be a life preserver to you.

You may not be in a storm right now, but the time will come when you are. This is a great passage to get familiar with.

I’ve been encouraging people I’ve been talking to in recent days to read this psalm in every translation they can find, to pick one they especially like, to memorize it, and then to quote it all the time.

The translation that I first memorized this psalm in years ago was the King James, so I’ve been quoting from that one as well as others during this series.

Let me quote the psalm again, and then we’re looking today at one particular phrase in verse 2. The psalmist says:

Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child. Let Israel hope in the Lord from henceforth and forever (KJV).

Now, there’s a lot of dynamite in those three short verses. We started in the last session looking at verse two; that talks about a quiet heart, the conscious choice to quiet our souls regardless of what is going on around us.

“Surely I have behaved and quieted myself.” “I have composed my soul.” “I have calmed myself.” “I have stilled myself.” Different translations use different words there. “Like a child that is weaned of his mother.” We talked in the last session about what it means to be a weaned child, to have a heart that is like a weaned child.

I don’t often do this on Revive Our Hearts, but today I just have to. A dear friend who knew I was studying this passage sent me something on email recently that is so good I’ve just got to read it to you. It’s lengthy, but it’s such a beautiful description of this word picture of a weaned child.

It’s by Nancy Wilson. Her husband is a pastor. She and her husband are both authors and have some tremendous resources available on marriage and family. But she has a particular piece called “A Weaned Child.” Let me just read it to you, and I think it will paint this picture even more beautifully for you.

What is a weaned child like? A weaned child is able to eat food other than milk. He is past the stage of fussing and crying for milk. He is no longer whining and complaining, and he is able to be with his mother without fretting for the breast or the bottle.

How can our soul be compared to such a weaned child with his mother?

A weaned soul is a soul that is comfortable and gracious, quiet and peaceful. It can rest in God's arms without fretting, struggling, or wanting. It is a soul that has been chastened and disciplined into quietness.

When your soul is troubled and disturbed, you must learn to calm and quiet it. Is your soul inclined to panic and struggle at the first opportunity, or have you disciplined your soul to incline to rest and peace?

Weaning is a gradual process. Mother begins to taper off the milk until the child no longer needs it. The child looks past the milk and is secure in mother herself. Little by little the child becomes able to go without, and eventually, one day is completely weaned.

This is the way we must approach our souls. We must learn to say "no" to ungodly passions that well up within us. We must learn to identify the things that disquiet us. We must learn to speak to our soul comforting and calming words and direct our vision to Christ alone.

We must begin by disciplining our souls when they are discontented, frustrated, demanding attention, or troubled in any way. We must take responsibility for the state of our soul and have the goal in mind to wean our souls.

Consider these examples. You may wake in the night and begin to worry about something. Meditate on this verse. Is your soul fussing like an unhappy baby? Perhaps your husband is traveling and you're worried about being alone. Can you calm your soul by reminding yourself of the truths of Scripture and the faithfulness of God?

That’s what I’ve often described as counseling your own heart according to the Word of God. Sometimes I just have to take my soul and say, “Soul, God is good!” I have to just speak the truth to my soul, remind myself that God knows what He’s doing. You’re not in charge of the world. Let go and let God be in charge.

David had many trials and troubles, yet he was able to quiet his soul. Let your soul find comfort in God rather than in all His external benefits.

And isn’t it true? Let me just interject here—we tend to be paid lovers of God. We love God as long as He’s sticking things in our grubby, little grasping hands that are what we want: treasures, trinkets, baubles, happiness, good experiences, happy families . . . as long as everything is working and God is giving us the things we want and nothing is hard and nothing is stressing or stretching us, oh, we love God.

But then God begins to pry open our fingers and take some of those things from us and we start to bawl and squall and our hearts are all of a sudden disquieted and troubled, we prove that we were loving God for His gifts rather than for Himself.

You say, “Why would God take those things away from us?” Because God knows He is greater and far richer a gift than anything else He could give us. He wants us to love Himself, to love Him for who He is, and to find comfort in Himself rather than in all His external benefits.

Nancy Wilson goes on to say,

Consider times of testing as opportunities for you to wean your soul. And be thankful. Feed upon God's promises, and don't whine for what He has not given you.

Once we understand this concept, we will identify our own unweaned behavior, and it will shame us to recognize our own status as unweaned children. But then we can begin in humbled fashion to calm and quiet our souls and wean them from the cares and worries that so easily distract us. Then we can join with the Psalmist in saying, “Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me."

Isn’t that good? That just really ministered to me, and I thought it would minister to you as well. So we need to ask, in our responses, in our natural and intuitive responses to life’s pressures and problems and challenges, are we more like an unweaned child, a weaning child, or a weaned child?

If our hearts are not yet weaned, we will want this and want that, and we’ll contend with God when He doesn’t give it to us. As a result, we’re not going to have a good relationship with God.

But once our hearts are weaned, we say, “Lord, I leave that to You. If that’s what pleases You, then that’s what pleases me.” And then the strife is over. Our soul is quieted, and we behave ourselves as weaned children.

When our hearts are weaned, we can trust that God sent that person into my life and allowed that person to do that to me, that thing that has troubled my heart. When my heart is weaned, I can accept harsh words and unkind things that come into my life, and trust that they are being filtered through God’s loving fingers and hands. Then I’m not angry anymore.

If God chooses to bring better circumstances into my life, I say, “Thank You, Lord. What a blessing! I’m grateful.” But if God doesn’t change my circumstances, I say, “Thank You, Lord. I’m blessed. I’m grateful. You are still good.” Either way I don’t blame God; I don’t blame His providence.

  • We’re not talking about just being apathetic or indifferent.
  • We’re not talking about a life of ease that’s trouble free.
  • We’re not talking about running from our problems, burying our head in the sand, pretending we don’t have problems.
  • We’re also not talking about just medicating or anesthetizing the pain so we don’t feel anything, which is what so many women are doing today.

Let me quote once again from Francois Fenelon’s book that I quoted from in the last session, his book The Seeking Heart, one of my very favorite devotional books. He says,

Inward peace comes with absolute surrender to the will of God. You need to come to a simple calmness of spirit which comes from giving up everything to God. The reason you feel so agitated is that you do not accept everything that happens to you with complete trust in God. The moment you stop wanting things to be your way, you will be free from so much worry and concern.

Let me read that last sentence one more time: “The moment you stop wanting things to be your way, you will be free from so much worry and concern.”

Would you just lift your hands up to the Lord and say, “Lord, have it Your way. I surrender. I give up control. I give these burdens and concerns to You. I relinquish. I quiet my heart. I accept what You bring into my life this day as from You. I behave and quiet myself as a child that is weaned of his mother.”

Song from Hidden in My Heart CD:

Don’t you worry about anything;
Instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need,
And thank Him for all He has done.

Leslie: Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been showing you how to cultivate a quiet heart. She’ll be right back with the second half of today’s program.

First, I’ll remind you of the CD we’ve been telling you about. It’s called Hidden in My Heart.

And the peace of God,
Far beyond what we can understand
Will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.

Leslie: It will keep the Scripture in your mind and help to quiet your heart. We’ll send you a copy on CD when you make a donation of any size to Revive Our Hearts. Ask for Hidden in My Heart when you call 1-800-569-5959, or visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

Nancy’s back with the second half of today’s program, part of the series, How to Have a Quiet Heart.

Nancy: I want to talk about some of the things that disquiet our hearts. We live in a world in turmoil, and only those who are children of God, who have Christ living in them, can really continually have a peaceful, quiet heart in a world that is in such turmoil. We have troubles and problems in every person’s life. How can you have a quiet heart?

Well, one of the things that helps is to identify the things that disquiet our hearts. Our hearts easily get disquieted about the past, and sometimes that’s what keeps us in turmoil.

Maybe it’s offenses others have committed against us. It may be something that happened 30 years ago, but it still keeps your heart in turmoil: the way a dad talked to you or treated you, the way a mom talked to you or treated you.

It may be things in the past that are your own guilt, sins that you’ve committed, regrets that you have, things that you did years ago that are still haunting and plaguing you, and your heart is disquieted. Our hearts can be disquieted about the past.

Our hearts get disquieted about the present: circumstances, challenging assignments that are beyond our human capacity. That’s the way I feel about Revive Our Hearts a lot of the time. “Lord, I’m not capable of doing this.” And God says, “Yes, I know. That’s why you need Me. You are weak, but I am strong.”

The present; I can get disquieted. We get disquieted over the people we have to live with, the people we have to work with, decisions we need to make, what’s happening in our nation, what’s happening in our world.

Then we get disquieted, don’t we, about the future, the “what ifs,” the unknown. “What’s going to happen if my husband’s company downsizes and he loses his job? What if my mother gets Alzheimer’s? What if my son ends up on drugs? What’s going to happen in the world?”

Some of these things are very real fears. I mean, some of these things may happen. Some of these things will happen. They haven’t happened yet, but we live with disquieted hearts about, “What if they do happen?”

I’ve been quoting in this series from Fenelon’s book, The Seeking Heart. I love this devotional book, and God has used it many times to quiet my heart.

In this book—and this book, by the way, was written back in the 1600s, but these words are so powerful and practical today—Fenelon says, “Don’t be so concerned about the future.” He wrote these words, by the way, to real people that he was ministering to. These were letters, and sometimes I feel he was thinking about me and he knew my life circumstances when he was writing these things. He says:

Don’t be so concerned about the future. The future belongs to God. He is in charge of all things and will take care of you completely. If you try to guess what is going to happen, you will only worry yourself and anticipate trouble. Live each day as it comes. Each day brings its own good and evil, but what seems evil becomes good if you leave it in God’s hands.

Rest in God’s hands. The future is God’s. Live with God in the present moment. Live your daily life out in the presence of God. He will give you all that you need.

Those words sound a lot like some words you read in the Scripture.

Philippians 4:6-7:

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus (paraphrased).

Then I think about the words of the apostle Paul at the end of Romans chapter 8: “I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (see vv. 37-39).

Those are promises from God’s Word. Take them; cling to them; hold onto them. Let them quiet your heart.

Let them quiet your heart when people offend you, when others speak against you falsely, when there’s more on your “to do” list than you can possibly handle. When you don’t know what to do, ask God. Let your heart be quiet so you can hear Him speak.

Learn to quiet your heart in every circumstance and season of life. When your computer crashes, as mine did last week—and I’ll just tell you right now, I did not have a quiet heart for quite some time right then—but that’s a time to quiet your heart according to the truth of God’s Word.

Quiet your heart in the season of life that’s singleness while you’re waiting for “Mr. Right.” Quiet your heart in the season of children, or maybe when you’re longing for children, or when you have children.

I talked with a woman not too long ago who had longed for children for years and wasn’t able to have them. She just had one now. She has an 8-week-old baby, and she says, “It’s such an adjustment.” She has to quiet her heart now with an 8-week-old just as she had to quiet her heart when she was longing for children and God wasn’t giving her any.

Quiet your heart in the empty-nest season of life, when you may feel useless or unneeded or insecure. In job loss, in financial pressure, with chronic physical pain, in the aging process when you see those gray hairs and those wrinkles and the hearing and the eyesight start to not be quite what they once were . . . quiet your heart.

I have a friend who was invited to go snorkeling off the Florida coast with a friend of hers. I’ll call him Paul. At one point as they were out in the water enjoying the many beautiful varieties of fish, my friend said (and I’m going to read what she wrote to me about this experience):

I saw a movement several feet below me, and turning my head, I saw a bull shark on my right. As I tapped Paul’s shoulder and pointed toward our new companion, I noticed two others on the other side of us. I later learned there were four.

Without a word, Paul calmly took my hand, and directed me toward the shore. The sharks followed us almost to the shore. When we hit the sand, I suddenly realized that I hadn’t been afraid. I had confidence in Paul, who had been diving and swimming since childhood. With him by my side, I felt protected.

The truth is that however good a swimmer and diver Paul may be, he could not have saved me if the sharks had attacked. In spite of this, I had complete confidence in him. The truth is also that God is all-powerful, and He controls all things. Passing through this life there is no reason to fear, even if surrounded by "large sharks," because I know that God is always by my side.

I want to sail through this world close to Him, with my weak, small hand in His great one.

The Psalmist says, “Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.” I don’t know what the “sharks” are that are around you right now; and if there aren’t some around you right now, there will be seasons when there are.

Put your hand in the hand of your Father. He knows what He’s doing. Sharks are no big deal to Him. He can handle sharks. He can handle husbands. He can handle children. He can handle jobs. He can handle hurricanes and tornadoes. He can handle terrorists. He can handle whatever is on your list of things that is disquieting your heart today. He can handle it.

Put your hand in His; don’t let go. Trust in the Lord. Hope in Him, and you will make it safely to shore.

Leslie: You don’t have to worry about the future; you just need to trust in the only Person who actually knows what tomorrow holds. Nancy Leigh DeMoss has given an important reminder of that today.

She’s been in a series called, How to Have a Quiet Heart. These messages are meeting women in a variety of situations, many of them stressful. For instance, a cab driver named Darlene emailed Nancy.

Nancy: That was so sweet. This woman was driving in her cab one day and happened upon Revive Our Hearts on the radio. She wrote and said, “I’ll never forget that program.” Then she kept listening every week day even when there were passengers in the cab.

She said, “Revive Our Hearts helped me in many situations and opened my eyes more to our Lord.”

Well, when we record a series like How to Have a Quiet Heart, there’s no way we can anticipate all the places that message will go, but it’s so encouraging to me to think of a cab driver and passengers hearing the Word of God in the midst of the bustle of day-to-day life.

Some of our listeners support Revive Our Hearts in this process, and they make the funds available for us to stay on the air. So when you contribute to Revive Our Hearts, you have no idea of all the lives that will be affected—in cabs and in lots of other places as well. So would you ask God how He might have you support Revive Our Hearts this week?

When you send a gift of any size this week, we want to say, “Thanks,” by sending you a CD that we’ve been talking about a lot over the last several weeks, a CD called Hidden in My Heart. I’ve been sharing with you how God has used the music and the Scriptural message on this CD to help calm my heart when I’m tempted to become anxious.

As we’ve shared with you, the lyrics on this selection are all based on Scripture. The songs will remind you of biblical promises that will renew your mind and calm your heart.

I know this was originally intended to be a lullaby CD, but I’m telling you, I have listened to this CD over and over and over again, particularly in the last several weeks and found it to be such a huge blessing and encouragement to my heart. I just want everybody to have this CD, and we will be glad to send it to you—Hidden in My Heart—when you send a gift of any size to help us keep this ministry on the air.

Just ask for Hidden in My Heart when you call to make your gift. The number to call is 1-800-569-5959, or if you prefer, just visit us online at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Leslie: It’s almost impossible to make yourself stop thinking about something unless a more interesting topic comes along to capture your attention. That concept is important when it comes to worry. Find out why tomorrow on Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.