trust in God
Do you ever feel like your faith walk is easily affected by life’s circumstances? Do you seem to waver between trusting in God and trusting in yourself to work through the trials of life? When you don’t know what to do, what do you do?
The bible tells us that faith and wisdom work together to bring stability into our daily lives.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting…” (James 1:5,6)
Did you notice the warning to ‘not doubt’? Doubt embraces uncertainty and distrust, it makes us hesitant to believe, fearful or apprehensive about the truth. God encourages us to receive wisdom from Him and then warns us not to doubt the instruction in truth that He gives. If we doubt we are described as unstable and tossed about as the wind.
“…for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:6-8)
Faith in God and the application of His wisdom in our daily lives will give us the stability we desire that will position us to weather any trial or test that comes our way. This is God’s promise to those who love Him.
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12)
What is the desire of your heart? What do you long for in your life to see God fulfill?
Many of us have deep longings that are pursued according to what we believe is the right approach, however God offers an approach that may not conform to the wisdom of the world but promises to lead us into the fulfillment of our deep desires.
It begins with trust. Not trusting in our own ability and skill but trust in God who establishes us in His will.
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.” (Psalm 37:1)
To befriend faithfulness is to cultivate a lifestyle of obedience by honoring God in our daily roles. His Word, the bible leads us into His truth about how to live in a way that pleases Him.
As we learn about God and all His goodness and love toward us we will begin to delight in Him. As I learned to delight in God my deep desires and longing for a blessed life began to center on God’s plan for me. Understanding that all things come from God it made sense to delight in the Giver of all things good.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:2)
Once we learn to trust in the Lord we are lead to delight in His involvement in our lives then we must commit our way to Him.
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act.” (Psalm 37:3)
Trust, delight and committing places us in a position for God to act. The same God who did not spare His only Son (Romans 8:32) will also give us the very best for our lives. He promises to give us the desires of our heart once we are in right relationship with Him.
Wait for God’s best, befriend faithfulness!
Our life in God is filled with purpose and He promises to lead us toward the timing of its fulfillment while using every season of our lives.
Queen Esther could not have imagined that God was mindful of every turn that her life took toward fulfilling His divine purpose.
“And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14b)
Esther’s story gives a glimpse into the sovereignty of God and how He works through life circumstances beyond our control to fulfill our purpose.
Although orphaned at a young age, then torn from the only family that she had ever known and cast into a year long beauty preparation before being presented to King Ahasuerus, her reputation of “…winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her,” (2:15) preceded her with the King.
Esther’s trust in God with the outcomes of her life, “Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, ‘and if I perish, I perish’.” (4:16b) and her humility and obedient response to Mordecai, her uncle and father figure, made her an ideal candidate as God’s vessel to deliver the entire Jewish race at that time!
“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)
Are you trusting God with the direction of your life? When we trust and obey with contentment we can be assured of not missing God’s timing, placement and fulfillment of our purpose on this earth.
“The Lord is at hand, do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:5-7)
God gives a strong warning about the stability of our faith in the Book of Isaiah when the people still had an opportunity to hold fast to His divine promises to spare them from destruction. At the core they were struggling with disbelief.
“If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.” (Isaiah 7:9b)
Near the end of King David’s life after God had delivered him out of many life threatening trials, betrayals and warfare he accounted his triumph to his faith in God and His divine promise to establish his throne forever;
“As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my soul out of every adversity…” (1Kings 1:29)
God also gives a strong warning for the unstable in faith. He connects instability in faith to a lack of trust in His wisdom to lead us through adversity.
“But let him ask in faith with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:6-8)
Jesus warned us that we would have trouble in this world. He also encouraged us to take heart and trust in Him who has overcome the world. In other words, He has already made provision for us to triumph! We are called to trust the process of being led and God’s readiness to help at every turn of events.
“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.” (Psalm 34:17)
Be firm in your faith and God will deliver you out of all your troubles!
God’s heart for you and me is to live our lives in such a way that all would go well with us and our family, even to the next generation. He also knows that for us to maintain this position of ‘wellness’ with Him that it requires developing a heart to fear, a reverence toward Him that sincerely motivates us to walk in all His ways.
“Oh that they had such a heart as this always, to fear Me and to keep all my commandments, that it might go well with them and their descendants forever.” (Deuteronomy 5:29)
God was preparing His people to enter into the fulfillment of all His promises connected with entering the promised land. The fulfillment would come with this condition, that they would maintain a faithful relationship with God.
When God blesses us our tendency is to become complacent with His generosity, take His goodness for granted and forget that it was His faithfulness to His promises that brought us into our promise land. He simply asks of us to keep Him first in order to maintain a ‘well lived life’ through every event of life. This is a blessed life.
“Hear…and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.” (Deuteronomy 6:3)
Growing in my trust-walk with God evolved through struggling with the tensions and trials in life. Learning to keep my eyes and heart fixed on Him in the various roles that I had been called seemed to evolve through a mixture of learning about Him, how much He loved me and His sovereign rule over all of creation. He is the only source of true and lasting blessing.
Daily life, the complexity of relationships and the varied roles that we have been called to fulfill seem to invite conflict and trials. This prevailing human condition can easily snatch our focus away from the source of blessing we have in God through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
God knew that in order to be successful in this life we would need to keep our focus on Him. He is the All-Sufficient One, the answer to every dilemma we would encounter in life. When He instructed Moses on how to set up camp for the nation of Israel in the Book of Numbers it is very interesting that the layout of the 12 tribes surrounding the Tent of Meeting were arranged to face the center, giving them a daily reminder that God desired to be the focus of their lives.
“The people of Israel shall camp each by his own standard, with the banners of their father’s houses. They shall camp facing the tent of meeting on every side.” (Numbers 2:2)
If you are not living a God focused life you are missing out on His blessings. Today can be the start of a new, trust-walk between you and God. Focus brings clarity to the real issues at hand, without clarity we focus on the wrong issues. Focus on God and He promises to give us all that we need. Where is your focus today?
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:33-34)
How can you know that God’s blessings are on your life at all times regardless of the circumstances that you find yourself in – good or bad – joyful or sad – feast or famine and enjoy the peace that comes with knowing?
“You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Ex 20:3)
God kept it simple. He knew if left to our own understanding we would find a way to complicate the best path of life by adding all sorts of conditions and rules that reflected our limited wisdom perspective. From this first and most important commandment the next three shed light on the practical ways to ensure that we keep the first.
I heard my pastor, Andy Stanley, say once that if you keep the first four commandments the remaining six would not be a problem. Keeping God first in life becomes the platform against which all decisions must fall in line with and most importantly maintains a fellowship with Him that leads us in the direction of His blessings. After performing miracles among the nation of Israel and providing supernatural provision He made them a promise;
“In every place where I cause My name to be remembered I will come to you and bless you.” (Ex 20:24b)
When you think about an occasion when God’s name would be remembered it usually involves a display of His supernatural power, an intervention of some kind or a situation where only God can turn things around; when lives are saved or death is stayed. This is a place of absolute trust and surrender to God who promises to show up, to make a way and bless us and cause His name to be remembered!
“You shall have no other gods before Me.”
Long ago when life was hard and my trust in God was being challenged I ran across this promise from the Book of Ecclesiastes 3:10;
“He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
Like a sponge I absorbed this word and my faith walk began to take on the reality and wisdom of a long term view, critical for those who have truly anchored their hope in God through His Son Jesus Christ.
What I have learned through the events of life, both good and bad, that there is beauty in all circumstances when looking through the eyes of trust and faith. Instead of trying to bear through hardships in our own strength and understanding we are encouraged to;
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)
Endurance implies a journey worthwhile that by faith gives God opportunity to make something beautiful of our lives. As long as we live in this world life will be filled with joy and laughter, heartache and suffering. Take God at His Word and trust Him all the way to the end, He is the only One who can make all things beautiful in its time.