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Trusting God is much easier to talk about than to do. As I write this, my heart aches with longing to trust God and a small insight of how I didn’t this week. I can’t go into all that much detail, but it did involve money. I know that my God will supply all of my needs, but I doubt His provision when I am not sure I will have the resources to provide for those needs myself.
I have seen so many “encouraging” sayings like: You can do it!, Trust yourself!, Learn to love yourself!, and my favorite, Visualize it to get it!
They feel so empowering until you actually believe them. If I am believing that I can conquer any obstacle, when I can’t, my view of the world is shattered, and I blame myself. I do not seek help. If I trust in myself alone, I am not trusting in God. By not trusting in God, I take on His responsibilities. I decide that the fate of the world rests on my shoulders. I build up pride within myself. I do not need to learn to love myself. I love myself way too much already. I love myself, my comfort, more than serving/loving others. I am already looking out for my own interests enough. I may visualize what I want all the time, but, if this is out of God’s will, it will never happen.
So, where did I turn for comfort? After trying to numb the pain and confusion with watching TV, I finally turned toward the encouraging words of believers.
This is one of my favorite verses along with Isaiah 41:10. Holding someone’s right hand indicates an intimate relationship based on trust. The God of the Universe is the one who helps me. I am helped by the same person who created the Sun in all its burning brilliance. If I reflect on this, all my fear falls away. For at least a second.
My life is part of a book I know well. The ending is certain, and God is always good, will always be good.
The theme even is the same: we mess up… BUT God. – Hannah Akin
In trusting God, who He is and what He is doing in my life, I get to enjoy in my role within His beautiful ongoing story instead of scrambling like there is no plan and no one in charge.
May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. – Thessalonians 5:23
In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world. – John 16:33
Through this situation, God is sanctifying me, making me more like Christ. This is a beautiful but painful thing. I know I will be thankful for it, but I am frustrated while it was happening. My whole self is being changed. I don’t like change, and I long for it at the same time. I want to trust Him more, but I don’t want for Him to put me in more situations in which I have to trust him. Hmm, I think I see my flawed logic.
A woman whose walk with the Lord I admire very much reminded me of a simple but important truth: I must be still.
The Lord will fight for you; you need only BE STILL. – Exodus 14:14
Any battle that I need to be fighting is best left to Him. He is stronger, more righteous than I am, and He certainly has a better track record than me of overcoming any difficult circumstance in my life. He is so kind to be there for me when I am at my worst. When things don’t go my way, I am still learning to trust. That means that I am not the most pleasant person to be around due to my increased complaining and general moodiness because, well, frankly, I’m mad I’m not getting my way. It is strange how the more I grow in Christ, the more I see how much of a spoiled little brat I am without His working in me.
I read another encouraging note from a friend talking about how I had shown trust in God in the past. I laughed. If only she could see me now. Why did I react that way? That response seems to show bitterness and a disbelief even in my own sanctification witnessed by another Christian. I cannot discount the work that He has already done in me. He is teaching me that, “no matter what the circumstances”, I can and am learning to trust Him. My “radical trust in Jesus”? I am trying not to laugh at that sentence either. I know that there is truth to this statement about me and my faith in Christ. It is just so hard to believe when I am so very disappointed in how far away I am from trusting Him as I ought. I think that what is happening here is described well by Emily P. Freeman in her book Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life.
I have the expectation of myself to be a good girl, a good Christian, a good wife…Good means I never mess up…Good means I can handle everything…My goodness is all about me.
I have made trusting God all about my performance when it was never and will never be about that. My trust in God is something He provides and strengthens through different circumstances. He wanted to remind me through this circumstance that my trust does not come from any amount of my striving. I cannot just try hard enough to trust. Trusting is a letting go. It cannot be practiced by deciding to just get better at it. Trust is strengthened by walking with someone, sharing with someone, and communicating with someone. Trust is not something you grit your teeth and push through. It is something given and received. It is built through relationships. God is building it in our relationship. He is teaching me what it means to trust.
How have you had to trust God recently? How has He shown you grace?