Thursday, April 25, 2013

Faith, the Simple Act of Trust

You know what it's like. The big decision that needs to be made. The problem that needs to be solved. The question that demands an answer. We try to figure it out. We really do! We read all sorts of books and do all sorts of research. But once we're through, days, weeks, months, or maybe even years later, we realize we're not any farther along than when we started. And we wonder what's wrong. What's going on. Why is my plan not working? Why don't I know where to go, what to do? In that moment, it seems so hard, so complicated. If only this would work out, I could get on with my life! If only I knew WHAT to do next, I could do it! And that's where we stumble. We lack faith. We lack trust.

In the midst of planning out every detail of our lives, we forget that it's Jesus who plans lives. We forget that it's GOD we're talking about here! The same God who orchestrated the creation of the world out of nothing. The same God who put the stars in the sky, and the fish in the ocean. The same God who not only cares for the world, but cares for US! The same God who loves us more than anyone else EVER has, or ever will. The same God, who put the sun in the sky, cares about every tiny little detail of our lives. He cares about this decision. He cares about this problem. He cares about this question. And yet, in our human minds, we don't think He's worthy of our trust! How fallible, how mixed up we are! If only we would trust Him.

"But how?" I know you're asking. It seems difficult, but really, it's simpler than anything we could have ever imagined.

Have faith. Believe, with all of your heart, that He will lead you. He will guide you. He will speak to you. I know it's hard to let it all go. But really, we're letting it go... so Jesus can pick it up. And I'd rather have Him holding my problems any day, wouldn't you? And not only does He carry our burden... He just scoops us up right along with it! We only need to rest in His arms. Because He won't drop us. He will carry us to where we need to go. He will show us with path to take. He will never leave us, no matter WHAT we're going through.

Thing thing is, though, we have to first BELIEVE that He can, and will, if He so chooses, to do whatever we're asking of Him. If we don't believe He will speak to us, or answer us, He likely won't. But how can we come to so fully believe in Him like that? Well, WE can never on our own, know Him deep enough to trust Him. That's why Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit. We get to know Jesus more, and hear him better, through prayer, and staying in His Word. If you are waiting for the Lord's guidance, you must seek Him!! You cannot expect to hear from God if you do not spend any time with Him. He is pursuing us, but we can't grow closer to Him by just ignoring Him. So pray. Pray for His Guidance. He will show you the way. Spend time in His Word. There is nothing more precious, more beautiful, than listening to His Words of peace, and truth, and love reassuring us through the difficult road.

Now, this is a not a quick and easy formula, a "believe-and-it-will-happen". None of this means that if we believe, the Lord will speak to us today... or tomorrow... or even next week. It may be awhile. The Lord never promises that He will answer us when WE want Him to. He has his own timetable... but it is so much better than ours! Learn to trust in His timing, just as you are trusting in His Faithfulness to answer you and speak to you. I don't pretend to know the ways of God, but I think that often, when the Lord doesn't speak to us right away, it’s because there’s something He's trying to teach us first. Likely, he wants us to learn to have faith and trust Him! :) Because that's so hard for us humans to completely give up control. Yet when we do, he blesses us beyond measure, and gives us what we truly desire – a closer relationship with Him. And along the way, He often gives us the guidance we were looking for. We have to realize that our end goal is not to receive guidance - it's to know Jesus more. Only when we grasp this can we begin to see things in a new light.

So don't worry about your decision, or problem, or circumstance. Jesus is holding you. He will show which path to take. I don't say that in a careless way, shrugging off whatever it is you're struggling with. Rather, I say it to encourage you - JESUS is holding you! You don't need to worry, because the Creator of the universe cares for each and every little thing in your life.

Here are some verses that the Lord used to draw me nearer to Him while I was seeking His guidance. I pray they will be a blessing to you as well. 

“If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” {John 15}

“Search for the Lord and for His Strength; continually seek Him.” {Psalm 105:4}

“O my people, trust in Him at all times. Pour out your heart to Him, for God is our refuge.” {Psalm 62:8}

“The Lord is close to all who call on Him, yes, to all who call on Him in truth.” {Psalm 145:18}

“Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God.” {Psalm  143}

Resting in His Arms,