Trusting God is...
Believing that God is always good, even when times are not. Trusting that He still loves us, even when things are hard or the things we pray for don't come to realisation. Believing that when he says to do something, or not to do something, that He has your best intentions at heart, even if you don't understand.
How do we cope when we are praying for something and our prayers remain unfulfilled? When God asks us to do something we don't want to, or says to refrain from something we do. It can be very difficult to trust God in those times, and often it comes down to not understanding why God is saying that things should be this way.
The thing is, if we could understand God and the way he does things, he wouldn't be God, he would be human. The very fact that we don't fully understand why things need to be a certain way shows his authority and intelligence over ours. Like the child who questions and screams to their parent why they can't run across the road to the park on the other side, God has a greater perspective on the situation, can see things that we can't, and wants only to protect, nurture and grow us in to mature, loving and kind humans.
Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
There's three things we need to know about trusting God's counsel in our everyday lives.
1. The direction that God wants to take your life is often not the direction you would choose for yourself.
God's plans for our lives do not depend on the situations we are in now, or the person we are currently. God always calls out the potential in us, and often the vision and direction he has for our life looks different to what we would choose or expect for ourselves.
This could be that God pushes you to study a different degree, move to a different city, turn down certain opportunities or say yes to others. They are not things that you would choose for yourself, and that makes it hard to trust that this is a good thing for us, but proves even more that the nudge we are feeling is from God...
Sometimes we are stuck in situations where both choices seem positive, and we aren't sure why God is pushing us more towards one than the other. While the choices laid before us may both be positive, there may be one that creates more positive outcomes down the track, or presents us with different opportunities. So while there may not necessarily be a wrong answer, there may be a best answer for each situation.
2. God often asks us to do something that defies logic
God doesn't tell us to do something for no reason, and it is in our nature to seek wisdom, but there is a limit to what we can know. If you feel God nudging you towards something that doesn't make logical sense, you're not going crazy! This is where trust comes in to believe that there is a higher reason and purpose behind why God is saying that this is the right path.
If we could navigate our own lives and make perfect decisions, God would not have to ever intervene. However just looking around at the brokenness of humanity and the life-long consequences that people's choices can create, we see the ever-pressing need for God's wisdom and counsel in our lives. “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps." (Proverbs 16:9, NIV)
Abraham had Isaac, his only son and the one son that God promised him would birth all the nations, and Abraham waited 40 years for Isaac to be born after he was promised him by God. And then what happens? God tells him to go sacrifice him on a mountain. WHAT?!? That doesn't make logical sense!? But Abraham, full of faith and trust did what he was told, and right as he was about to make the killing blow, God stopped him, and blessed him for his faithfulness. God never wanted Abraham to actually kill Isaac, it was a test of his trust in Him.
Similarly, when escaping from the Egyptians, Moses and the Israelites were running for their lives. Moses was told by God to hold up his staff and his hand over the water and the Red Sea would part. I don't know about you but if I was told I could make the ocean separate just by putting my hand up, I would look at you like you were crazy. It doesn't make logical sense! And yet, we see that God did exactly as He said he would, and the Israelites were able to escape.
While our life situations might not look as extreme as this, God would not ask you to do something against logic without a clear reason, and often that reason is revealed after the decision is made and the cards play out...
3. When you are in your lowest moments, God's strength can pull us out
When you feel like there is no purpose or reason to what you are doing, that can be the hardest moments to trust God. It takes all of our strength to simply put one foot in front of the other, and to have things thrown at us that make us confused or doubtful or need to dig deeper into ourselves, it can feel completely overwhelming. It is important to remember in these moments that we are not alone.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NIV: "Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
God encourages us in these times to dig deeper, seek Him and trust that He is working behind the scenes. We know that trials and tribulations produce perseverance (James 1:2-4), that we need to throw off the sin that causes us to stumble (Hebrews 12:1) and are invited to rest in His holy presence (Psalm 23).
Trusting was never meant to be easy. If it was, it wouldn't be called 'trust'.
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