Those of us that have read the Bible for any length of time know that followers of Christ are repeatedly told to trust God. Yet, impatience pushes us and presses us to impulsively proceed ahead of God, which equates to ‘without God,’ as in, leaving Him ‘in the dust’ of our daily plans. Ouch! Following a season of pain and heavy stress in my life, the Lord spoke some very specific insights to my heart and mind that I want to bless you with, dear reader.
1. I can only trust God for the moment in which I live and breathe and have my being in Him. (Acts 17:28)
2. I cannot trust God right now in the five seconds from now since I have not made it into that 5th second yet. When and if I make it into the next five seconds or five minutes or five years from now, THEN and only then can I actively trust God in each and every new moment He gives me. (Matthew 6:33-34; James 4:13-17)
3. I have such a poor tendency to think I can actively trust God with whatever future He grants me and then just stop actively trusting Him in the moment He is giving me right now. It is true that, by faith, the Christian, (the true follower of Christ), trusts God with all that they can see, touch, taste, smell and hear in the here and now and with all that the future holds. BUT, just because God has secured my future in Christ Jesus does not mean I can just become passive regarding my active trust in Him right now, right here and right in the midst of all the happy, sad, easy, difficult, fun, pleasurable, unpleasant and miserable circumstances of my life. (Isaiah 26:3-4)
4. Trusting God when I am sad, hurting and depressed goes against all that my flesh is screaming. My carnal nature has been with me since my parents conceived me. (Romans 7:14-15, 8:5-9)
5. I suffer from anxiety and depression. Only two times in my life do I remember feeling so hopeless over a situation that I genuinely wanted the Lord to kill me and take me home to Him. I remember in both of those dark, dark valleys hearing God’s voice speak His comforting and exhortive words of truth to me to lovingly walk me out of my depression one painful step at a time. I also remember in the first dark valley that I often heard the voice of God’s enemies telling me to kill myself. The workers of Satan that tormented and tempted me in those night and morning hours suggested many creative ways for me to murder myself via violent and non-violent forms of suicide. (Suicide is such a temperate way of labeling self-murder, isn’t it?) (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)
6. Because of my faith in the Lord Jesus, I cried out to Him for the help I knew I needed. He gave me specific, mature Christian women to assist me in my journey back to trusting Him in each moment of my depression. It took weeks in both cases for me to regain enough strength to walk on my own again without feeling the need to draw strength more often from these precious Christian women.
God taught me in both times of hopelessness and helplessness that He is not only there with me as a “very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1), but He understands my pain and never leaves nor forsakes me, even when I am totally absorbed in my pain and not actively trusting Him.
He also taught me that He does not want me as His child to remain long-term in that dark place. You see, it is in those dark places that God refines His children who trust Him. He allows for a season whatever it takes to bring the focus of His precious ones back on Him for worship, fellowship and intimate communion with Him — to actively trust Him once again, right where we are.
7. Abiding in Christ is one of the hardest things for me to do. This is a spiritual discipline I must practice every single moment of every day God gives me this side of eternity. Abiding in Christ is an attitude in the heart/mind of the person that is submitted and surrendered to Jesus Christ. Abiding in Christ, or walking intimately with God, is taught from Genesis to Revelation. To abide in Christ (John 15), is to rest in His finished work at Calvary for my repentance, atonement, salvation, justification, redemption, sanctification and lifelong service in His kingdom and unto His Lordship. Hebrews 4 tells us that Jesus is our Sabbath rest — not just for one day a week, but for 7 days a week and 24 hours a day.
8. Successfully trusting God in hard times happens when your mind is already made up before the next big trial hits. You have learned to trust God in the small trials of everyday life. Regardless of our stage of life, there are endless trials that we experience every day. Some trials, fewer than most, cause us to experience a crisis in our heart and mind. Henry Blackaby teaches in his “Experiencing God” book that God sometimes brings us to a crisis in order to ponder and really consider what we truly believe about God and His word.
We must ask our self what or who it is that we genuinely trust when we are facing a life crisis. Do we trust our self to get through the trial? Do we trust money, tv, movies, food, illicit sexual fantasies or sexual activities that are forbidden by God? Perhaps we go shopping for things we don’t need and spend money we cannot afford to spend. Perhaps we vent our anger and bitterness upon any set of ears without realizing the damage and devastation we inflict upon our victims. Whatever or whoever it is, IT or THEY must be confessed as an idol in our heart, since we are seeking to meet a need or have that need met by something or someone outside of God — the Creator of our soul. (Isaiah 40:28-31)
9. When we experience easy times where there are no pressing trials and heartaches in our life, we are often tempted to fall into a pit of spiritual apathy. This happens when we take the reprieve from trials and sorrow for granted and become spiritually lazy. When we are most needy for the Lord’s presence and power in our life, we tend to seek Him more faithfully and fervently according to His word and in times of prayer with Him. But, when all seems to be going well for us, we may slack off on seeking God in His word and spending times in prayer with Him.
A genuine follower of Christ is not a fair-weathered friend of God. If we only go to Him when we perceive we need Him, we make our relationship with God one-sided, since we are making the relationship all about what we get out of our connection to God instead of really walking with Him by faith in both the good times and hard times. The truth is, we need Him always. (John 15:5)
10. Jesus is waiting for us every moment of every day to cast our burdens upon Him according to Psalm 55:22 so that He can sustain us and make us ready for service unto Him each and every day — for His glory and our blessing. He does not want us to wait until the pain is unbearable before we run to Him. He desires for us to walk with Him all the time, trusting Him in the moment with whatever we are facing.
11. The fact that each of us are still alive today attests to the fact that God is not done with us yet this side of eternity. My little plaque at home says, “O God of second chances and new beginnings, here I am again.” (1 John 1:9)
12. What do you say to all of this? Shall we agree that God not only wants us to but gives us the strength and power to live by faith in His truth moment by moment every day? (Proverbs 3:1-8) God has a word for us every day and all day long. Let’s choose to seek Him for that word in His word and in quiet times of prayer to Him, even if just for a moment during the day or night. Let’s purpose to give Him the first fruit of the time He gives us each day to seek Him while He may be found. His Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth and will meet us there when we choose to actively trust Him in each second of each day that He sustains our life on earth.