Note: This series titled “Trusting God” is dedicated to Rob & Vicki Mims. Karen and I love you very much and are praying for you guys. Your dedication to each other and to your children are an inspiration to us and all others who know you.
Our future is uncertain in a number of ways. One of the greatest challenges a Christian faces is trusting God with the future. We look forward down the road trying to imagine what a new job, a new location, or a new child for that matter, is going to be like and all types of fears can come to us. We begin fretting about what God has planned for us. We say we know we can trust Him with the steps ahead and yet we can’t help but want to know what those steps are. We acknowledge God’s goodness and sovereignty and yet we still wonder what He’s up to. Many a Christian’s life verse or passage is:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
As is the case with many a refrigerator magnet of paper weight Bible passage, we need to look at the “rest of the story.” The next two verses are very illuminating:
“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.” (Proverbs 3:7-8)
Fretting comes when we become wise in our own eyes. Oswald Chambers says that “fretting is calculating without God.” To trust God is a simple Biblical principle to understand, however it is not easy to do. Remember, simple rarely equals easy. Nevertheless we must turn to God’s Word for exhortation and inspiration:
“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.” (Psalm 118:8-9)
So often we turn to man, if only ourselves, for answers to our challenges in life. I cannot think of one time I did that and it worked out for the better rather than trusting God. The fact of the matter is there is never a time in our lives where we can trust ourselves more than God. Never Bro Dave? Yes, never, as in ever.
Sometimes God seems to be opening doors to us only to slam them in our faces when we try to go through them. Those moments can be frustrating at best and enraging at worst. We can seem to be on the right path, doing what God wants us to do, and then it seems He changes His mind. Paul experienced this very thing:
“Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.” (Acts 16:6-10)
Verse 10 would seem that Paul had no inner turmoil because Luke writes that “immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.” Paul may not have had any doubts, but his only understanding of the changes of plans was that it was God’s will and since God had called Paul to preach the gospel, he rightly assumed God wanted him to preach it in Macedonia.
We are God’s Ambassadors for Christ and wherever He sends us we are to take the gospel with us. We are to share and live it wherever we go.
Sometimes we think God is asking a lot of us, when in reality He is always asking for all of us. God promises us an abundant life when we choose to follow Him. And in uncertain times we always have this certainty: God promises are sure.
More on that tomorrow…
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Copyright © 2012 David Jeffers