I've spent a lot of time over the last few months thinking about faith and trust and have come to some interesting conclusions that have been very liberating. Ultimately faith in God is connected to trusting God. Trust is an interesting concept because it requires us to be vulnerable to the whims and actions of others. What complicates things is that we often interpret the negative things that happen to us and around us as being God's failure to hold up His part of the trust relationship. The result is that we begin to create limits on what can realistically expect God to follow through on. That translates into taking control for those parts of our lives into our own hands. In the beginning, this seems like a very good idea as it seems "safer" than trusting God who may or may not take care of things. Like every other lie that we begin to believe this too leads to death. Death shows up through spiritual and mental exhaustion, a negative attitude and broken relationships. We are left spiritually bankrupt and broken while we frantically try to control and manage our collapsing world.
Trust needs to be rooted in a very basic understanding of God's love for us. Jesus said, "if you, being evil know how to give good gifts, how much more will your Father in heaven give ... to you..."
While I'm still on an enormous journey, I've come to the following conclusions:
1. God's love for me never fails, in spite of what I may see happening to me and around me. He is a good Father.
2. I have never gone without when I have trusted God. I have experienced pain and disappointment when things didn't work out as I had planned, but my needs have always been met.
3. God has consistently worked everything together for my good. While I have not always enjoyed the journey on which He has taken me, the longer I live, the easier it is to see His hand at work in the moments and details of my life.
4. Finally, I MUST feed myself on God's Word, if for no other reason that it increases my faith. There are many other reasons, but this one alone would be good enough. Understanding that the promises are all for me, my family and to any who are willing to believe keeps me focused on the reality that Jesus never fails and that He is constantly working out His purposes in my life.
Learning to Lean...