At times we can go though trials for a long season. If we are accustomed to trusting God, for a while we trust, until He calls us to places we have not known before. We can then find ourselves faltering as we are buffeted emotionally and spiritually from events in our life. If we falter for an extended period, discouragement finds fertile ground. Our minds begin to change. We lose hope, sink into depression, and wonder why suddenly now all is dark around us. We stood so sure before, now we long only for there to be an end to our trials. Self doubt can also creep into our hearts. Why don’t I ever change, why do I seem to always act the same when I am challenged?
There is an ongoing process in the lives of those who trust Christ. It concerns the human desire to control our own lives in our own abilities. God does not want self-made people, or those who pull their bootstraps up by themselves. Nor does He want us to hold onto our problems in worry, stress, and anxiety. This is a kind of control we keep in our own hands. God seeks for us to let go of all this and trust Him alone. That is what He is calling us to in each trial, in progressively deeper levels.
When Moses was discouraged over an insurmountable problem, God’s response to Him was “Has the LORD”S arm been shortened?” In Romans chapter four we read: “God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did.” There is tremendous power in these statements. In Christ we serve an awesome God. He does not change. It is we who do. On our own, we are ever prone to stumble.
Our Father calls us to take His strong, steadfast hand as we walk through the dark valleys. Like Peter, we see all the waves and fierce winds, begin to sink, and cry, “Lord, save me!” His hand is there, He will not let go. This can be counted on above all that life can throw at us.
Trust seems “dangerous” to our self will, our self control. It calls us to relinquish all, to submit to Christ. We are so used to trusting our own striving, we feel exposed and vulnerable like Peter on the water. Our human nature only wants trials to go away, even if we know that God uses it to teach us to cling to Him. We just want to be free of it.
Our lives will be on exceeding shaky ground if we rely on ourselves. However, in Christ we have a sure trust, a firm security in the One who loves us so. The power is in Who we serve, the strength is in the God who tenderly cares for us. Our faith is not an abstract faith. Faith is only as good as who or what you put it in. Our loving Father is faithful, trustworthy, and will never forsake us. There are not many things we can put your trust in with life, but with God, He is ever true - even when all else crashes around us. When we let go and trust, we are in the hands that are sure, safe, and have our good ever in mind. This is a joy unsurpassed by anything under the sun.
“Because I live, you will live also,” Jesus, John 14:19b.
Artwork: © Jeffrey M Green. "Froth", 11" x 14", pastels.