TRUSTING GOD IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES

If you’ve ever wondered if you could trust someone with a secret or with something very valuable, you probably remember the nervous feeling of hope mixed with uncertainty as you opened yourself up to that person. People can make mistakes and let you down, and placing your trust in another person takes a great deal of courage. Although others can betray that trust, God never will. When you learn to trust Him in all circumstances, you’ll find a peace that you won’t understand but will truly welcome.

In life, there are bound to be situations we can’t handle, and when we turn to friends or family, their flaws and imperfections can keep them from being a reliable source of help. Sometimes the insecurities and fears of others may cause them to be unsympathetic when we desperately need guidance or advice. When the world turns on us and those closest to us distance themselves, God does just the opposite. “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken” (Psalm 55:22, NIV). We can trust He won’t disappear in our darkest times, because His promise never to leave us is true.

In the book of Daniel, we read about Daniel in the lions’ den; also Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace. When things turned ugly and scary, their faith in God’s promises never wavered, and He showed up just in time to deliver them. Even today, when we find ourselves in a tough spot either because of bad decisions we made or because we chose to obey God’s Word in a sinful world, we can still trust Him. Accepting by faith what Jesus did for us over two thousand years ago makes us righteous in God’s eyes and delivers us from judgment, no matter what the world says about us. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).

Trusting God empowers us to do things we never imagined we could accomplish. When we focus on Him instead of whatever is going on around us at the moment, we open the door to the supernatural. During the storm at sea, when Jesus told Peter to walk on water to come to Him, Peter succeeded as long as he looked only on Jesus. Peter’s faith in Him was the deciding factor (Matthew 14:22-32).

The world is full of situations that can look hopeless when we try and solve the problem through our own efforts, but we need not despair. When it looks like there’s no way out and we keep hitting that proverbial brick wall, there is Someone else Who can handle the issue much better than we can, if we just let Him. “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27, NIV). It doesn’t matter how big a mistake we made or what it looks like to us. We can always rely on what He says!

God can turn anything around in our lives, but He’s waiting for us to trust Him. Believing what He says is all we need to do, but any little elements of doubt nagging at the edge of our minds holds us back. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5, 6). It’s good to know our limited intellectual understanding isn’t a requirement of faith.

Take A Look!

The end of 2017 is a great time to look back and celebrate God’s faithfulness. Even if you find the year has not been the easiest, there is something for which to be thankful.

“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.”James 1:17

Here are 10 questions to ask yourself as you celebrate God’s faithfulness in 2017.

  1. When was a time that God protected you physically this year?Did you experience a near miss in your car or an accident that could have had a more damaging outcome?
  2. When did God protect you spiritually this year?Did He correct a false belief about Himself?
  3. When did God protect you emotionally this year?Did He help you forgive a wrong or to see through a lie?
  4. Who did God use to speak a word of encouragement to you this year?Did a friend, a boss or a mentor encourage you?
  5. What revelation did you receive this year? Did you hear a message that gave you a deeper revelation about the Lord? Did the Holy Spirit reveal a life-changing or illuminating word to you?
  6. Did you meet a new friend who encourages you in your faith?Did you begin attending a new church, small group, prayer group or Bible study?
  7. Have you experienced favor from a boss, friend, church leader or neighbor that could have only come from the Lord?
  8. Did you experience a new understanding of love this year?Did you fall in love, get married, have a baby, adopt a pet or rekindle an existing relationship?
  9. Did you receive forgiveness from the Lord or someone else?
  10. Did you experience God’s love during your praise, worship and/or prayer times?

BONUS: Did God use you to share His love this year? Did you lead someone to Jesus, help someone in need, or reach out in some other meaningful way this year?

Spend time during this season reflecting on what God has done for you in 2017, how He has ministered His love to you, and how He has allowed you to minister His love to others. If you regularly journal (or want to begin), use these questions as a starting point. You may even want to answer just one each day as you reflect on the faithfulness and goodness of God.