Trusting is choosing to enter a place where we cease our striving and labours, and decide to rest in the confidence that God’s got it all in His hands, and we can trust Him that everything will be okay.
Many times I’ve struggled to enter that rest. I’ve tried, as many of us do to figure it out for myself, to make it happen in my ability and strength. I’m pretty stubborn or tenacious, and so I will get a hold of something and not let go easily once I’m let loose on it. Our kids tease me that people “don’t want to poke the Mamma bear,” as once they do I won’t stop until I get things resolved and sorted out.
However I have grown to understand that all of us would be far more peaceful, calm and have a greater inner strength if we learnt, and chose to trust God to sort out and resolve things on our behalf. Where we learnt to Trust and obey His directives.
Trust includes waiting on God to get His perspective on our circumstances, and to hear His instructions. Sometimes He may say, “Stand-up, speak up and act”, and other times He may say “Stand still, keep quiet and watch me sort this out”.
I love the account of Moses in Exodus in the Bible. God’s people had finally been released from bondage and captivity in Egypt. They had followed God’s instructions and were now standing on the edge of a large expanse of water called the “Red Sea” with no way to cross. Suddenly they hear the chariots of the Egyptian army coming towards them. They feared for their lives, and the lives of their children. They had no means of escape or defence. What are they to do? Trapped with nowhere to go are these terrified three million people; men, women and children.
And that’s when trust comes into play. Moses lifts his face and calls out to God “What do I do now?” The answer comes, “Do not be afraid. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which I will accomplish for you today. I, the Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace (Exodus 14:14) He instructs Moses to stretch out his staff over the water, and then to watch what God will do for them.
The army is fast approaching; fully armed, their swords ready to cut them down, or at best return them to a life of bondage and slavery. All the prayers, all the crying out to God, all the hopes for freedom, everything now hangs in the balance. But this one man Moses stands His ground and trusts. And because He trusted the waters parted, the people passed safely through on dry ground, and the ocean engulfs the Egyptian army as God accomplishes what He has promised. “I will fight for you, and you will hold your peace”.
Over the years I have discovered some keys to help me trust God more. Trust gives us confidence to believe, too act when we need to, to stand when asked, to trust that God will get to us what He has promised.
I have found it helpful to:
1. Take hold of God’s Word. God is in His word, and when you know His Word, you know Him. We gain an understanding of His character, of how He acts, and what He will do for us. Knowing His word gives us a confidence and causes an inner strength and calm, even in the midst of difficulties.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)
“The LORD said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” (Jeremiah 1:12)
2. Write down when God does something “specky” for us. When we’ve prayed and seen God answer, when we’ve had a breakthrough; when we have received what we have believed for. That’s when we write it down so that we can recount it later, or the next time we are faced with a challenge and need to put “trust to work”.
In our family, and also within our church family we make the effort to remind and tell each other when God has answered. We share testimonies of His goodness. We tell stories of others we know, or we have heard about who have trusted and seen God move in their lives.
“I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us– yes, the many good things he has done.” (Isaiah 63:7)
What does this do? It builds our trust. It expands our thinking of what God is and will do for us. We think and expect too small most of the time! Telling and retelling about when He has shown Himself strong helps us to take our eyes off our circumstances and onto God. Then we pray more expectantly, and are able to look and see things through His perspective and not our own. We, put simply are able to Trust Him.
Today, write down all the times you can remember when God has shown His love and care for you. The times He has shown Himself strong for you or those you know. Talk to those around you and ask them to tell of a time when God took care of them or moved in their life. It’s amazing when you start to talk to people how many awe inspiring real life stories people have to tell.
We trust because we learn that God is trustworthy. As we spend time reading His Word and growing our understanding and relationship with Him, we can trust Him more everyday.
Prayer: Lord I thank you for your word which reveals who you are and how you show yourself strong on behalf of those who love and trust you. Help me to take the time to get to know you, to learn why and how to trust you, and to remember all the good you do in my life. In Jesus name Amen.