It’s easy to trust God when life runs smoothly.
We skip through the flower-laden meadow of our minds, easily declaring God’s goodness.
But when difficulty strikes—–a lost job, a wayward child, a hiccup or tornado in our marriages, how do we walk in the truth? In His promises?
How do we maintain peace and joy when we’re sliding down the mountain into the valley?
God’s promises have been trotted in front of us so many times they have lost some of their flavor. They tend to become platitudes we reach for when we don’t know what else to say.
“God works all things for good…” (Rom. 8:28)
“God will never leave you.” (Deut. 31:8)
“Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)
They sometimes resemble placards we hold up to remind ourselves and others that we are Christians and nothing should discourage us.
Because if I’m discouraged, then I’m doing something wrong.
Because if I let you see me struggling, then I’m not representing Jesus well and I can’t risk letting Him down.
Life. Is. Hard.
Jesus never said it wouldn’t be. So how do we crawl out of the hole of fear and despair when life punches us in the gut, and onto God’s lap?
How do we make real the promises of the Bible in a tangible and transforming way, when all we want to do is give into our disappointment? When all we can feel is our discouragement and no way to freedom?
Freedom becomes an elusive something that is out there. Talked about, but rarely experienced. So infrequently seen, that though we may talk about this freedom of God’s, inside we often feel miserable.
We recite the promises like armor, but we don’t drink of their nourishment. They become something we hide behind because we don’t want people to see that we don’t trust God. Because we haven’t learned how.
We are still hurting and still afraid.
The only way to activate the power in His promises is to believe and to practice.
How do we start believing? There are probably many ways. Sometimes it’s a cliff we have to jump off.
Sometimes it starts with a prayer of apology for not trusting, then making a decision to get to know the One who says He’s trustworthy.
And the getting to know Him is going to look differently for each of us.
Reading about Him will not create a relationship with Him, anymore than reading about a politician or actor will make them a friend.
We read to learn about His character, His nature, what He values. But we talk with Him (and listen), look for Him around us, worship and praise Him to develop an intimate connection.
And practicing means taking those well-known scriptures and ripping off the familiarity and unleashing the power. But the power is only revealed through belief.
Familiarity neuters the power. We’re quoting what we don’t really walk in or believe. We haven’t seen the power because we don’t truly know or trust the One who holds it.
So our getting to know God stirs and deepens our faith so that we can stand firm and boldly declare the truth of the scripture. And watch the power of God transform our lives.
And the place to start encountering God’s presence?
One of the most powerful places is through praise and worship. Shutting off the mind and letting our hearts experience Him.
God, please show me the areas where I don’t trust you. Where I lack the fullness of Your promises. Please meet me where I feel alone, scared, abandoned, without hope. Show me Your love for me and the power that Your word promises is mine. Teach me how to declare Your word boldly into the areas where I fear You are as powerless as I am. Teach me to walk in Your promises and truth. Wrap me in Your love and guard and protect me as I venture into unfamiliar territory. Thank you for being with me even when I don’t sense Your presence. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Powerful Worship Song
Flower photo by Pixabay
Photo By Amber Rain Hutsell via StockPholio.com