Drag your thoughts away from your troubles... by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.
Trust is not a passive state of mind. It is a vigorous act of the soul by which we choose to lay hold on the promises of God and cling to them despite the adversity that at times seeks to overwhelm us.
Such a small word…such a hard word.
We say we trust God.
But, we often don’t.
It’s revealed by what we say and how we act.
It’s revealed by how we swim around, round and round, in our worry.
I hear the lack of trust often, many times from my own mouth.
“I trust God, but….”
As if our “buts” are too big for God.
I was with a friend the other day who was stewing once more about whom her oldest son was dating; she was a nice Christian girl, but she didn’t think she was good for him. I had been hearing about this for a long time.
“You’ve been praying about it, right?” I asked again.
“Your son is a strong Christian who has been praying about it as well, right?”
“You’ve had conversations about your concerns, right?
“And God loves your son more than you do, right?”
“Time to let it go, and to leave it with Him. Keep praying about it. Trust that God has this.”
But we keep hanging on to it. We stew over it.
I do the same. Especially when it comes to my kids. When I see them in a battle—whether that is emotional, mental, physical/health or spiritual—I want to go in and grab their shield and fight it for them. I want to solve it for them. I want the battle to go away. Now.
And when I know I can’t remove the battle or fight it, I tend to think about it incessantly. I can worry and worry and then worry some more. I sputter and splatter, splashing around in my own worry stew.
But, what if God has other plans? What if the battle is needed for my child to learn something that will make him more like Christ? What if there is much more going on than I can see or figure out?
And who does the incessant thinking and worry benefit? …No one.
I’m not talking about concern or sorrow.
Concern can be good. It can lead to effective action.
And because of our love for others, ourselves, and even God, we will feel great sorrow at times at the evil and loss that falls around us in this sin-soaked world.
It’s when sorrow or concern turns to worry and takes up root in our heart, soul, and mind, robbing us of our peace.
The peace that only He can give when we turn to Him and trust.
Jesus tells us, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
And when we stay in our circular thinking, worry, and fear—what are we are telling God when we do this?
Our worry is telling God that we think our problem or trial is too big for the creator of the universe.
But He is trustworthy!
Just spend some time delving in His written word, and you will see how trustworthy He is. And if you take some time to reflect on your own life, it won't take long to see all the ways He has been faithful to you in the past. Keeping a journal of our faith walk with God can be incredibly beneficial to us when worry comes knocking. It keeps a record of God’s faithfulness to remind us forgetful humans how loving really He is.
Focusing on His character and praising and thanking Him also steers us to a God-honoring position of trust.
David says in Psalm 9:10 “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” And “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Psalm 28:7
This is far more beneficial than drowning in our worry stew.
I have another friend whose son has been making quite a few poor choices that have been getting him into a good amount of trouble. I said to her once, “I think I would be a lot more upset. You are so calm.”
She said, “I raised him on God’s principles. He grew up going to church. I keep trying to model it in my own life. I try to parent the best I can. I let him know I love him. He has been through a lot this past year. He knows what’s right. He’ll figure it out. God’s not done with him yet; he’s in God’s hands. I just keep giving it to Him.”
Friends, for our sake, for our loved one’s, and for God’s glory…let’s stop drowning in our worry stew and lift up our hands, palms up, and hearts open to Him in prayer and trust and find our peace.
Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
I believe God is managing affairs and that He doesn't need any advice from me. With God in charge, I believe everything will work out for the best in the end. So what is there to worry about?
Such a simple principle and yet it seems so hard. As you pointed out, it is an active role we must take. Trust. Faith. Focus. It's so easy to default into the "stinking thinking" of worry and what if's. Thank you for reminding me.