God has been testing me lately in how and why I trust in Him. With opportunities arising that I’ve been excited about and the potential for entering into a new season of stability, it’s ironically been a rocky past couple of weeks.
God’s challenging me about all of the things that I’ve always thought would bring me stability.
And ultimately, it has revealed my hollow trust in Him. It’s challenged how confident I am to believe that He would be able to get things done even when everything else gets in the way.
Preparing for a potential full-time job opportunity, I’ve been so excited at the idea of this finally giving me the stability that I want and the chance to get my finances in order. But it’s been such a tumultuous and taxing experience going about the whole process. Getting my hopes up. Feeling inadequate. Worrying over things I can’t control. Doubting God’s ability.
And on top of all that, God keeps asking me why I really want this job.
I keep ignoring Him on the topic.
I don’t really like that question. I feel like God already knows why I want the job. And it just came out of nowhere anyways so He should know that it would be good for me even more than I do. He knows that it would be helpful for me. Why do you keep asking me, God? I’ve been thinking.
So I keep telling Him that I just want to be responsible and have more financial stability. I’ve told Him it would help prepare me for the future. That it would make me happy. That I would enjoy the work. And yet I feel a kind of brokenness in my heart about it when talking to the Lord. I keep trying to convince myself that this job must be from Him and that all of my desires for why I think it would be a good thing should line up with what He wants as well.
But I realized today that I’ve been looking at it wrong.
Now I know why He’s kept asking me that question.
I’ve been so fixated on the potential to finally have a full-time normal day job that I’ve been doubting God’s ability to provide for me long-term should I not get it. I’ve been doubting God’s love for me should I not get it. I’ve been doubting my ability and my competence in God’s eyes should I not get it. And I’ve been trusting in this potential job as my ticket to fixing all my financial and time-schedule problems.
I haven’t been trusting God.
When I came to seminary I knew it was going to be a big sacrifice. I knew it was not going to be easy. I knew it could end up costing me a lot in various areas of life.
But every single time that an opportunity arises that I perceive as a gift of relief, or something that would make life easier on me, I run after it.
I start to dwell on it in my mind.
I start to think about how all of my problems could be solved. I start to make excuses for why I deserve it. I start to think that God is finally giving me something to let me take the easy road. I start to trust in the idea of this opportunity that I want.
And I forget about God’s ability to be more for me than all of that.
I forget about all of the times that God has already provided for me. I forget about all the prayers He’s answered. I forget about all the times that He’s surprised me with gifts I never even knew I wanted deep down. I forget that God knows the things about me that I don’t even know about myself. I forget that He’s the only One who has seen me every second of the day and still remains with me.
I forget that God is enough.
I say, I trust You, God. But I don’t trust this situation. I trust You, God. But I don’t trust the people making the decision. I trust You, God. But I don’t trust that I came across the right way. I trust You, God. But there are so many other factors in my path that can mess things up. I trust You, God. But…………
The list can go on and on.
And that’s a problem.
This is why → I can’t say that I trust God if I add a “But…”.
I can’t say both that I trust God but that I don’t trust the variables that I perceive as in the way…when God is sovereign over all of those variables anyway…because He is the one who created every single thing in the universe and allows things to even operate and function and play out and exist the way they do. Do I think God is not powerful enough to handle the way that a sinful world works? Do I think God is not in control over everything? Do I think God is limited by human actions and things getting in the way?
I’ve had to ask myself these questions. And thankfully the Lord is showing me how preposterous it is to doubt Him.
God is sovereign even when other things seem to get in the way.
He is always sovereign.
And I’ve had to realize that.
Nothing can get in God’s way. When He sets out to do something, He causes things to work out in His favor, not in the enemy’s favor.
Romans 8:28 says, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.”
Paul goes on in that chapter of Romans to talk about how God fashions us into the image of His Son, using all that happens in our lives as ingredients in that process. And nothing that happens to us will ever separate us from Him while in that process. Nothing. Even when bad things happen, God is there and He is taking care of it all. He knows just what to do.
No matter how many crazy things happen that seem to get in the way of where we are going or what we are hoping in, God is the one who decides how everything unfurls. He’s helping me to trust Him more. And I’m so thankful for this gift. This gift of peace. This gift of trust. Because it sure isn’t from myself. It’s God’s mercy alone that by His Spirit He cultivates an ability within us to trust in Him at all.
I’m learning that having a faulty trust in God will get me nowhere.
It’s a hollow trust.
A hollow faith, really.
Just as James writes to the Jewish believers who were all scattered about in the 1st century and struggling to remain steadfast in the faith, James 1:6-7 says this:
“But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”
This passage in context talks about enduring trials with joy because of the good that it does within a person to build perseverance, character and perfection through Christ. He goes on to talk about the testing of one’s faith and an appropriate response as one remaining true to Christ. For me, this passage has been very helpful because what James was talking about when he addressed the Jewish believers in his letter is still something that we struggle with today: responding to trials. And one of the greatest trials I have faced is trusting God 100%.
I’ll tell myself sneakily that I’m not failing to trust God, but that I just don’t trust everything else around me.
But again, an “I trust You, God. But…” response is not trust at all.
It is a hollow trust.
A hollow faith.
I have to trust God 100%.
Even if the worst happens. I still have to trust that God is able and that God is good.
What’s helped me the most today in seeing that God is worthy to be trusted is thinking about just how beautiful God is. How desirable He is. How satisfying He is. How loving He is. How powerful He is. How unimaginably great He is. I love reading Revelation. Reading about Jesus in His glory, knowing that He came to earth throwing all of that away in such humility. But one day we will see Him for who He is. When I think about the God I know and read about in His Word, I can’t help but to get so excited about seeing Him. And one day, I finally will. That is enough to help me endure whatever the heck I have to endure here in this life. It won’t last forever. But the real forever is worth the wait. The day I get to finally be with my King forever is worth every hard thing I have to go through down here. So if I have to struggle my whole life, I guess that’s okay with me. I’m not about to give up God. I’m not about to miss the moments I can have with Him here. He’s too good to give up.
I’m starting to see that He really is enough.
Even if I don’t get all the things that I hope for.
Even if I don’t get this big job.
God is still good.
God is still for me.
God is still mine.
And He’s for you too.
Someone needs to know that…that God is on your side in whatever pain you are going through right now. Remember that there is no hint of evil in Him. God’s not putting you through that for meanness or spite. Let your situation draw you nearer to Him. Let it cultivate endurance and perseverance within you just like it says in James chapter 1. It’s a good thing to experience trials.
Sometimes, what happens to us is just a casualty in the cause of making us into who God wants us to be.
We have to learn how to get past our painful experiences so that we can take hold of the wisdom that God has given to us on account of that pain.
When we’re tempted to say, “I trust You, God. But…” may we remember that God deserves all of our trust. Not 50%. Not 75%. Not even 99.99%. God deserves 100% of our trust. And He’s able. I used to think that God Himself was trustworthy but not everything else, and then would end up doubting God’s power over all of those things. But I see now that if God is sovereign, He is ultimately trustworthy despite all the variables around me.
I pray for you and me that we would trust God despite all the distractions and logical reasons to say that God isn’t able. I pray for you and me that we would see God as so beautiful and desirable that our hearts would look towards our future with Him, eclipsing every struggle that seems overwhelming right now. May we receive God’s grace as we even still fail in trying to trust Him, asking Him to give us strength by His Holy Spirit to trust Him more.
“Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created.”
–Revelation 4:11 –
Questions for Today:
- Do I tend to be distrusting of God because of the circumstances around me?
- Why should I trust God with those things?
- How can I know that God is worthy of my trust?
- What situation in my life am I struggling to trust God with 100%?
- What next step is God asking me to take in my relationship with Him today?
“In Over My Head” by Bethel Music ft. Jenn Johnson