Tag Archives: Trust God

Trust Him Through The Distractions

You ever feel like life is overtaking you?  Like there is just so much going on that you can’t tell if you’re coming or going.  If you say no, then I don’t think you’re honest with yourself.  I think at one time or another we have so many things piled on that it gets difficult to stay afloat.  I certainly had one of those weeks this week as I began a new semester of school on top of increasing work demands.  I found myself at a point where I was just spent.  I stared at my computer screen last night to finish some work that was due for one of my classes and the mind was racing.  When you get to that point, it definitely gets difficult to focus and get anything accomplished effectively.  I was sitting in prayer this morning and called out to Jesus. I needed to reset myself.  To get my life…my body, soul, and spirit realigned.  I left the gym and came home and stopped again.

I share this because it helped me to remember that through all of life’s demands we need to trust in the Lord, knowing that Jesus is enough. I’m reminded of something I heard recently, which is that life is filled with a thousand distractions.  Things that will try to pull you away from the heart of God and His call on your life.  It can be so easy to let all of that just consume you and take you out.  If you let it, the world will devour you and spit you back out into a heap of nothing with no sense of direction or purpose.

Bruce Larson stated that “On days when life is difficult and I feel overwhelmed, as I do fairly often, it helps to remember in my prayers that all God requires of me is to trust Him and be His friend. I find I can do that.”  When we find that all just need to trust in God and follow His lead, there is a greater sense of peace to be found in that.  Does that mean we will be able to get rid of all of these troubles?  Absolutely not.  While we live in this fallen world, we will continue to have these kinds of things happen.

GraceIsSufficientPaul writes in 2 Corinthians 12 that to keep from exalting himself he “was given a thorn in the flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud” (Vs7).  In verse 9 he reminds that Jesus says “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”  He goes on to say that “I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”  

This is important to remember.  The grace we are given because of Jesus Christ is sufficient.  We need to learn to let go of those moments of weakness.  Those times when we just feel completely overwhelmed and unsure of our direction.  Come back to the Lord and remember that Jesus + Nothing = Completion.  He is enough.  Troubles will come.  It’s a part of this world.

Even Paul recognized he had to deal with this thorn of the flesh, whatever that was for him, particularly.  Troubles come and troubles go.  We won’t be without troubles in our life until we enter the Kingdom.  With that as the case, it is important to remember that Jesus is enough.  Trust Him through all of our troubles and pains. Whether small or big, trust Him.  His grace is more than enough.

the-sacred-romance

I am reminded this morning from The Sacred Romance by John Eldredge and Brent Curtis that we live in a larger story that is far beyond ours where God is the central character.  He is the hero of the story that we live in and we belong to Him.  Eldredge also wrote in Waking The Dead that, “When we are in the presence of God, removed from distractions, we are able hear Him more clearly, and a secure environment has been established for the young and broken placed in our heart to surface.”  Walk in His presence and trust Him through it all.  Trust in Him through the troubles and through all of the distractions.  He is enough.  Trust in God’s heart and His endless pursuit of ours.  That’s eternal.  That’s where life is found.

Trust in Him at all times, O people. Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. – Psalm 62:8

Feeling Overwhelmed

One week in.  It’s been quite a ride already as I get used to being back in school and learning the ropes of the classes and figuring out the best way to balance everything to ensure I don’t neglect family and work, but also to maximize the learning experience.  I’ve been down this road before, but it certainly takes getting used to once you’ve been established in routines.  It’s disruptive to the norm.  Many people are scared of disruption and what it does to their organization and routines.  I used to hate disruption.  I was a man of routine and like the way things role.  Now I welcome the disruption.  It gives me opportunity to reassess priorities and take stock of where I am and where I am going.  It gives me an opportunity to talk to God and see what he’s up to in my life.

As I ended the first week of classes yesterday and finalized the first week’s assignments, I found myself almost stressed.  I got a little frustrated with a quiz I working on even though this was the first week, I felt a little bit overwhelmed for a bit.  After the quiz, I picked up one of my books and started reading a bit more to recap some of the week. This is the book, “Competent Christian Counseling” by Dr. Tim Clinton (no relation) and Dr. George Ohlschlager.  A great introductory book into the field of Christian Counseling.  The first page I turned to was amazing as with the frustration that I just felt, these were the first words I read.  “The information is overwhelming; the challenge is daunting. However, when you come to believe that God is able – that He will shape and guide you and will walk with you through your growth and development as a Christian counselor – you will learn to relax.”  I tell you what, seeing those words in front of me right at that point exactly what I needed.    I knew God was telling me to just relax son.  As He has told me before, just trust in Him.  I know He is able.  I know He will guide me and walk with me.  I know it will seem overwhelming at times throughout the process. There’s a great deal involved with becoming a professional counselor.  It’s a process that necessary and if I put my trust in God, He will lead me through it all.

I have thought about those words many times since yesterday.  With all of my schooling, I’ve never thought in that sense.  I’ve never thought to allow God to guide and Father me through the process of where I was going.  I was very self-reliant and self-driven in the goals I was laying out before me.  It’s a very different feeling when I step out of myself, having shed the old man in me and let God take all of that.  Leave my fears and anxieties nailed to the cross of Jesus Christ and let the restoration that Christ has given me shine through knowing that I can go wherever God leads and be willing to take that risk and follow.

I read daily reading bits from Ransomed Heart Ministries that come across tablet through their app.  Their daily excerpts from one of their many books.  In another twist of how God was talking to me yesterday, that days bit came from the book “Fathered by God.”  This book was almost the next step up from Wild at Heart.  A very good read if you haven’t picked it up.  The title was “We Need a Guide.”  As part of our initiation in the masculine journey for men, “we need a process, a journey, an epic story of many experience woven together, building upon one another in a progression. We need initiation. And, we need a guide.”  A guide is exactly what God is on our journey.  This true for the masculine for me and the feminine journey for women.  We all need a guide on our journey and God wants to be that guide if we will let Him.  He is laying out the path for us to initiate us bring us into closer connection with Him.  We have to be willing to let go, not let the things in our small story keep us down.  Understand the larger epic story of God and let Him lead us through it.  Trust in Him.

This is where we need to be on our journey.  Walk with God and let Him come into our lives and lead us.  God is able and our faith Him means that through Him we are able to do whatever He says we can.  We just have to get out of our own way.  Don’t let the world or the enemy tell us we can’t either.  Trust in Him where nothing is impossible.

Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him, and He will help you. – Psalm 37:5

Ask Why or Fall on God

As we all know, suffering and heartache are a part of our world.  In our fallen race as humans, we live a world where evil has been allowed in and as a result our daily lives are filled with anguish and trauma.  It’s inevitable in our world until Christ returns.  When something bad does happen, say you are someone you know and love becomes ill, a sudden death comes, a bad accident, someone falls to addition of any kind, and many other things, what is one question that so many of us ask of God?  We ask, why.  Why do these things happen?  Why did he have to die?  It’s a part of what we live with and something we all struggle with.

Do you know something, though?  Asking God why is such a selfish question?  It really is.  It is our attempt to interrogate God like he is the one that caused those things.  No, God didn’t cause my Dad to die.  He didn’t cause that young girl to get raped.  He didn’t cause that dear friend to develop cancer.  He didn’t cause alcohol, drug, or sexual addition.  Satan was gained dominion over this world and therefore chaos happens.  Suffering happens.  We can’t ask God why, because these are things we will never understand.  God didn’t cause those things, but I tell you what, He is still there, and He wants to use those circumstances to bring us back.  Not to understand, but to just trust in Him.

What does that famous Proverb say, Proverb 3:5. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.”  I’ve heard this recited many times over the years, yet still people easily forget about it.  They may trust for a short while, but then it’s right back to life as usual or the life of blaming God for circumstances or suffering.  Again, God didn’t cause it, but He wants to use what did happen to bring us back to Him.

C.S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” When we experience suffering God is right there trying to pull us to Him.  Those sufferings can be used glorious ways, if we are willing to get out of His way, stop leaning to ourselves, stop asking why, and just fall on God

Do not lean on your own understanding.  This is a key part of this Proverb.  We have to remember that we will never fully grasp why suffering happens or why anything happens for that matter.  There are so many glorious mysteries of God that are to remain mysteries to our human self.  We just lean to fall on Him.  Paul Claudel said, “Jesus did not come to explain away suffering or remove it. He came to fill it with His Presence.

Many of you know the story of my Dad and how we lost him suddenly in a car accident over 5 years ago.  It was suffering like I had never experience before.  To have him ripped away so suddenly was traumatic and then the void left was immense.  I wondered why to myself quite often.  Tried to make sense of it all.  Even through time in Scripture and when I began to find my faith again, I still struggled with this.  I was still too caught up in self and not falling to God.

When God finally got me to let go and just lean to Him in this suffering, it was so amazing.  This was about a year and half ago or so about 4 years after his death.  My heart was not fully open, yet God never gave up on me during this time.  Since then, God has continually transformed my life and my family with each day that passes.  Yes, suffering and struggles still come our way and when I sit and think of my Dad’s death, a tear will sometimes fall, but I no longer try to understand for myself and rather fall on God.  Trust Him with it all. God has put this on my heart repeatedly, to just trust Him.  Let go and let God.

With all of this said, I am in no way diminishing the pain and anguish that comes with traumatic situations that come in our lives.  However, it is a part of our life because of the world we live.  The enemy seeks to steal, kill, and destroy us and our hearts and in these tragedies and struggles, that’s what he tries to do.  On the other hand, we have the power and glory of Jesus Christ to lean towards.  We have the armor of God, should we choose to put it on and then when we fully let God and trust in the Lord, we can deal with our sufferings so differently.

 

There Is No Negotiating Surrender

We negotiate a lot of things in our lives.  We negotiate when buying a car or house.  We negotiate salaries with our jobs and contract deals.  We even negotiate with the family when trying to decide where to go eat or what to eat (This is a non-stop negotiation in our house).  To put it plainly, there is negotiating in all areas of life when trying to make decisions and commitments and trying to get the best terms and outcomes for us.  Another area that people often try to negotiate is their faith and there surrender to and trusting of God.  I have been guilty of this too.  Making terms like I will trust you but I really need this or that to happen.   We may even get angry with Him if things just don’t go the way we want it go.  Even if when we sin, we often just can’t let go and let God be God.

The simple fact is that we cannot negotiate our surrender to Him.  We cannot be partially committed in our faith and only trust God on our terms.  It does not work that way.  When we are broken, the biggest thing we need to just to let go and let God love us as He does and trust Him fully.  He is after everyone of our hearts and loves each one of us.  He loved us so much that he put on a robe of flesh and became fully man invading enemy territory.  Lived the life that man was meant to live in Christ, and suffered and died for our sins and salvation and was raised to life to open a doorway to Father through Him.  That’s love beyond any comparison.

This past weekend, we had a baseball coaches clinic at my church.  My pastor is a former Major League pitcher and brought in Royals Manager, Ned Yost, Hall of Famer, John Smoltz, and former MVP Terry Pendleton.  It was awesome to hear their insights about baseball and coaching tips and above all hearing them in their faith in Jesus Christ.  Ned Yost shared something big about his faith in where he had not fully surrendered and then reached a point where God just told him to let go and trust Him.  A life changing moment for this man and if you follow baseball, you know the Royals did this past year getting to the World Series.

It’s that simple though folks and I even needed to hear this, because I even find myself at times trying to set terms in my surrender.  Just let it go.  Trust God and know that He has a plan for each and every one of us.  He loves us beyond all measure and even when we stray away pursuing things of this world that don’t matter, He is still there pursuing and waiting for us.  He is after each of our hearts.  Don’t try to negotiate your faith and surrender to God.  It just does not work that way.  It’s a life changing feeling and one that’s hit me as well.  If you just trust God, love God, and let go, you can live free, come fully alive and everything will begin to play out according to His decided will and you will be able to discover more and more about His will and calling for your life.

Trust God’s Perfection

It’s interesting to know and see how difficult it can be for people to trust God.  We run through so many different circumstances in our lives that, in our fallen nature, we are turned and question Him when times get difficult.  His love is right there for all of and never failing though.  As I’ve written time and again, no matter where we are in life, God is always pursuing us.  It is never failing and never ending.

If you study scripture and see all that has happened since the beginning, you can see that what ever God wills to happen is going to happen.  We His people turned away from Him, he turned away but only for a period of time and them was right back with Him.  The purpose is for everyone to know that He is the Lord and He is always there for us if we just trust in Him.

Psalm 18:30 says, “God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true.  He is a shield for all who look to Him for protection.”  Think about that for a minute.  God’s way is perfect.  God is the love, strength, courage, wisdom, power, and everything else rolled into one.  He is the source of all  creation.  When He declared in the beginning that His creation was good.  He created perfection.  He created us to also live in His perfection and glory. Even when struggles arise in our lives, know that God’s will and perfection will shine through our lives if we trust in Him.  I know it can be so easy to turn away.

One thing I hear people often ask and even I have done the same thing, when difficulty arises is Why?. They question God and wonder where He is working in all of that.  I’ve been selfish in this manner too.  When I lost my Dad, I asked why many times.  When I lost a job many years ago, while raising a young family, I was asking why then.  I did not get it.  I did not understand where God is working.  It is not God’s will for us to suffer and struggle, but He allows these things to happen in this fallen world in hopes of drawing us near.  Jesus told us we will face trials and sorrows in this life.  It will happen.  Even when you feel that your faith is it’s strongest, it will still happen

Mother Teresa said, “God will never, never, never let us down if we have faith and put our trust in Him. He will always look after us. So we must cleave to Jesus. Our whole life must simply be woven into Jesus.”  It’s so simple when you thing about it.  Jesus came to save us from our sins and  set us free from the grips of satan and death who is always trying to deceive us and destroy our hearts.  Jesus said that Satan’s goals is steal, kill, and destroy us.  We see this everyday with junk that we face and we see others facing.  As Mother Teresa said, God will never, never, never let us down.  We need to trust in His perfection.

I know often times that my writing may seem to be a little on the serious and gloomy side when I focus on pain and struggles.  I do this because it is very real.  I have have been through this and we all have.  I believe those struggles are a sharp reminder that we need to hold tighter to God and remain strong in our faith.   Don’t let the pain and sorrows of this world turn you away.  When those times come, hold tighter.  I know how challenging it can be, but don’t let go.  When you hold the tightest, that’s when the enemy pulls at you stronger.  Trust in God’s perfection, always!