I hope you all are staying warm and safe from the icy roads! I am currently in a hotel in Lillington after spending a day visiting a friend. It was very crazy having my dad call me to tell me that the roads were too dangerous for me to try and make it, so I made reservations at the hotel. It’s currently raining and freezing from outside a coffee shop here in the town, and this situation, as well as what I’ve been learning throughout this week has lead me to one central idea. Trust. Trust is something that is hard for me, the word itself means to have a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. That’s a pretty big role to fill, yet God wants us to put our complete trust in him alone. For me, it’s hard to trust things and people, because all of us are sinners, people who are not perfect. If we expect imperfect people to be perfect, we will be disappointed. I often make that mistake, I really do mean often. I look to other people to trust in, because I can tangibly hear and see them, but I make them into a higher position than God himself. This is a dangerous way to live, Jesus called out the religious leaders of his time because they similarly put their trust in the law, while missing the son of God who was in front of them. I think that’s the danger of putting trust into someone or something until it turns into faith, and that’s something hard to admit.
So what do we do about this trust? What does it look like? I have to think of Paul in times where I find myself lacking in my own trust in the creator. Paul had complete trust. A man whose mission was to build up the church, was thrown into prison and faced death on a consistent basis for what he taught. He trusted God with everything, and he set an example for us to live by. With life, things are unexpected. We have tragedy and heartache, hurt and anger. These things creep in our quiet moments and invade our thoughts. Times like this are hard to trust, the enemy uses this moment to make us question our faith, to question our purpose here on this earth. We turn from God who simply wants to lead us and use the pain to build us up. A friend of mine, Jeremy Spry, gave a message about this idea. That God uses pain to grow us, God takes our hurt and turns it into further wisdom. All of these thoughts and teachings brought me to this simple idea with a complex nature, trust him with everything. I want t take the next few paragraphs to outline how we can put that complete trust in God, and how it will radically change your life.
Trust in him with the details.
I plan everything. I get it from my dad, even though I don’t like to admit it. I plan everything out, I have a constant itinerary and checklist in my mind at all times. I arrive most places at least five minutes early and hate when traffic slows me down. If I don’t get on top of my work, it stresses me out like nothing. In these moments I just described, not once did I stop to pray for my day, to trust God to get me through the work and the plans made. One of my strengths is that I am strategic, meaning that I like to make decisions and avoid obstacles. I’m good at that part, but one of the drawbacks is that I can miss the lessons God wants to teach me. I get consumed with details and I forget that God wants to be a part of me, all the time. This means with everything, not just the hardships, but with the little things too. It’s an active choice you need to make. I always love to use the example of asking God what I should have for lunch today, or if I should wear the bowtie or not (simple, always wear the bowtie). It may seem silly and insignificant, but it isn’t. God wants a relationship, and active growing together with him, so why not ask him to be in the details. Trust God with the small things and it will cultivate your ability to trust him with the big things.
Trust him in the tragedy.
These are the big moments in life. The hard decisions, the funerals, the feeling that you’re alone in this big world, and the moments when you feel like you can’t escape. I know you have been there because I have been there, everyone in this world has been placed in that situation before in one way or another. The question that always comes up is: Why would God let this happen? I can’t answer that, and to be honest, I’m not sure if anyone can. All I know is that God uses these hard times for the better. I’ve experienced each of those moments. I was faced with rejection when it came to college, I went to the funeral of one of my close friends last year, I’ve felt as if I was alone when it seemed like no one wanted me, and I know that when I make mistakes it feels like I am worthless. It’s easy to stop there, to let the credits role with no scene afterwards dooming your chances for a sequel. That’s not what God wants, your life isn’t a sad indie movie where people are unhappy at the end. God wants to make your life a block buster. God wants to take the hurt and pain your feel and cultivate your life into what he has set out for you. Choose to fight, harder than you’ve ever fought before. Pain brings strength, and God will use it to help everyone around you. Don’t let the enemy win the battle of your life, trust in God because he has already won the war.
Trust him with your weakness.
This is the one that I don’t like to focus on, the stuff in your life that I’m not great at. We all have weaknesses. For me, have a weakness of losing my temper. It’s a weakness that has gotten me into a lot of trouble as a kid, and even now still creeps up on me sometimes. Moments where I feel the enemy pushing and picking me, I have to make an active choice to give it to God. Trusting him with my temper, rather than let it control my actions. Do I always make the wise choice? Of course not, because I am an imperfect person, but I am working on being the best I can be. Another weakness that I have is that I am terrible at small talk conversations. I know, it may seem odd since I am studying communications and write each week, but it is true. I don’t do a great job of making small talk, but I’m not letting it control me. I have to trust God in the awkward moments, and push myself. One thing that I learned over the years is that when you are comfortable, you stop growing. We need to put our weaknesses in God, trusting him when we come up short. Trust in him and push yourself to grow stronger.
With craziness in life, from tragedy to being snowed in at a hotel in a random small town, it can be hard to trust God. The one thing that keeps teaching me, is that when I choose to place my total trust in him, everything else falls into place. When we look back at Paul, we see a man that placed trust completely in God. Whether he was in prison singing praises or raising up leaders in the church, he trusted God. I want my life to be centered on trusting God, because he is the only constant that we can rely on. We don’t have time to put our faith in things that won’t last or people that are imperfect. You were created by someone that designed the universe, and chose to put you in it. Trust in him with everything and he will guide you into freedom.
Place your trust in him with everything that you are.