Do you ever struggle with worry?
So often, the answer is found just in resting in the Father’s love.
I am such a worrier. I look ahead and try to see what God will do: how He will provide. I panic and fret and try to make God’s plans for Him. But I am learning that there is a place of peace: a place not of knowing the answers, but of knowing Him.
A lesson that God has been speaking to me lately is about trust. One of my greatest failings is anxiety, and God has been speaking into it: encouraging me that the solution is found in trusting my Father’s love: that He really loves me, and, because He does, I don’t need to worry, because He really will work everything for my good.
The Christian life is not meant to be a life of hopelessness, but a life of peace, joy and victory. Yes, it is likely to be a life that includes trials and tears, and, yes, there will be tough times, but, through it all, dependence on the Lord Jesus can bring a peace and joy into it all that the unbeliever would think impossible.
The key to joy is worship: having God first in our lives and being satisfied in Him alone, with or without any other gifts that He may choose to give us- and not for the sake of joy itself, but out of deep and real love for God.
“Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:25
And there is such peace in His presence: in simply knowing Him as Father: in knowing that He is love, and that His love is always, always enough.
Knowing Him is better than knowing the answers. Knowing Him is better than knowing what will happen. Knowing Him is peace in the very middle of the storm… because, if you know Him and you know that He loves you, you can trust… and trusting takes away the need for answers.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
I was speaking to a friend the other day, and she was reminding me of something very simple and very true: we are called to trust Him. We are called to have faith. We are called to believe Him, even when we don’t understand.
And that believing is surely rooted in knowing Him; in His presence; in His love.
Because, when you know Him, you can trust Him as Father; you can trust in His love.
“For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:“In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” From Isaiah 30:15
You know, it sounds crazy, but the more I think about it, the more I’m beginning to think that the life God means for His children is a life of freedom and joy: not without hard work or trials, but without worry, because He really has got it all in His strong, capable hands.
When I was nineteen, I went to a summer school at a Bible college. During the final question session, a number of us asked questions about guidance and finding God‟s will for our lives. As students wrestling with the impact of the Bible in our lives, there were important questions to consider about questions like full-time ministry, mission, vocation, marriage, money… I don’t know about everyone else, but, for me, those questions were questions full of anxiety- I handled them with a heavy heart, fearful that God would let me down…
So the advice of one of the speakers really stuck with me. He gave principles, advice and information about possible options. But before he did that, he said the most helpful thing:
If we were honestly seeking Him, we weren’t going to miss God leading us! He would make it clear, in His time… so, instead of sinning by worrying, we should relax and enjoy the ride!
What if we could relax and ENJOY abundant life in Christ as we joyfully serve Him? He will not fail us and, boy, will we miss out if we spend all our time worrying! Instead, maybe we can even have fun as we watch for Him to work things out in His wholly faithful and wholly perfect way and time!
“A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7
The Lord recently reminded me of a time when He really encouraged me: I was out for the day, and I was waiting at a bus stop when a stranger, a girl, came up to me. She said that she felt that God wanted to encourage me with something: LIGHTER! It’s not meant to be a heavy burden!
I knew that that was from God. And I have found it so hard to apply. But it’s true- and it’s good news! We can relax! Trusting in God, life isn’t meant to be so heavy!
The bedrock of this attitude is the character of our God… He is LOVE!!!
And, when we are sure of Him, we are free to pour out our lives in service of others, seeking to share His love with them, secure that He will take care of us. 🙂
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:33
I love the very true words of this old hymn:
Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious, in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way.
Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.
Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there.
Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;
We may trust Him fully, all for us to do;
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.
(‘Like a River Glorious’, Francis Ridley Havergal, Public Domain)
I’m not saying I’ve got this. I really haven’t! Just ask my friends! But it’s what He’s showing me is possible. And I think it’s worth growing towards, don’t you? 😉
(Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.)