Trusting God takes Effort and Focus
Tell me about your sufferings and hardships. It has been said that you don’t really know a person until you see how they handle sufferings and hardships. This is not just about how strong we can be. It is more about what we turn to for help. What you turn to for help in hard times is more revealing of the real you than just about anything else. When we are hurting, we have no time for going through the motions. We seek something that works in practical ways. In Ps. 46:1,2 we read, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountain falls into the heart of the sea.” Good words but here is the confusing thing for some Christians. We say that God is our strength and refuge and yet in suffering and hardship, do we mostly turn to ourselves? This can leave us without the benefit gained from truly turning to God and confused about how to unravel a mess that is not working. Additionally, those who know that they are trusting in themselves look at Christians who say they are trusting in God and when they see little difference from their own lives they disregard trusting in God as failed or phony. People who trust in themselves know it when they see it in others. I Cor. 1:9 says, “God never fails…” That means the issue is with us. To trust in God is a goal more than a given. It is an ongoing process more than a finished product. Trusting God takes effort and focus. It takes trust and practice. It takes persistence and discipline. One does not just say that they trust in God and that settles it. One says that they trust in God and then comes the test. With each passed test there is praise for God. With each failed test there is honest reflection. Trusting in God comes with the responsibility of learning how to live differently. When we bring this kind of focus to our Bible study, church attendance, prayers and relationships we grow in our ability to truly trust God more. Those who really learn how to trust God raise the bar on their discipleship.