I was driving down the interstate, making the same long trek to work for the millionth time. Cars are whizzing by and I was in my car choked by thoughts. My mind quickly went to the family member, friend, church member who I’m burdened for that week.
“Why did this have to happen, God?”
“When are their hearts going to be broken for you?”
“Why can’t this issue be resolved easily? Does it have to be that complicated?”
Most of us know questions can continue to buzz around our minds endlessly unless we stop and surrender those to Christ and bring our thoughts back to truth. It’s always easier said than done. I heard someone say recently that trust and obedience go hand in hand. You cannot better trust without first being obedient to what God commands. What does He ask? Here are a few things:
Understand and know truly God hears us.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” – I John 5:14
Believe and do not doubt.
“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” – James 1:36
You are going to feel restless and discontent if you keep focusing on the situation instead of the One who is ultimately over it. This is why it is important to be intentional with how you are spending your thought life. We want to spend the necessary time in the Word and prayer, but are you opening up to people about your situation? Are you allowing them to confront you with truth instead of remaining negative, worried and any other thoughts you may have? Are you taking time away from the situation and focusing on the blessings in your life? Whatever it is that might help you redirect your thoughts to a positive direction, do it!
God is not a heartless, impersonal being. He is a God who cares deeply about you and the situation.
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” – Matthew 6:36
Rest in this truth. Too many times it is tempting to make God impersonal. When this happens it becomes tempting to also become angry or complacent toward God. This is a scheme of Satan that we shouldn’t approach lightly. Are you guarding your thoughts against this mindset?
God has reminded me of these truths over the past few years. A family member decided the faith they once held was not true for them anymore. With that decision also came many hurtful experiences that transpired between them, me and the rest of my family. I was heart-broken. I saw evidence of the Spirit working in the life of this person through their ministry life growing up. The individual was, and is, someone I love and respect deeply. Yet in a matter of time, all of that changed for them. During those years after this decision, I cried out to God to bring this person back to Himself. I knew they were hurting and that’s what triggered their decision, but my family was hurting, too. I didn’t understand why these things were taking place. This lasted a few years until a breaking point came for this family member and they repented and turned back to Christ. Today I joyfully say my and my family’s relationship with this family member is great and this person is growing in their relationship with Christ!
There were times I really wasn’t sure if that family member would come back to the Lord. I didn’t know if they truly knew how much I cared for them even though I tried many different times to express love to them. I was hurt. I doubted. I was confused. I was angry at them. Yet I still loved them and that was what hurt the most. In the midst of it all, God reminded me of His faithfulness even in those times of doubt. He gave me comfort even when things seemed bleak. He reminded me that He had it covered and He ultimately was still working even when I couldn’t see it.
As you read through these Scripture passages, what or who is God bringing to your mind? Are you really living in the light of trust and not doubting? I’d encourage you to pray about how God might be asking you to trust Him whether it’s with the people in your life or the details of your life.