It’s a new year. Time to be profound and inspiring. Perhaps list out the goals I have for the year, even though apparently making resolutions is no longer a cool thing to do.
I have to apologize to my church family who were forced to listen to me ramble about all my hopes and dreams for this year and last – and who also were given approximately 27 specific prayer requests just pertaining to me for 2015. I got started and for some reason just couldn’t stop. Sorry about that.
In the first few days of the year, I have been meditating on the book of Exodus. When I read over and over again that the children of Israel would question God and bemoan their situation, I wonder why.
Why would they struggle to believe that God could provide for their basic needs when they had seen Him do wonderful and miraculous things for them?
It seems so obvious to me that they should’ve trusted God, and yet, my main spiritual difficulty last year was that I did exactly what the children of Israel did in the wilderness. It’s hard to put myself in their sandals exactly because my issue seems less straightforward than theirs, but when I stop trying to make excuses, this sea-splitting, manna-providing God is the same one I serve today, and it makes no sense that I struggle to believe that He will provide me with exactly what I need.
Perhaps today you’re struggling to trust God. Maybe you’re going through a trial and don’t feel like you have any support or the resources you need to get through it. Maybe you’ve been praying about something specific for a long time and Heaven remains silent on the issue.
To trust God fully, we have to look at our lives from God’s perspective instead of our own. From His perspective, some of Israel’s biggest issues were whittled down to non-issues.
When they were surrounded on all sides by mountains, the sea and the Egyptian army, God opened up a path through the middle of the sea. When they were unable to find water in the desert to quench their thirst, He provided it through the rock. He kept their sandals from wearing out and provided heavenly bread for them for all the years they wandered in the wilderness.
What are some things that we can do to build up our faith in 2015?
- Remember past victories.
If the children of Israel could’ve been reading through their own story as they were going through it, would they have been better able to trust God? I wrote down some of the things that God has done for me in past years, and started writing down the things I am praying for this year. When a prayer is answered, I plan to write down the date next to the request, and I’m hoping that this helps me to remember how faithful God is in my life – and how faithful He has always been.
- Remember His promises in times of discouragement.
God’s promises are always true – even when they feel like they are not. As believers, we are spiritually wealthy because of the exceedingly precious promises we have in Jesus Christ. Go through the Bible and mark down the promises in it. Write them down, and remind yourself of them when you are feeling depressed. He has promised us help in times of trouble, eternal security, a way to escape when we are tempted and so many other things. Let’s remember to remember these promises in 2015.
- Remember who your real enemy is.
I recently reminded someone that we do not war against flesh and blood and that our true enemy is always Satan. This person could not agree with me, and told me that I have to be careful when blaming the Devil for actions that a man chooses to make.
Satan is an enemy who is far more involved in our lives than many of us give him credit for. He is constantly trying to defeat and discourage. It’s easy to forget that we are in the middle of a battlefield and taking part in a very real spiritual war. Satan has no power over us, but when we are unaware of him, He can trick us into thinking that people are our enemies. We have to learn to recognize the true nature of the conflicts that come into our lives and rob us of our faith and trust in the Lord.
Trusting God is at the heart of Christian life. How is it possible that we can trust God with our salvation and eternal security, but fail to trust that He will take care of the things that we need while we make our way through this temporary life? Trusting God means looking past our perspective and trusting that God knows everything and will take care of us better than we could ever take care of ourselves.
“God’s guidance is almost always step-by-step; He does not show us our life’s plan all at once. Sometimes our anxiousness to know the will of God comes from a desire to peer over God’s shoulder to see what His plan is. What we need to do is learn to trust Him to guide us.” ― Jerry Bridges