In the last little while, I have been struggling with a few things and not sure how to handle them. The issues have been heavy on my heart, and I probably should have asked for prayer, but instead, I chose to discuss them with my wife Pat, and we prayed about them.
They were not physical ailments they were questions and propositions I faced that troubled me and made me uncomfortable. In my mind, they were foundational questions, and I was uncertain which way to go with them, and I need to work them out with the Lord, so I prayed, and I listened.
In the last three or four days, the answers started coming from so many places. One came from a friend, and I am sure they did not realize it. One from my daughter. One talking with Pat and all were confirmed by the Word.
The last was yesterday at the Avenues for Women Banquet. Pat had one unfilled seat left and at 5:30 or so one of our guests said she was bringing an extra person with her. Now you could call that coincidence, but I have long since decided that “coincidence” is not in the Christian dictionary. There is no such word. God has a purpose for everything, and we occasionally are surprised by how they unfold, but what the world calls a coincidence is simply a “God Surprise.”
What I was reminded by the past few weeks is that when I have these problems, and I am distracted by an issue, I need to give it to God and trust Him with all my heart. I was reminded of Philippians 4:5b-7
Philippians 4:5-7 (ESV)
The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I was praying, and I was making my concerns known to God, but there was still a part of me that was getting anxious about the issues that were troubling me.
As the time went on, I am not sure if I started letting go of my concerns or if God just started giving me little glimpses of the answer in my studies or the things around me. But slowly the things that seemed so hard to see became much clearer, and I was able to get my head around it. This morning as I reflected on it I realized that it all came down to trusting God and listening to the Holy Spirit as I faced any issue and I just got hit with a few scriptures and searched for a few more.
The first that came to mind was the title of the post today, but I could not remember where it was so I did a little search on Google and found the verse, and I could not stop with only that one verse I read the whole passage.
Proverbs 3:5-8 (ESV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
7 Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
8 It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.
I read that passage over and over, and you know I had not remembered verse 8 before. It lifted my heart as I thought of it this morning. Trusting in the Lord is healing to your flesh and refreshing to your bones.
Letting go of the stress in your life and trusting God is healing and refreshing. Just think about that for a moment and let it soak in. As I think of that, I am taken straight to Matthew.
Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV)
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
What strength there is in the Lord. What hope we have in Him, but I could not stop there. I went to John and then Romans and finished in Revelation.
I love the book of John, and this is one of the few single verses I chose. I usually go for passages, but this one just fits.
John 14:1 (ESV)
1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.
To believe in Him is to believe in His promises and to believe in his promises is to know that we can trust him. What more can be said? Than Romans was a single verse as well.
We have this gift of the indwelling Spirit, and with Him, we have hope on which we can rely. It fills me with a joy that is achieved no other way.
Romans 15:13 (ESV)
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
What a wonderful blessing it is to be filled with the Holy Spirit and the joy and peace that comes in believing if we will just allow it to happen rather than allow the adversary to convince us that we need to get in the middle of things and work them out on our own.
Our hope rests in God, and so does our peace, and our understanding, when we trust in Him.
Finally, I ended up in Revelation.
Chapter 21 begins with John seeing the coming of a new heaven and a new earth. But this passage and another came up in a search I did on trust, and it just seemed the place to close.
Revelation 21:3-7 (ESV)
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
As I read this passage, I thought. “If I believe this and I can trust God to deliver my salvation, why do I struggle with the small things that seem to derail me.”
If I trust God in all these things that he has shown me in the Word, especially the promise of chapter 21 in Revelation how can I doubt that He has my back in the little things.
My prayers should house my passion about any issue. God should hear it all. I should hold back nothing from Him, but sometimes I do. It is like with our earthly friends or father or spouse; we do not want to expose our weakness to them. But God already knows, and he is patient. He knows me better than I know myself. When I finally give in, He shows me the answer. He is faithful.
Lord, thank you for your patience with me. Forgive me for being slow to let go of the things that trouble me. Father thank you for your promises and faithfulness and forgive me for my moments of doubt. I am thankful for your grace and mercy, and I pray all in Jesus name. Amen!