How Is Your Faith?

I believe that one of the most difficult spiritual practices to follow is walking in faith at all times. 

It’s relatively easy for us to say that we have faith, but it’s something else altogether to maintain this faith day in and day out as we deal with the stresses of living in a fallen world.

However, we know that as believers we are commanded to have faith. Hebrews 11:6 tells us:

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Also, in 2 Corinthians 5:7, we are told:

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Therefore, we must have faith if we want to please God and live our lives as He would have us do.

If we know we’re to live in faith, why is it so hard to do? 

I have found that just reading about the concept of faith seems to strengthen my own faith. This strengthening will last for a little while even if I don’t do anything different.

However, the cares and worries of life usually creep back in and I begin to look at my circumstances instead of God’s promises.

Pretty soon, I’m again living like somebody who has never known the Lord and His word. It’s far too easy to keep my focus on what’s going on around me, rather than what God has said.

I believe that we must make a conscious effort to focus on scripture, rather than the narrative that’s being played over and over in our minds.

Even though we know that God will reward our faith, that doesn’t make it any easier, as the enemy is constantly whispering lies in our ears. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 is a good place to start:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

These verses have been among my favorites in the entire Bible for many years. I have read them over countless times as a way to bolster my faith in the face of life’s struggles. 

While it is comforting to read God’s truths, the truth doesn’t do us any good if we don’t take action on it. 

James 1:22 says:

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 

We’re only fooling ourselves if we don’t take action on the word of God. We can never expect to receive God’s blessings on our lives if we don’t walk in faith.

One good way to build your faith is by starting small. Pray to God about something minor going on in your life that you need His help with. However, make sure that it lines up with His will. 

Then, as God answers your prayer and you see His hand operating in your life, build on that faith. Go to God with a slightly bigger need and watch Him work.

Keep cultivating your faith as you slowly but surely work toward trusting Him for help and provision in every area of your life.

He may not give you everything you ask for, but rest assured that His work in your life will always be for the best:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Rom. 8:28

Treat your growing faith as if it were as valuable as gold, because it truly is. As your faith deepens and you see God working in your life in an ever increasing way, you’ll find it easier to maintain your faith.

Of course, I’m talking to myself as much as I am to anyone else. I need to walk this path so I can increase my faith and live the way God intends.

Let’s do it together, what do you say?

Develop Faith That Transcends Circumstances

Faith is one of the most important aspects of our spiritual life. 

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen…Without faith it’s impossible to please God. 

Heb. 11:1, 6

If we don’t have faith, our walk with God is dead in the water, so to speak.

However, for many of us, our faith life is not what it should be. I should know, because all too often I fall into that category.

My faith seems to falter when I need it the most.

When things are looking their bleakest, that’s when my faith should shine. However, those are often the times when I withdraw inward and keep God at a distance.

I’ve been a believer in Christ for over three and a half decades. You’d think my faith would have grown some by now.

You may be like me—finding yourself in the position of doubting God, doubting that He will come through this time. Even though He has proven Himself over and over, you still doubt.

Our faith muscle needs stretching if it is to grow. If we truly want our faith to transcend any circumstances we find ourselves in, we need to use it every day.

From the small things to the large things, we must trust God in everything. Then, and only then, will our faith begin to grow and strengthen.

I’m amazed at the faith that Abraham displays when God asks him to sacrifice Isaac, his only son. I’m not sure I trust God enough to follow through with that.

I would doubt whether I was hearing God correctly. I’d say something like, “Are you sure this is what you want me to do, Lord?” or “No, I can’t do THAT. Surely you want me to do something else, right?”

Abraham’s faith lets him stand out as one of the greatest believers ever. He had to look beyond his circumstances and draw deeply from his well of faith in God.

I believe that’s what we must do if we’re to develop that kind of faith. 

No matter what our situation looks like from our perspective, we must remember that God sees things from His 360-degree view. 

He’s not limited to living in just the present like we are. Time is His construct, and He is in the past, present, and future all at the same time.

God knows how everything is going to turn out—you can count on that.

Even when things look their worst, we can trust that He is in control. That’s what Abraham did, and that’s what we have to do as well.

Trusting God for little things first will help grow our faith, especially if we’re unsure we can fully trust him for the big things in life.

However, just remember that your situation may not always work out how you think it should.

Often, God has a different plan than we do, and the thing we pray about and hope will come to pass may not happen. 

We must trust God nonetheless, knowing that His way is best. When we can do this, we’ll be on the path to growing our faith.

Kick Worry to the Curb

God doesn’t want you to worry. Really—He doesn’t.

Over and over in the Bible we read where God tells His people not to worry, not to have anxiety. Here is just one of many examples I could name:

Do not be anxious about anything.

Phil. 4:6a

This command is hard for us to accept in the hustle and bustle of our busy lifestyles. If you’re like me, you tend to feel guilty if you’re not worrying about something. 

It seems like you should be worrying, else you’re neglecting your responsibilities.

However, worrying doesn’t change anything—except maybe to make you feel less guilty. 

You don’t need to feel guilty in the first place. Guilt causes you to worry even more—and you can’t do anything about most of the things you worry about anyway.

So, how do we not worry?

First of all, you have to realize that defeating worry is not a one-time thing. Quitting worrying takes daily effort and a resolve to live in freedom in Jesus. 

Although you may feel like you’re in an uphill battle and that you’re not seeing any results—keep at it. 

Eventually, you’ll find yourself worrying less and living with more joy and peace.

On one of his excellent “In Touch” radio broadcasts, Dr. Charles Stanley lays out three steps to eliminating worry in your life

Pray over and meditate on these steps. Really think about them and let them sink into your spirit. 

Doing so will help you beat worry and guilt. 

Step #1 – Realize That God is With You

God knows and sees your situation. He is with you every step of the way. 

I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Heb. 13:5b

You are God’s child, and He loves you dearly. Just as you would never leave your own child, God will never leave you.

And how much more He loves you than you are able to love your child!

You don’t need to worry about God’s awareness of your situation. He is omniscient and has known that you would experience whatever trial you’re in even before time itself existed.

He has promised that He will always be with you, so take Him at His word.

Pray to your Heavenly Father and ask Him for help. He won’t let you down.

Step #2 – Maintain Proper Vision

View your situation in context of your faith.

God is Lord of the entire universe and can be fully trusted to help you through any problems you might face.

You can hold on to your faith that God is good and that His will is always in your best interest. As we are told in Romans 8:28:

We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 

When everything seems to be going wrong and all you have is God to fall back on, that’s when your faith is truly put to the test. 

God is all we need. And when He is all we have, we are presented with the opportunity to stand firm in our faith. God’s will WILL prevail.

Step #3 – Seek God’s Kingdom First

If serving God and following His will for your life are your priorities in life, He will make sure that you have everything you need.

Matthew 6:33 tells us:

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

To put it another way, God takes care of His own. If you belong to Jesus and faithfully serve Him, your needs will be met.

Keep in mind, God’s provision might not always look like you think it should, but He will always come through. 

God wants to be your provider. His desire is for you to rely on Him and Him alone—not your job, your bank account, or even your own abilities.

Just Him.

When you know that God will meet your every need, you don’t need to worry about having enough. 

You’ll have what you need, when you need it. And you can count on that.

So, to sum up Dr. Stanley’s advice for overcoming worry:

  1. Trust God.
  2. Have faith in God.
  3. Seek God.

Here’s to a worry-free, joy-filled life pursuing God!

Do Not Be Anxious

In the final 10 verses of Matthew 6, Jesus tells us three different times, “Do not be anxious.”

He must really mean it if He says it that many times. 

Yes, He truly wants His followers to live without anxiety and worry over the circumstances of their lives.

Let’s take a closer look at what Jesus says. The first occurrence of this command says,

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.

Matthew 6:25a

The words are plain and simple—don’t worry. 

However, we need to go back and look at the verses immediately before this one because of the word “Therefore.” Whenever we see this word, we need to see what it is said just before it.

Verse 24 says, 

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

In my opinion, this is one of the most important verses in the Bible, especially for those of us who have been taught that more is better and that having a well-paying career is what defines success. 

This verse shows us that we need to put God in His proper place in our lives. He must be #1—above everything else, including money and career.

When we make God the most important thing in our lives, then we can be assured verse 25 will be true for us—we can live life without worry and anxiety.

God will feed us and clothe us, just as he does the birds of the air and the lilies of the field. We are much more important to Him than they are, so He will surely take care of us, just as He does them. 

The next command not to worry comes just a few verses down:

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?

Matt. 6:31

Once again, Jesus tells us not to worry ourselves unnecessarily over having enough to eat or drink. He even goes on to tell us in verse 32 that God already knows we need these things.

He will supply us because He wants us to have the necessities of life. He says that the people who don’t know God spend their time chasing after these things and worrying about them. 

As believers in Christ, we can be assured that God will supply our needs. That’s not to say that things will always be easy, as life is not always fun, but we can trust that God is taking care of us.

Finally, in verse 34 Jesus tells us for the final time not to worry:

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

There’s that word “therefore” again, so we must back up a verse to find out what is stated there.

Verse 33 says,

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Each day, God will supply our needs for that day. We must simply live out our faith one day at a time, trusting God for His provision.

So, to ensure that God will look after our needs, we need to work to advance His kingdom and strive to live a righteous life that honors Him. 

Of course, no one can live a completely righteous life. The whole reason that Jesus died for us was to make us righteous in the Father’s eyes—we’re unable to achieve this on our own. 

We’re imperfect humans at best. However, that is a topic for another time.

In this important chapter, we have learned what to do to have our needs met and to live anxiety-free and worry-free lives:

  1. Put God in the highest place in our lives—over money, career, and even our own families.
  2. Seek God’s kingdom first, doing His work here on earth and trying to live our lives according to His commands and guidance.

While some may say this is an oversimplification of a complex theological discussion, I disagree.

I believe the Bible was written so that even a small child can understand it. After all, later on in Matthew, Jesus says,

Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matt. 18:3

It’s up to us to forget about all the “extras” that we tend to add to the Gospel, and approach it with the simple faith of a child. 

Trust God. Obey God. Make Him the most important thing in your life. Then, you’ll have everything you need and you won’t have reason to worry. 

You will have placed your life right where it needs to be—in His strong hands.

Trust God—There’s Nothing to It But to Do It

Sometimes we just have to trust God, then act. It’s that simple. 

In his book, Everybody Always, Bob Goff has a chapter titled “Land the Plane.” He describes at length how he and his son Adam take turns landing and then taking off in their Beaver seaplane. The runway is a small lake surrounded with trees and rocks with barely enough room to either land or take off, and they had never tried it before the day described in this chapter.

Bob manages to land the plane and they come to a stop. Then he jumps out of the pilot’s seat and tells his 18-year-old son to take off and fly them out of there. With much hesitation, Adam fastens himself into the pilot’s seat and proceeds to maneuver them off the lake and over the trees. 

Bob then tells Adam to take his turn at landing the plane. Again, with hesitation, Adam turns the plane around and settles it on the lake like a pro. 

The point is this: sometimes we need to trust God and take action before we’re able to hear God give us further instructions. We may already know what to do, but just haven’t been doing it. God may be waiting on us while we think we’re waiting on Him.

Bob Goff’s story helps us understand that we may never feel 100 percent comfortable with the action we know we need to take. We may never feel like we’re completely prepared to take the next step.

But that’s OK. We need to put our faith in God and go ahead and do what He has already whispered to us to do.

Bob and his son could have put off trying to land the plane that day, feeling that they hadn’t researched the location enough or didn’t have sufficient skills to land, much less have the room needed to lift off again.

But they didn’t. Both of the guys probably said a prayer (audible or not) before the first landing. In the end, however, it came down to trusting God and taking action. 

Does that mean that you’ll always be successful? Of course not—at least not in the short run. In the long run, if you’re following God’s guidance, taking action, and listening to Him speak to you, you will succeed. 

He wants us to be successful in our endeavors, so long as they are what He has called us to do. He’ll tell us what He wants us to do if we take time to listen to His whispers. 

Then, all we have to do is follow His calling by doing what He tells us to do. 

We’ll see much more success in our life if we simply trust God, then act.

Exercise Your Faith Daily

When it comes to faith, sometimes you just have to do it. Exercise your faith, that is. 

There may be times when we don’t feel like trusting God or believing the promises that are found in the Bible.

But that doesn’t give us an excuse to be lazy in our faith. 

After all, there are many things in life that we don’t feel like doing but we do them anyway.

Take work, for example. If we didn’t have to roll out of bed every morning and head into the office (or make our way to the assembly line, or hit the road), we probably wouldn’t do it. 

We have to work, however, because we need money to pay for food, housing, clothes, etc.

We should view acting in faith the exact same way. 

Treat faith just as you would food and water—we need it to survive. And we should be exercising our faith so that it gets stronger and deeper.

The more we use our faith, the more deeply rooted it becomes.

Our faith will become more valuable to us the stronger it is. 

So that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire.

1 Peter 1:7a

Not that faith is all about what we can get out of it. Rather, faith is a representation of our relationship with God. 

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Heb. 11:6

So, if we live our lives in a manner that’s pleasing to God, seeking Him and striving to deepen our relationship with Him, we can be confident that our faith will grow and our lives will be more enriched.

And it all starts by simply “just doing it.” Big faith always starts out small. Not many of us have super duper faith that is so deep that there is no room for growth.

But, if we take the little faith we have and use it every day to trust God, it will grow.

Focus on the promises of God—there are loads of them found in the Bible.    

For example, this is one of my favorite verses:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths

Prov. 3:5-6

Or,

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

James 1:5

These are just two of the hundreds of promises God has made to us. He is waiting for us to step out in faith and lean on Him. 

So, go ahead and put your faith in the Almighty Creator of the Universe, even if you don’t feel like it. 

You can’t go wrong doing so.

Be Happier By Avoiding Life in Crisis Mode

Are you operating in crisis mode? If so, you’re most likely being short-sighted about important decisions you make every day in your life. 

It’s easy to get caught in a cycle of wrong thinking. When you’re only focused on trying to keep from going under, you’re neglecting the big picture of your life. 

While it’s good to be present and focused on the here and now, if you’re not also planning for the future, you can shortchange yourself and your life by your actions. 

For example, it’s easy to make wrong decisions about money when you “declare an emergency” on your finances. You may get so caught up in trying to find the money to pay the electric bill that you borrow the money you’ve got set aside for something else.

crisis

It’s also easy to fall short in our obedience to God.

If we view the end of each workday as having survived yet another crisis, it can be easy to pick up vices such as drinking, smoking, and other bad habits. After all, we deserve to let off a little steam after going through such a hard day, right?

If every day is a crisis, then we never get around to truly planning for the future—we’re too focused on merely surviving.

We end up cheating ourselves and those around us out of the fruits that come from setting and achieving long-term goals.

So, how do we avoid this trap? We have to become masters at planning simultaneously for short-term and long-term goals. 

If we’re truly in a crisis, we have to manage it diligently while also planning for the future. That may mean we need to become more creative with our problem solving and not throw all our mental energy into merely making it through another day. 

That may mean that we need to stop throughout the day and consciously tell ourselves to think long-term—to bring to mind the bigger goals in our life and not live for just the here-and-now.

The last thing we want to do is wake up one day and realize that we’ve wasted our whole lives putting out one fire after another—and never taking time to put in solid effort toward worthwhile life goals. 

survival

I’m very guilty of having done that. So much of my adult life has been spent trying to contain all the apparent crises, that I’ve often neglected working toward bigger goals. 

Yes, I regret that tremendously. However, there’s nothing I can do about it now, except to change how I live my life from this moment forward. 

That’s all that any of us can do. We certainly can’t change the past, and the future isn’t here yet. All we really have is this tiny slice of time that we call the present—right now. 

What we do with this moment is the only thing we have control over. 

At first glance, it may seem like I’m contradicting myself from what I said above. But, I’m actually not. 

The trick is to make the most of the present so that you build toward the future, all the while learning from the mistakes of the past without dwelling on your shortcomings.

And just because we use the present in the best way we know how, doesn’t mean that everything is going to work out how we want it to. It may or it may not. 

But if we put in our best effort, we will always have that to fall back on. Knowing we did our best is really all that any of us can ever hope for.  

And, who knows? One day we may look up and see that we’ve achieved the goal we’ve been working toward for so long. That would be a wonderful feeling indeed. 

Forget about merely trying to survive. Instead, focus on thriving in whatever environment you’re in. Don’t worry about finding the perfect job or the perfect mate — or the perfect anything for that matter. 

You’re not perfect, so why should anything in your life be perfect? Make the best out of your circumstances, whatever they may be. Learn how to be content in any situation, as Paul tells us to do in Philippians 4:11.

Rely on God and trust that he will reward your efforts. The outcome may not always look like you expect it to, but don’t fret. It may actually be better than you had expected. God has the power to do that, and He loves giving good gifts to His children (Matt. 7:11).

So, don’t operate in crisis mode. Instead live life to the fullest every moment of each day.

Turn Your Life Verse Into an Affirmation

What is your life verse? 

You know, the one that every time you read it or think about it, it just speaks truth to you. If nothing comes to mind, ask God to give you one—a verse that He wants you to hold on to, to make it our own, during the good times and the bad.

I’ve had various verses that have spoken to me personally over the years. For at least 25 years, Proverbs 3:5-6 has been at the top of the list:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Long ago, It felt like God laid this passage on my heart, prompting me to hold it close because I would need it someday.

And, oh, how I’ve needed those words. I’ve had to remind myself over and over to trust God completely and not to rely on my own understanding or beliefs about the situation at hand.

Here lately, God has prompted me to keep in mind a different verse—Romans 8:28: 

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose

This verse reminds me every day that no matter what challenges I face, it’s all working out for the best in my life. It may not seem like it now, but God has a plan and everything is falling into place.

In fact, lately when I’ve felt stressed or overwhelmed, I just yell out (to myself), “Romans 8:28, baby!” That simple reminder is enough to reset my emotions, help me remember that God is in control, and keep me from spiraling into an abyss of doom, gloom, and depression. 

One technique I’ve used a few times is to take several key passages of scripture that truly speak to me and write them down in a personalized way on either an index card or small piece of paper that I can look at each day.

For example, using the two passages in Proverbs and Romans, I might write the following affirmation:

Today I trust in the Lord with all my heart and will not rely on my own understanding. In all my ways I’m acknowledging Him, and He is making my paths straight. In everything God is working for my good because I love Him and am called according to His purpose.

Philippians 4:4 and 4:6-7 are other powerful passages about God’s goodness and peace that I have often meditated on when life’s challenges feel overwhelming. I could personalize them as well and add them to my daily affirmation.

So, when I’m finished, I have the following written out:

Today I trust in the Lord with all my heart and will not rely on my own understanding. In all my ways I’m acknowledging Him, and He is making my paths straight. In everything God is working for my good because I love Him and am called according to His purpose.

I will rejoice in the Lord today. I will not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving I’ll let my requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

Prov. 3:5-6, Rom. 8:28, Phil. 4:4, 6-7

These are some of the verses that have greatly helped me over the years. Maybe they’re special to you as well. Or maybe you need to search the Bible and find your own verses that resonate with your unique circumstances.

Once you’ve personalized and written out your affirmation, take a moment first thing in the morning to read it, out loud if possible. 

Read it again while you’re eating lunch, and refer to it anytime during the day that you feel stress, anxiety, or depression creeping up on you. 

Bedtime is another fantastic time to read your affirmation and set your mind on God as you drift off to sleep.

Let God’s word soak into your spirit and drive out all the negative feelings and emotions that are trying to take root in your mind. Focus on God and His promises.

You’ll feel more joyful and hopeful if you do.

God is Good All the Time

You may be like me in that you often struggle with doubting God. I hate to admit it, but far too often I don’t trust that God has my best interests in mind when things don’t go the way I think they should. 

In my heart, I know that I can and should trust God completely. After all, He created the universe, so He should be able to handle the affairs of my life, shouldn’t He?

Then why do I allow my lack of faith to bubble to the surface and keep me from experiencing all the peace of God that He wants for His children?

If you also struggle with a lack of faith, then I’ll tell you the same thing I tell myself: God is good all the time—all the time, God is good.

Try this. The next time you’re faced with a challenging situation and you’re tempted to question God and His motives, take a moment to reflect on a previous trial in your life. It may have been last week, or it could even be from decades ago in your childhood. 

Just make sure it’s a situation where you can clearly see God’s hand at work. Perhaps he worked out the situation supernaturally in a way you can’t explain. Or maybe it was something simple—just an affirmative answer to a prayer sent up to Heaven.

The point is to recognize God’s work in the situation. Think about and really appreciate how His touch worked out in your favor. Perhaps even thank God again for His help during this time, no matter how long ago it was.

Now, here’s the key. If you can truly see and appreciate God’s handiwork during this trial in your life, you realize He can be trusted. 

He’s got your back, as the apostle Paul tells us in Romans 8:28:

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

It doesn’t matter what kind of challenge you’re facing. We’re assured that when it’s all said and done, God is working it out for your benefit

Even if you’ve just lost your job, or a loved one has died, or your car has broken down on the side of the highway—something good will come out of this situation.

God, in His infinite wisdom and goodness knows what He’s doing. And as mere human beings, there’s no way we can possibly begin to understand His actions. Even though the situation may look like a total mess to us, it is completely under His control. 

In fact, in Ecclesiastes 8:17 we’re told that we can’t ever hope to have full understanding of God’s actions:

I observed all the work of God and concluded that a person is unable to discover the work that is done under the sun.

Also, in Isaiah 64:4 we read:

Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.

These are just two of the verses that tell us we will never comprehend the mysteries of God. Therefore, trust is the key. 

If God came through for us before, He can and will again. We shouldn’t worry or fret over the situation because God already has it worked out.

God exists outside of our human concept of time. While we can only live in the present—having already experienced the past and waiting for the future to happen—God is not limited in this way. He is in the past, present, and future all at one time. 

He knows exactly what is going to happen to us. To Him, it’s already settled. And while we can’t exist in the same nonlinear space that God does, we can surely trust Him that everything in our lives will work out for the best. 

Once again, if we can look back on our lives and recognize God’s activity during our times of crisis, we can rest solidly on the fact that He will do the same again. 

The outcome may not look like we’re expecting it to or think it should, but we can be certain that it’s all for the best.

God is loyal and He loves His children. Waiting patiently on Him is an exercise in faith. Our faith will actually grow during challenging times as we rest in our belief that God will work every situation out for our benefit. 

After all, God is more concerned about building our character than He is about our physical comfort. Certainly, he would much rather shape our attitudes about material things than give in to our request for more money, a newer car, or a bigger house.

That’s not to say He doesn’t want us to have those things, but if it comes down to either more income or a stronger Christian character, He is going to act in a way that builds our character.

That may not be what we want to happen, at least in the here and now, but in the end, we’ll be better off because of God’s plan.

So, when it’s all said and done, simply trust God. Trust Him that He loves us and that He wants only the best for us. He’s our loving Heavenly father. And what father doesn’t want the best for His kids? 

A toddler doesn’t understand his parents’ motives for telling him to stay away from a busy roadway, but avoiding the dangers of passing traffic is obviously for his benefit. 

The same holds true for us. Even though we don’t understand why things happen as they do in our lives, God does, and He’s firmly in control.

In that, we can be absolutely certain. Just as that toddler doesn’t have to worry about food and shelter, we don’t have to worry about our basic needs. God has everything under control. 

Remembering that God is good and that He’s working on our behalf will help us rest in peace no matter what we’re faced with.

Trust God and Be Happy

As if we didn’t already have enough reasons to trust God with our lives, could it also turn out that trusting in God will bring us happiness?

Yes, that is exactly the case. Our heavenly Father wants us to rely completely on him, so much so that He makes it that if we do trust him completely, our lives will be better for it. 

Take a look at Proverbs 16:20b in the ESV (English Standard Version):

Blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.

The word that is translated “blessed” in this verse can also be translated as “happy.” Some translations, including the CSB (Christian Standard Bible) actually render the verse that way. 

God is telling us that we will be happier and more joyful if we’ll just trust in Him and His guidance. Whenever our eyes stray away from God and onto our own way of thinking, we’ll get into trouble. It’s far better to trust in the Lord for everything, plus doing so will bring more joy into our lives.

In Psalm 34:8, we’re told:

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Once again, the word translated as “blessed” can also mean “happy.” Go ahead and take refuge in the Lord. Make Him your mighty fortress when the challenges of life come your way, because they surely will. 

In fact, we should make it a priority to rejoice in our trials, as we’re commanded in James 1:2-3:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

Let’s get to the point where we welcome struggles and challenges every day because we know they’ll increase our faith in God.

I, for one, will admit that this area has been a huge problem for me. When something goes wrong, often my first inclination is to blame God, and even get mad at Him for it.

After all, I’m a “good Christian,” right? I shouldn’t have to deal with a broken-down car or plumbing problems at 2 a.m., should I?

God never promises that following Jesus would eliminate all our problems and frustrations. What He does promise is that if we’ll take refuge in Him when faced with challenges, that we can have joy and that our faith will grow.

Furthermore, we can thrive during rough times. Just read Jeremiah 17:7-8:

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream…and is not anxious in the year of drought.

Trusting in God wholeheartedly not only can bring us happiness and joy, it is also a potent antidote for anxiety. And in these trying times of global pandemic, chaos, and political upheaval, it doesn’t get much better than that. 

God wants and longs for what’s best for you. Take Him at His word—begin a new pattern of trusting Him with the entirety of your life, even the smallest of details. 

When you turn everything over to Him, He’ll shoulder the burden (1 Peter 5:7) and you can rest in the joy of the Lord.