I find myself asking this question quite frequently. I may not say it out loud because… well… that goes against who I should be as a Christian. The very fact that I call myself a Christian means that I’ve trusted Jesus as my Savior.
But when it comes to life… when it comes down to the nitty gritty… my tendency to control, to freak out, to over-plan, to make schedule after schedule, screams… can God really be trusted?
[Insert your name here] can be trusted so much more, right?
Macey, do you believe that what I say is true? Tell me a time that I’ve let you down.
Macey, do you believe that I have your best interest at heart? Tell me when something I’ve provided has not been the absolute best for you.
Interrupting my conversation with my Savior came these thoughts: If I believed God’s promises, truly believed them, I would walk in faith. If I truly believed that God’s plans were the best plans for my life I wouldn’t struggle when I want my own way, when I think I know better. If I was a good Christian, I would have it all together and trust God explicitly…. right?
These thoughts, and more like them, came rushing into my mind. I almost couldn’t process one before another, equally as depressing and disheartening, would take its place. Then, God led me to the following passage, Romans 7:14-25:
14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power[b] within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
Like verse 19 says, I want to do what is good (but I don’t always do the right thing). I don’t want to do what is wrong (but sometimes I do the wrong thing anyways). These verses in Scripture, at first glance, seem to be pretty depressing and disheartening. It basically says that we’re going to struggle… always struggle until one day we pass away from this earth into the glorious heaven that is waiting on us. And that’s the truth.
Every day will be a struggle. No doubt about that. No arguments here.
But it goes on to say one thing… JESUS CHRIST IS THE ANSWER.
In the midst of my struggle, Jesus is the answer. In the midst of my sin, Jesus is the answer. He will always be the answer.
- When you find yourself struggling, ask yourself two things, answer yourself, and then act.
First question to ask yourself… Is what God says true?
Cheat sheet for the answer: YES!
“The sum of Your Word is truth, and every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.” Psalm 119:160
Second question to ask yourself…. Does God have my best interest at heart?
Cheat sheet for the answer: YES!
“He fills my life with good things…” Psalm 103:5
Just do a Google search on verses about God giving good things to His people. The results are endless!
The point is, in the midst of our struggle, we have to change the questions we’re asking ourselves.
At first, I was asking myself, “Do I believe that what God says is true?” In the midst of my struggle (and perhaps in the midst of yours), the answer might be no. BUT when we change the question to say, “Is what God says true?” The answer will always be yes.
Likewise, when I was asking myself, “Do I believe that God has my best interest at heart?” The devil was convincing me that God didn’t have my best interest in mind… that He was and is holding out on me in some way. BUT when I change the question to “Does God have my best interest at heart?” The answer is always yes.
How is that so? Because God’s Word is true, and His Word (and His provision in my life) demonstrates over and over again that He has my best interest in mind. The answer will always be yes when I rely on Him and cease to rely on myself.
Here’s where the action comes in. Read His promises in His Word. Every single verse screams His love story to His beloved sons and daughters. Every single verse shows the ultimate plan to bring about good things in our lives.
2. We forget the commands and promises of God and then we panic.
We see this forgetfulness and panic in so many instances in the Bible, but two are at the forefront of my mind after this study by Lysa.
The first is found in Genesis 3. Adam and Eve choose to disobey the command of God not to eat fruit from the certain tree. They forget the promise of God that they could eat from any other tree. They sinned, and then they panicked.
The second is found in Exodus 16. They’ve been in the wilderness, and they’ve forgotten the promises of God.
Cue the panic and complaints.
We want to go back to Egypt. We’re going to die in this wilderness.
Cue even more complaining.
We don’t want this bread anymore. We want meat (Numbers 11).
Manna was everything that the Israelites needed nutrition-wise as they traveled through the wilderness, and it was clearly God’s provision as it rained down from heaven. They couldn’t take credit for it at all. But even then, that wasn’t enough. They began to complain and wanted something different.
Again, I “down” the Israelites, and then God puts the mirror up.
I see myself in their words and actions. Going back to what I said in the beginning, in the midst of my struggle, I tend to doubt God. I tend to think that I know better. I decide that God’s provision is not sufficient.
Give me something else God.
3. I can choose to lift my eyes up to the One who will always provide and remain faithful, or I can choose to panic, complain, and rely on my fallible self.
The choice is up to me. The choice is up to you.
I’m so glad that God loves me too much to let me stay where I’m at on this Christian journey.
I’m so glad that He continues to lovingly prune my life… so that the bad parts (my flesh and sin) fade away and the good (His Spirit in me) shines through. I’m so glad that Jesus literally became the Bread of Life for us.
I won’t lie. I’m going to continue to panic. I’m going to continue to complain. I’m going to continue to rely on myself, inadequate as I am.
But my prayer is that the panic, the complaints, the self-reliance will become less and less as I study His Word and grow. And that’s my prayer for you too, as you’re reading this, wherever you are.
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains–where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2
Lord, forgive us for our lack of trust. Forgive us when we mistrust Your Word and when we forget Your promises. Forgive us when we think that You’re holding out good things, when we complain, and when we panic. Oh, Lord, help us to trust You. Help us to lift up our eyes to You, to rely on You instead of ourselves. Save us from those bad parts of ourselves. Cause them to fade away. In Your Name I pray, amen.