Let me ask you a couple of questions. First, what are you looking forward to, or hoping in? Secondly, what are you currently celebrating in your life?
Perhaps, I should phrase these questions another way. What are you praying for? How have you seen God answer your prayers?
Far too often we tend to worry about things and issues we can’t control, even if we wanted to. We find ourselves wanting to pray about specific things and to surrender those dreams or needs to the Lord, but a lack of trust, or control issues, or perhaps even fear itself, plagues our hearts — influencing our trust in God and limiting our surrender to his lordship in our lives.
Instead of looking forward in faith with great hope in God, we’re paralyzed. We prayed, but our prayers weren’t really prayers in faith, but more in fear or in an attempt to control the circumstances.
We easily forget how the Lord has faithfully provided and often fail to trust in where he’s currently leading. It’s as if we’re standing before the Lord, and we try to hand him the issue that’s causing fear to control us. We lift it up to hand it to him, he takes it in his hand, but we never let it go. How crazy is this image? And yet, how accurate it is of us?
No matter how God tries to help us, or take something from us, far too often, we won’t let him. We won’t let him take it away. We won’t let him be Lord of all.
Friends, if you can relate to this then let me share what the Lord has taught me about this aspect of my life. Faithfully, and yet gently, he has shown me a core issue of mistrust within my heart. After all, why would I feel so compelled to hold ever so tightly onto fear and control, rather than in faith and trust in God fully?
Trusting in self and our own judgment over the infallible nature of our Heavenly Father is dangerous territory and we must first recognize this, repent of it and then humbly take steps away from this behavior, allowing the grace and mercy of God to restore this broken pattern within our lives, within our prayer lives.
We’re reminded in scripture, in 1 Peter 1:5-7, we “are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
We must want to learn what it really is to choose to fully trust in God with all who we are.
How assuring, how peace-giving and life-affirming it will be for us when we lift our prayers, our fears, our greatest desires — lifting them, being fully confident they were heard, known and taken care of by our heavenly father who cares more deeply for us than we may ever fully know. God hears our prayers, and when we give them over and lift these issues to him, we can trust in God to take care of them. Every single one.
Not the way you would take care of them. Not because you’re afraid or failed to remember how he has worked and moved in the past. But rather, because he’s God. He’s holy. He’s righteous. His ways, perfect and his timing, sovereign. He’s faithful.
Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” When you call out to your heavenly father, trust he’ll answer you. He longs to fill you with the knowledge and desire for his will. He longs to speak with you. Trust in him. Pray in faith and trust in God alone.
Nick Emery is pastor of Hope Crossing Community Church and executive director of Life Choices Community Pregnancy Clinic. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.