Tag Archives: Trusting God

Fear

Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.

Fears in the night are unfriendly visitors. They wake you, trouble you and will not let you rest. Fear of what might be, fear of what you think is happening…..fear for fears sake is as good as a cup of strong coffee to wake you up in the middle of the night, but it doesn’t taste nearly as good.

We are in a time when everything is being shaken to the very core. Jobs, culture, finances and all we have trusted in is being shaken. It’s as if the great earthquake has already begun to rumble and the very tremors we feel cause us to be afraid.

After only a couple hours of sleep tonight I awoke with thoughts of great fear bouncing around in my head. I know fear comes when we feel a sense that we cannot control the things that are happening around us, but truthfully we never could….we only thought we could. Now, realities become clear that we cannot control the world around us and so fear invades even our rest.

Being a pastor does not make me exempt from these fears. All humans struggle with them…the fears that could fill a page if I listed them are all resolved by what we do about them….and so I go to Psalms to read the directions for the indigestion of fear.

Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.

What I hate to admit, but is true, is that when fears invade my mind I’m not trusting God. And so, I must come back to what I know….God loves me, he’s fully in charge of all that goes on in my life, he’s working for my good, my world is not spinning out of control, but is fully in the hands of my Father. When I am afraid, I will put my trust in YOU, dear Father. There is no other place to run, no other place to hide, no safer place to be.

So when you awake with fears racing through your mind affecting even your heart rate, go to this short Psalm and realign your trust….come back to the one who will calm your fears and care for you. Whatever is causing your fears can easily be taken care of by our wonderful, loving Father. Trust in him……now…..back to sleep….

 

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A Wealthy Pauper

It strikes me that a Christian who knows God is the richest of people while in the world’s eyes he may be without what the world values. We are the people who have everything, but possess nothing. We walk with a God who owns everything that exists and supplies us with daily needs. The world hordes goods, money, and things in the hope of having “enough” for the days ahead. Proverbs tells us to not set our hearts on riches because they make themselves wings and fly away.

And yet we long for security. We want to know we have enough in the bank to be ready for that rainy day when we will need it. We have the strange idea that we are in this by ourselves. In fact, for the man in the world I understand this need for security, but for the Christian who lives and moves in and with God it’s an idol to hold onto and seek after wealth as a security. God meets daily needs so that our trust and focus will be on him and not on our own ability to meet our needs.

There are difficult days. There are times when the economies of the world struggle. In those times those around us fear, panic and struggle….how will we survive? What will happen with our retirement? How will we have enough? We have this sense that all of this is up to us to hold onto, to provide, to save. If that is true we should be afraid! No one can be secure in the evil days. If we don’t trust in God for our daily needs, our daily provision, we will be fearful, worried and will struggle with the world around us.

But, imagine a man or woman who lives in the reality of a sovereign God who has promised to meet our needs and is fully able to do so. Imagine having nothing, but possessing everything. Imagine trusting God as your provision rather than your own ability. Imagine a rest, a trust in one who will provide no matter what the world around us is doing. Paul described it this way, “My God will provide all your needs according to his riches in glory.” What are his riches in glory? He owns everything, he possess all. If he lacks anything then he can’t be God, but he is! He has everything we need, everything. As you put your rest and trust in him you lack NOTHING.

In that trust we find ourselves to be wealthy paupers, possessing nothing, but having everything. We might walk about with empty pockets, but living as children of the Father who possesses the cattle on a thousand hills. He owns everything and promises to provide for us as we trust him. This is a whole different kind of life….a life of trust, of peace, of freedom from the news, the world’s fears, the crisis of the moment. It’s a life lived in dependence on a Father who has promised to provide all we need each day, our daily manna, the bread for the moment. We find we are the richest of men while in the moment we possess nothing at all.

The man or woman who trusts God finds they are the ultimate paradox- a wealthy pauper.

Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply all your needs according to HIS riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

True security is not in the possession of things, but in the possession of someone…the great God, the wonderful Father, the source of all we need for the moment even as we walk about with empty pockets, a company of wealthy paupers.

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Trusting God

Ezra 8:21 Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we mighthumble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a safe journey for us, our little ones, and all our possessions. 22For I was ashamed to request from the king troops and horsemen to protect us from the enemy on the way, because we had said to the king, “The hand of our God is favorably disposed to all those who seek Him, but His power and His anger are against all those who forsake Him.” 23 So we fasted and sought our God concerning this matter, and He listened to our entreaty.

Ezra was an amazing man. He was a priest descended from Aaron and he had a passion for God, his word and sharing it with others. I know I would have liked this guy, but he got himself in a situation where he had to live out what he had told the king. He had to trust God because he had told the king that God would watch over him. Now, facing the trip back to Jerusalem, he is keenly aware of both his statement to the king and the dangers that lay ahead. This trip would travel the major trade routes of the day. Along these routes were pirates and thieves waiting to steal from anyone who didn’t have armed forces to protect them. It was a dangerous thing to travel in that day. Everyone knew that. But Ezra had told the king that God would watch over those who seek him so he had a decision- go back on his words about God or trust him.
Ezra decided that what he knew about God was too important to trust man, so they fasted, they prayed and off they went into the lion’s den this journey would be. No army to protect them, no swords to defend them, just a faith in God. Because of their faith they arrived safely in Jerusalem with their treasures of gold and silver untouched by thieves.
I wonder what the bandits and thieves saw as this troop of Jewish travelers passed them on the road. Did they see an army? Did God hide them from the view of those waiting to pounce on them? I don’t know, but what is known is that Ezra spoke of his trust in God and had to live that trust out in a very dangerous place. I love what Ezra did, he verbalized what he believed and that testimony was his benchmark for how he then had to live out the journey ahead. He was too embarrassed to go to the king and ask for troops to protect them because he said God would protect them.
What do I verbalize about God that then convicts me to live it out? Does my faith in him give words to my beliefs? Do I trust him enough to tell others what I believe and live it out? What a great example of a testimony lived out, to a faith walked through. This simple story challenges me to verbalize what I believe about God. Do I really trust God enough to talk about what I believe and then live it out even when its dangerous? I wonder.
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