Trust is a big issue for many people, or perhaps most people of the modern world, where betrayal and false information runs rampant. As so many people react with shock, fear and anger at the results of our Presidential election and decisions, I noticed right away I am remaining calm. That is unusual for me. As I reflected on why I was at peace, I realized it is because I trust in God and not in any one person or group being elected into ‘power’. I voted of course, as is the responsibility and duty of every citizen, but I was not so tied to the results, unlike any Presidential election in my past.
“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in (any) man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.” (Or Presidents) Psalm 118:8-9 AMP
There is a reality to the impacts of governmental decisions. Being realistic I realize there are a lot of serious issues at stake when political power shifts depending on who has the most power and what their stand is on those issues that are especially important to me and my way of life or safety in this world. With reflection and listening to news reports and press releases I can react with many different emotions including anxiety, panic, or even anger if I project that what I hear will impact my life negatively. This is especially possible if it means survival financially or even physiologically by limiting health care or environmental safety or a safe and plentiful food and water supply. Some of the issues being addressed for change are very important and essential for continued quality of life. Many other countries already suffer from negative impacts on their quality of life and even survival, so we have plenty of examples of how worse things can become. Many in my country already are struggling to get their needs met for food, shelter, health and financial stability. Just a few years ago I struggled in some of those areas and still experience some struggles with my health.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation— Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the refuge and fortress of my life— Whom shall I dread?” Psalm 27:1 AMP
It used to be impossible for me to trust anyone or anything. I did not even trust myself. I certainly did not trust God, even though I thought I had faith. Because of the impacts on my body, mind and heart from frequent severe traumas in my childhood, I never thought I would be able to have peace from ongoing anxiety or even severe panic and terror given certain situations or just the events of daily life. I tried several spiritual practices and psychological methods over many years with many different teachers, counselors and experts, but my anxiety never disappeared and even could paralyze me in difficult or threatening situations. I was raised a Christian and considered more inclined spiritually than most because of a near death experience at a young age, but my active faith was minimal and my peace non-existent. But since I discovered a few years ago the truth Christ offers and having afterwards received the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” empowering my relationship with God, my ability to trust and be at peace grows every day. I am amazed (and so are other observers) at the levels of peace and trust I experience today compared to just a few years ago, despite incredibly difficult circumstances and life threatening events.
“You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast, that is, committed and focused, on You—Because they trust and take refuge in You with hope and confident expectation.” Isaiah 26:3 AMP
What is different for me today? Why am I not afraid? Over many years of learning to let go and trust God in the many difficult situations and circumstances of my life, I have discovered God is truly there for us. I was only really able to let go with the power of the Holy Spirit. I had tried for several years practicing letting go, but fear and my level of trust had not really changed when things got difficult. God really does care about us and our needs, no matter who we are or how well we live our lives. God always has a good plan for us: (God said) “For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, (plans) to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 AMP Having heard and studied that verse for many years, I thought I believed that in the past but when difficulties arose so did anxiety and panic if I did not see some help or solutions come quickly.
Would you like to find someone you can always trust in any situation, no matter your own goodness or abilities? Unconsciously I believed I had to be ‘good’ for God to help me. I tried letting go and letting God over many years of working with 12 step programs and workshops. I grew in wisdom and in my relationship with God but when things got really difficult I caved into fear and doubt. I believed in Christ but did not really understand what Christ offers to everyone and what Christ offers does not depend on worthiness or performance. I did not really understand the depth and extent of God’s love, mercy and grace or the true meaning of surrender and letting go. I had grown in my ability to surrender but did not realize what I was holding back, my trust. Over the years of practicing with the help of the Holy Spirit to put my trust in God and God’s promises when things get difficult, unmanageable or downright painful or intolerable, I find comfort, peace, and ultimately solutions come that I could not have found or devised on my own in ways that sometimes seem unbelievable or impossible, but real.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, set aside self-righteous pride (in believing you can handle it yourself), so that God may exalt you to a place of honor at the appropriate time, casting all your cares, all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all on God, for God cares about you with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully. ” 1 Peter 5:6-7 AMP
“Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart And do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize God, And God will make your paths straight and smooth, removing obstacles that block your way.” Proverbs 3:5-6 AMP
Who do you trust the most? Perhaps it is yourself. Try putting your trust first in God, turning you life and every situation over to the God of your understanding for God’s care and purposes (Step 3 of the 12 step program), as if hiring a special expert to solve your individual problems. The cost is giving up expectations of how or when it might be done, but I have found God’s ways are always better than the ones I expect and the results have much more blessings attached to them. This is exercising your faith ‘muscles’. Eventually faith grows and gets stronger. But I found I need a ‘personal faith trainer”, the Holy Spirit, to ‘spot’ me when I lift the weights of trusting God when things seem difficult or threatening to my well being.
If you do not believe in God or have doubts in God’s existence, ability or willingness to help you, this can be an opportunity to test if God responds to your seeking to find out the truth about God. Step 1 is acknowledging our limitations and failures, evidence of not being god ourselves. Step 2 is coming to believe there might be something or someone greater than ourselves that can help us. That someone or something becomes the god of our understanding. This might be a ‘ruler’, expert, group or government or whatever you are placing your trust in. I encourage you to seek a more powerful, always benevolent, providential God for your choice to trust. That God can be found in the pages of the Bible or as Jesus Christ presented to us as an image of the Father, God: loving, caring, healing, compassionate, forgiving and gentle. King David said “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and abounding in loving kindness.” Psalm 145:8 AMP
Practice turning your days over to God daily as you first awake, asking for God’s loving care and guidance. As you go through your day, check to see who you are trusting and who is in charge. Are you putting pressure on yourself, anything or anyone else to make things better or give you the right answers? Are you frustrated, anxious, hopeless or impatient? These emotions and feelings are normal but they can be turned over to peace, joy, hope and fulfillment in trusting God who will never disappoint. Talk to God about your feelings and ask again for guidance. God knows our emotions and the reasons more than we understand ourselves. I am not saying not to take action or search for answers, but first ask God to direct your ‘path’ and as you listen and follow, you will come to recognize the “voice” that is leading you, the “still, small voice” Elijah heard in the cave when he was hiding, scared for his life, having been threatened with death by the ruler of the land. Do not trust in the power of rulers but in the power, provision and love of God!
The scripture verses quoted in my blog were written by authors who had experiences to back up their truth. Millions have experienced the truth found in these verses by living and acting accordingly and seeing the powerful results. I can attest to the truth I write by my own multitude of life changing experiences.
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