The first time I asked God for help as a new believer I was stunned by His response: “Kathie, will you trust Me in this?” Huh? Back then I did not know HOW to respond to God’s “answer” that came in the form of a question. Thinking that He misunderstand my question, I very carefully re-framed it. Funny thing though, His original response seemed to hang in the air everywhere I looked: “Kathie, will you trust me in this?” It took a while but over time I finally “got it.” I eventually understood that, whether or not we fully understand what God says, does or allows, is not nearly as important as our willingness to trust in Him alone. That is essentially the gist of what the apostle Paul meant when he wrote about the challenges of living on this earth in II Corinthians 5:
“For we live by faith, not by sight.” (Verse 7)
Building a faith relationship with God often requires courage. Cambridge Dictionaries Online defines courage as, “the ability to control fear and to be willing to deal with something that is dangerous, difficult, or unpleasant.” The best way to “control fear” is to interject our faith in God by giving thanks to Him for His love and mercy. It is as we “live by faith, not by sight” that courage helps us face danger, difficulty and the unpleasant stresses that are part of life.
In an earlier entry I wrote about how a living faith requires courage to love and forgive. (Click here to check it out.) Along with loving and forgiving, a living faith may also call for courage to trust and to stand as God gives us strength. I find it ironic (and somewhat amusing) that God called me to be a counselor even though I am fearful, hate confrontation and am a people-pleaser! Were I to work with clients in my own strength, my counsel would be of little significance because much of it would be based on fear or strongly influenced by the opinions of others. What gives real meaning to the counseling process (and life in general) is the interjection of faith (commitment/courage to trust God) as His Holy Spirit and the Scriptures speak to the heart and mind. Ultimately, the blessing for the majority of my clients is that as they rely on the Scriptures for guidance, they also discover their place to stand.
Are you facing a challenge that is overwhelming you? Me to. At times like these I am tempted to let my fears take over. (Deep down, I want to be any place other than where I am.) But that “answer” that came in the form of a question so long ago (“Kathie, will you trust me in this?“) continues to provide the courage needed to trust in Him. The blessing is that when I let go of those old fears, He provides the courage I would otherwise lack to stand, to wait and to marvel as His amazing Plan is worked out. I promise you, no matter what you may be facing, HE is so very worthy of your trust!
All to His Glory!
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1.9 ESV
There is no improving on the perfect Word . . . Amen!