Doesn’t it seem logical to think that if you are a faithful follower of Jesus your life will go smoothly, except for a few bumps along the way? Besides, isn’t a trouble free life directly related to the decisions you make along the way?
The above paragraph sure sounds good, but life is not always logical. The problem is “life happens” along the way. Yes, it is true our decisions or lack of decisions do affect the quality of our life, but our best laid plans can be short circuited by those unexpected and unforeseen events that surprise us.
So the issue is not will we have circumstances that get us out of our comfort zone, but rather the issue is how do we respond in the midst of the circumstances? The greatest element in the midst of a major problem is the development of our perspective rather than the solution of our problem. The solution is certainly an important aspect but our reaction is the key component to any crisis.
You can observe this principle at work throughout Scripture. When the disciples were afraid in the midst of the storm at sea, they wondered why Jesus was asleep down below. Jesus wanted them to have faith that He would take care of them in the storm. To the disciples the storm was the issue; to Jesus, faith was the issue.
When Jesus was teaching the 5000 that had gathered in the countryside the disciples said, “Let’s send them home so they can get something to eat.” Then Jesus said, “you feed them.” The disciples immediately responded, “You want us to spend 200 denarii on bread?” Again, the disciples missed the point. He wanted them to immediately trust God in the midst of any kind of crisis. It never dawned on them that Jesus could provide a miraculous solution.
Just like the storm on the sea, this event was to test the disciple’s resolve to trust and depend upon God in every situation. The same is true with us. I am convinced that every problem and crisis is a test. Will we worry and be full of doubt and fear, or will we trust Him to do what we can’t do on our own?
Instead of being full of worry and fear, God desires our immediate response to be, “Father, show me your will in this situation.” God is active and involved in every aspect of your life, whether you sense it or not. You can either resort to worry or you can chose to believe that God is up to something in your life that will result in a new level of faith.
I like the way Henry Blackaby says it in his “Experiencing God” series; “Go to God and ask Him to help you see His perspective on your situation…When you face confusing circumstances, don’t start blaming God. Don’t just give up following Him. Go to God. Ask Him to reveal the truth of your circumstances. Ask Him to show you His perspective. Then wait on the Lord.”*
Facing difficulties is really all about the process of teaching you to trust God. It’s about Jesus actively becoming Lord of your life. That means He becomes the Focus, the Initiator and Director of your life. You will never know the truth of our circumstances until you have heard from God.*
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
*(Henry Blackaby, Experiencing God, Lifeway Press,1990)