By Kathi Pelton
It is easy to say, “I trust God” until that moment when life’s circumstances are out of your control. It is in those inevitable times (that we all want to avoid) that our trust is challenged.
I remember many times in our younger years, when first doing missions work, where money had run out and we had four kids to feed, bills to pay and could not work to earn money in the country we were living in (our support came from donations only). We began our adventure with the posture and declaration, “Our trust is in the Lord!” But when we would reach those times when we were down to “nothing but trust”, I’d often find my “trust account” even lower than my bank account. I’d have knots in my stomach, lose sleep, lose joy, and begin trying to figure out what I could do to make something happen. My trust went only as far as my circumstances dictated.
God wasn’t trying to hurt me or leave me lacking— and I honestly cannot say that our “lack” was from the hand of God. Yet, he allowed it and often would use it to show me where my trust truly was. My trust, or at least my peace, was in the number of dollars in my bank account. This was not because I was looking to be rich— I merely wanted to know that I could pay our bills and feed our children— that is not unreasonable or extravagant. But, did I trust the Lord to come through where my means ended and his began. Did I believe that he wanted to provide for us even more than I wanted to be provided for? Yet, he knew that I had to learn to trust him and believe in his goodness.
I will say that he was my only hope but I needed to attach my hope to truly trusting him. My faith needed to connect hope and trust as an anchor for my fearful soul.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
It is easy to have confidence and conviction in what you can see but trusting in the unseen hand of God for something unseen requires the work of the Holy Spirit to in your life. I honestly am overwhelmed by the patience of his Spirit in my life because I was a slow learner!! The fear of shame and calamity was far greater than my trust in God. In those early days I was fairly certain that God was frustrated with me and always wanting to teach me “the hard way.” Yet, in his patience and love (not his frustration), he always came through— we never were homeless and our children never went without a meal. His faithfulness was proven to be true time and time again.
Often, following the Christmas holiday people find themselves in lack from from lost work as businesses close for the holidays and from the many demands that come during this time of the year. This can bring about a sense of shame, panic and guilt. It can rob people of their peace, comfort and joy. Their “trust account” may show a negative balance even more than their bank account.
This is when you need to ask the Holy Spirit to deposit peace, trust, comfort and joy into your soul. He loves to make deposits into your life. When our comfort and joy comes from what we have more than from our relationship with God then we will find that our spiritual lack will manifest during times of natural lack. In God’s kindness, he often will reveal these areas so that we can realign our hearts and lives— and invest in intimacy and dependency on him as the most important thing. He will also provide for your needs as you put your trust in him.
As I’ve matured and learned from the times in my youth, I’ve discovered that “soul crisis” are not much different then health crisis. A health crisis will often reveal an area that needs attention— likewise, a soul crisis will do the same. Once again this is where our amazing Holy Spirit comes in and helps us in our weaknesses. We can ask him, what in my soul needs attention? What is lacking and has become unhealthy? He will reveal the areas and as you yield to his hand, he will help you to regain strength in those areas.
This life is a journey of learning to have faith in an unseen God, to trust in his unseen hand, to wait patiently when you have unanswered prayers and to have hope when you do not understand. Not one of us escapes this journey or these life lessons. Yet, if we do not learn from these experiences and exercise our spirits to strengthen these areas, we will find our lives in ongoing cycles of chaos, fear, frustration and unhappiness.
No matter what you are facing today, check your “trust account.” If it is at a deficit then sit with Holy Spirit and let him deposit what you need. Know that you are loved and cared for and that God will provide (spiritually and naturally). There is beauty and joy that awaits you as you put your trust in the unseen hand of God. He who made the stars, the snow capped mountains, the trees, the animals, the colors of a sunrise— he is able to do abundantly more than you could ever imagine. His hand is seen in all of these things.
Trust in him— he is faithful!
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