Dec 29 2010

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Trusting God’s Timing Instead of Fearing

worried man

Everyone goes through tough times during certain periods of their lives.   As Christians, we know in our heads that God is working in and through those times. But often our emotions take over.  Fear and worry may set in.

As we pray and trust God in the midst of difficult situations, we must wait for His timing. When we don’t see answers to our prayers happening quickly, or not in the way we expect, we may wonder why God isn’t coming through for us. We might fear that things will only get worse. Some people even get to the point of feeling that they’ve been deserted by God.

Fear is the enemy of faith and trust in God. We know we should not fear, but sometimes it’s easy to let fear and worry take over. Fear is a natural human emotion. But God wants us to live a supernatural, rather than a natural life. We need the perspective of trusting God, who works outside the realm of earthly time. He has an eternal perspective.

Rom. 8:28 says that all things work together for good to those who love God.

God is working together things for good from the perspective of bringing about His perfect plan in our lives, so that eternity is impacted.  But we usually look at this verse from a personal, rather than from an eternal viewpoint.  Imagine yourself in a very difficult situation, such as losing your job, your home, a family member, or your investments. As you trust God to work good out of your bad situation, you are watching to see how He will bless you as you go through this situation. That’s OK, but His timing and purposes may be much greater than that.

God may be looking at how many lives will be changed for eternity by the witness you have as you go through this.   People may be watching you and marveling at the peace and joy you express. That could lead to an opportunity to share Christ with them.

Or what if your loss causes you to move, to visit a hospital often, or to find a new job. There may be someone you will lead to Christ at this new location – someone you would have never met if you had not gone through your loss.   In God’s eyes, one person coming to salvation would make it worthwhile for us to go through the difficult situations that we have experienced.

However, if you were to give into fear or bitterness over the losses that you face, your opportunity to positively effect those lives for eternity might be lost.  If you fall into a complaining spirit or let fear control you, people will not see the fruit of the Holy Spirit in you.   If they see fear and negativity, they won’t be attracted to Jesus, who lives in you.

Also, if you give in to letting fear take over, you may not be able to find God’s will in the situation. You might rush into an answer of your own making, and it could be the wrong decision. We need to take time to inquire of the Lord and to wait for His answer. By trusting Him and letting Him lead us, we will see the Romans 8:28 effect in our lives.

Personally, I have seen this many times.  I remember the emotional pain I suffered when a close friend turned away.  The result was that the time I would have spent enjoying her company was poured into building relationships with teens in the youth ministry I was leading.  Those relationships were crucial to their coming to know Christ.

Also I remember my questions and dismay when I lost a job in full time Christian camp ministry.  Although I had to work many long hours, I loved the opportunity to minister to children and youth there.  But God knew that I needed to move to where my aging parents were.  He provided a job and housing that were close to them.  I was able to spend the last few months of my dad’s life with him, and was with him when he passed away.  And I continue to be able to help my mother through her many ailments and loneliness.  If I had not lost the job, I would have missed these precious opportunities.  And now within the context of my current job, I have formed relationships in which I am able to share Jesus frequently.

God’s plan is much bigger than my own plans!  So when fear and worry try to set in, I turn to praising Him, knowing that He is working everything together for the very best.

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  1. pat

    Great Encouragement!! Truly a blessing to me !

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