I think the thing that I’ve found hardest throughout my personal walk of faith is having to actively incline my heart to trust God over what I feel and see. When Jeremiah said the heart is deceitful, he truly meant it! So many times in scripture we see people slipping up because they decided to take matters into their own hands as opposed to trusting God.
This walk of faith is a daily surrender. Regardless of what each new morning brings, we need to teach ourselves to lay it all at His feet and give Him the control He needs. It’s hard most of the time, super painful sometimes, but brings freedom EVERY time.
Psalm 119:36 [NIV]
Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.
A question I like to ask myself sometimes is: “am I being led by the Spirit?”. Stop and ask yourself that for a minute; Check your heart, are you letting the Holy Spirit lead you? If not, what is leading you? And how do you know?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Well, now we know we need to incline our hearts, and we know the fruits we will show if we’re letting the Holy Spirit lead, how do we do this?! Quite simply I would answer that the first way we can do this is worship. There’s a quote I read a while ago that really touched my heart:
Worship will get you through some of the hardest times of your life because it shifts your focus from the problem to the problem solver.
When we worship our Father we’re reminding ourselves of who He is and how awesome He truly is. We’re speaking biblical truths into our lives and setting scripture in our hearts. And (just a reminder) worship isn’t just singing: it’s a lifestyle. There’s nothing more fulfilling than serving and living as Jesus would, how He’s called us to live, and suddenly when we’re immersed in this inclination of our lives to focus around Him and not us we start to feel this freedom and peace. We are all going to walk through things we don’t want to walk through and we’ll all go through things we don’t understand, but regardless, He is still good and He is still God! Don’t get me wrong, disappointment, upset, and confusion are hard to handle. It’s not easy when expectations are let down and we’re faced with the reality that life really isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Life is full of hardships and heartbreak and challenges, but our hope can’t rest in what we see. Our hope needs to rest in the awaited glory of Christ. There’s a beautiful piece of scripture in 2 Corinthians 4 (4:8-11…16-18) that reads:
8 We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.… 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” We need to be shifting our focus to truths like this, so the second way we incline our hearts is by getting into the Word. The bible tells us all about who God is and what He says about us, there’s nothing better that we can be filling our minds with!
And finally, community. We are a people that are called to be in community as the body of Christ, so get yourself around some friends that love and fear the Lord, and don’t be afraid to reach out! When we’re around people that have the same passion for Christ that we do we feel so much more encouraged and supported than if we were alone. Iron sharpens iron after all (Proverbs 27:17)!
So, to summarise:
1. Yes, we will face disappointment and challenges
2. But yes, God is still good
3. Draw near to Him during these times through worship and reading His Word
4. And get around other people that love God!
5. You are not your feelings, you are a chosen child of God and He has the victory!
Love you guys, don’t hesitate to reach out if you need someone to talk to!