Tag Archive: God’s character

Okay, so I am noticing that God has to teach and then re-teach me the same lessons over and over and over.  I suppose I am not the only one.  But goodness, you would think I would just get it already!  For me, the core lesson (or the primary core lesson) seems to be about trusting God and believing He is good.  These are things I “know” in my head to be true.  I believe the Bible.  And the Bible says God is trustworthy and good.  But my heart is often slow—very slow—to catch on.

Well I have gotten a super mega dose of truth this past week as I have treaded the waters of Beth Moore’s study on the Psalms of Ascent.  It is by far my favorite study of hers thus far.  And this past week’s five days of lessons definitely challenging and convicting for me.

Let me back up a bit…to the end of December.  I was listening to one of our Cru conference speakers share about God’s goodness and was challenged by the notion that many of us (maybe even most if not all believers) would say that God is good.  But we all too often stop there.  We believe God is good…to our friends, our family, our church body.  But we do not believe that God is good to US individually.  She helped me to realize that I struggle to trust God because I doubt His goodness TO ME.  My head knows that God is good—the Bible tells me this.  But I so do not believe that GOD IS GOOD TO ME.

God used this week’s Bible study lessons to bring that to the forefront of my thoughts again.  I get so consumed by the worries and details of this world that I easily forget that God holds all things in His enormously powerful hand.  I lose sight of God’s character and forget that He is for me and not against me.  That, as Beth says, “God is with us and for us even when His face and His favor seem hidden.”

 I was terribly challenged by her claim that “…God’s favor and His person are not synonymous.  If our trust is in manifestation of God’s favor rather than God Himself, we will crumble like dry clay when He calls us to walk a distance of our journeys entirely by faith and not by sight….  The difference between trusting God and trusting what God has done is a fine line we easily can trip over….”

Ain’t  that the truth?!

I would like to think I walk more by faith than by sight.  But I know I don’t.  When things are not visibly going a direction I like or the way I want, I rarely choose to trust God more than what I see is—or isn’t—happening.   When His favor seems hidden or is not on me, I immediately question His intentions toward me.   So often I place my security in the blessings that come from God rather than in God Himself.

Lord, teach me to trust in the One who blesses rather than the blessing itself.

I, sadly, am a worrier by nature. Sinful nature, that is. I do believe that worry is a sin. It exhibits a lack of trust in the God who made us and loves us. It demonstrates disbelief in the ability and character of the Keeper of all things. It says to God that not only do I not trust that He can take care of everything I need; it tells him that I don’t believe He will. And, of course, it shows God (and others) that I do not take Him at His word. There are more verses than I will quote that tell us not to worry—to cast our cares on Him (1 Ptr 5:7); to not be anxious about anything (Phil. 4:6); that good and perfect gifts come from above (James 1:17). The Bible is full of the ways that God can and does care for us.

So why is it still so easy to fall into the trap of worrying? It’s not even like it is a “fun” sin. (I know…some of you are totally shocked I just indicated that some sin is fun. But isn’t it? Or at least don’t we believe it to be? Isn’t that at least some of the reason we sometimes choose to sin? Maybe that’s just me and I have revealed a bit too much of myself. But I digress…)

Worrying is stressful and exhausting; it makes me feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. It causes me to become haphazard and self-absorbed and blind to all the blessings in my life. And it accomplishes NOTHING positive—nothing at all. It is a waste of time and energy and resources. And it is a major distraction. I don’t even want to know how much time I have wasted, or how many relationships I have wounded worrying about circumstances, or situations, or people, or the future. I am confident it is a shameful amount.

You know, I think that worrying is also a sin because it gives me a false idea that I can be god. Not so much in the literal sense—but doesn’t worrying somehow indicate that I think I can control things? At least for me, so much of my worrying is about control. I want it. I believe I need it. And that is true because I don’t believe rightly about the One who has it. It is absurd, really, that I should think I could do better than God at caring for myself, my family, and my friends. It is absurd that I should believe He wants less for me than the best–HIS best.

Yet, here I am again, waiting at the feet of worry rather than resting in the arms of Jesus. Even just last night, I voiced my (unfounded) concern about our present and our future in light of our past. I struggle to trust that we are right where we need to be; right where God desires us to be; and even right where we truly want to be. I am haunted by my perception of the affect of past situations and circumstances rather than clinging to the God who is true, and unchanging, and who cares more for me than I could ever understand or even fully know. I am stuck in the trap of wanting to direct my steps rather than just make my plans. And I vacillate between boldly stepping out in faith and being paralyzed by fear.

And it boils down to trust. Do I trust Him? Will I trust Him? Will I trust that even if or when the canvas looks bleak to me, that the Master Artist is in the midst of a Great Work? Will I choose to believe that God is good? All the time? And that He is good to me? Even if and when it doesn’t feel like it or seem like it? Will I trust that His definition of good is truly good even when my perception is skewed?

I sure hope so.

God, help me to believe that you are good and trustworthy and true. Transform my mind so that my vision is no longer skewed–so that I can see you for who you truly are, and trust you accordingly.