Monday, November 19, 2012

FAVORITE VERSES SERIES: Trusting Our Faith Not Our Feelings

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding; 
 in all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make your paths straight.[a]

(Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV1984)

Everything around you tells you there is no hope.  The bills are insurmountable.  The treatment isn't working.  Your child is regressing rather than improving.  Friends and family continue criticizing your parenting skills.  All indications are, things will never get better.  But God...

Are there two more reassuring words in the world?  "But God..."  Our God is the God of the impossible situation!  Our God saved Noah from the flood, rescued Joseph from slavery and imprisonment, delivered the Israelites from Egyptian oppression into the promised land, busted down the walls of Jericho, raised a dead Lazarus, cured the blind and lame, and demolished the power of the grave through His Resurrection on the third day.  Wow! 

Knowing who our God is and what He is capable of is what gives life to this weeks memory verse.  You have learned and experienced what the Lord is capable of, so trust Him.  Don't just vacillate thinking you'll perhaps try Yahweh as an alternative or resign yourself to having no other recourse.  No, trust Him completely, because you know who He is.  

Don't rely on your own comprehension, perception or assessment of a situation.  I will never pretend to understand everything God is up to, and neither should you.  In fact, He tells us in Isaiah 55:8, "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the Lord." (NIV1984) Our minds can play tricks on us.  Our own discernment can be a little off at times.  Trust in His divine wisdom, and you can't go wrong.

We are reminded in the Amplified Bible translation of this verse, "In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him..."  What this might look like in our daily lives is for us to continue to hold tight to the knowledge of who God is no matter what the circumstances.  The suffering Bible character, Job, demonstrates this sort of behavior when he proclaims, "Though He slay me, I will hope in Him..." (Job 13:15, NASB)  It is the full reliance on the character of our Creator rather than the temporal stress of our circumstances.

When we acknowledge the Lord in all our ways, He promises to "make your paths straight."  It doesn't say that He will lift you off of your path or remove every stone from your path.  This is no guarantee that future troubles will be averted.  No, instead God offers you something much better.  He offers to guide you, go with you and get you down every path. 

It is in this full, trusting reliance on Him that we are most able and ready to witness God's glory.  As one who has experienced it before, I can assure you that it will take your breath away.  When you are fully enveloped in Him, at the center of His will and abandoning your own expectations or perception of what a situation is or should be, then the Lord can take you places you could never have ventured on your own.  For example, you can feel joy, experience awe, and even be overwhelmed with gratitude amidst the most difficult parts of parenting a child with special needs.  That is pretty remarkable!  Bless yourself by trusting Him today!

PRAY:  Today, LORD, I commit myself to abandoning my ridiculous self-reliance in exchange for your awesome wisdom and guidance.  I know that I can rely on You.  Remind me of this when I feel doubt nagging at me. 

Footnotes:  a.  Proverbs 3:6 Or will direct your paths

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