Four Steps to Success
Years ago, I heard a godly man offer some advice about how we can enjoy more of the peace and joy that the Lord wants us to have, even in the midst of trouble and uncertainty. He said that if we will make the following statements our personal declarations, and if we will practice the principles behind them, we will gain the victory in every trial we encounter. The statements are as follows: "I'm not going to worry about that. I'm not going to try to figure that out. I'm not going to try to make something happen. I'm going to trust God!" If we look at each statement in the light of Scripture, we can see that they are all based on sound biblical principles.
"I'm not going to worry about that." If you've spent any time reading or listening to Scripture, you've undoubtedly become acquainted with the apostle Paul's famous words in Philippians 4: "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT) Anxiety and worry are rooted in fear, and fear will hinder our faith and trust in God. It will also cause us to lose our sense of direction, and make it harder to hear God's "still, small voice." (1 Kings 19:12) If you're worrying about something, perhaps you need to pray about it more. Keeping it before God in prayer will help you focus more on Him and His abilities, and less on yourself and your inabilities.
"I'm not going to try to figure that out." One of the hardest things I've had to learn as a follower of Christ is that I must no longer try to solve my own problems my own way. Instead, I must turn to my divine Problem Solver, and depend on Him to show me the way. He tells us: "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. " (Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV) Our thinking is severely limited, while God's is not. Even when we can't find a single solution to our problem, God has more than a million ways to solve it. But He may not reveal the answer until we stop wrestling with the matter, and leave it in His hands.
"I'm not going to try to make something happen." When we're in a trial and it seems like God isn't moving fast enough to suit us, it can be tempting to try to "kick down doors." But we'd be wise to remember that getting ahead of God and trying to make our own way can not only delay our blessings, but keep us from receiving God's best. The fact is that we are more likely to make mistakes when we fail to wait on God, than when we fail to move on His cue. I like to say, "If in doubt, wait." Isaiah had the right idea when he wrote: "The Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for Him to help them." (Isaiah 30:18 NLT)
"I'm going to trust God!" Heeding this single foundational biblical principle will help us to avoid all of the obstacles that the previous three statements are designed to overcome. If we're trusting God, we're much less likely to worry, to try to figure things out for ourselves, or to try to make something happen on our own. Scripture says: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT) If we will turn to God and seek His perfect will for us in every situation--laying aside our own preconceived notions and solutions--we can depend on Him to lead us in the paths of His very best blessings. Best of all, we can have peace and joy while we wait for the Lord's answer, resting in the knowledge that our concerns are in the hands of a mighty and loving God!
Prayer: Lord, in times of turmoil and uncertainty, help me to put my wholehearted trust in You and Your goodness. Guard me from worry and anxiety, and from trying to figure things out on my own. Teach me how to wait on You and Your perfect timing in everything. Thank You that as I trust and seek You every step of the way, my success is guaranteed!
- J. M. Farro