That’s really what it comes down to, isn’t it? I think the reason so many Christians struggle with living boldly comes from the fact that we don’t really trust God. We talk the talk but we don’t walk the walk. We think that for some reason God isn’t trustworthy.
The number one reason we have trouble trusting God is that we want to trust God on our terms. Let me give you an example of what I mean.
My daughter Maggie loves the snow. This winter (the winter of 2006-7) has been very disappointing to her because it has been so snow-less here in Boston. At least several times a week for the last few months (as far back as October) she has asked me, “Daddy, is it going to snow today?” My answer has most often been, “No, honey, it is too warm for it to snow.” A few weeks ago she started to pray for it to snow. She prays like this, “God, could You please make it snow?” then she pauses for a few seconds with her eyes scrunched shut then opens them and exclaims, “He said, ‘Yes.’”
Well, she wakes up the next morning and looks out the window and is all disappointed that there is no snow. Last week she came up to my wife Mandi and asked, “Why doesn’t God answer my prayers?” I’m tempted to say with my fatherly sarcasm, “He did, dear. You asked Him if He could make it snow and He answered you right away. He said ‘Yes,’ remember? Next time be sure to ask Him if He would make it snow.” Or “He did Maggie, but you did not specify where you wanted it to snow so Denver is now buried under two feet of snow. Next time try and be more specific, OK?”
What concerns me about her question is that it tells me that she is starting to wonder what she can trust God with. If He won’t answer her prayer to make it snow, what else will He not answer?
That is building our trust on our terms. “If You do this for me I will start to trust you.” “If You heal me or heal my friend of this illness, I will start to trust you.” “If You remove this problem from me, I will start to trust You.” God wants us to trust Him on His terms. God’s answer to our desire to trust Him on our own terms is clearly answered in Paul‘s request to heal him of his “thorn in the flesh.”
In 2 Corinthians 12:9 God answered Paul saying, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” God is saying, “You don’t need to be free of this problem or that problem to have trust in Me. You don’t need to be healed of your disease or have your limitations removed to be useful to Me. My grace is enough. I am enough. My glory and power shine the brightest when I work through you in spite of your weakness, not in removing your weakness. I know what I am doing. Trust Me.”
That is the $64,000 question: do you trust Him? Have you trusted yourself totally to Jesus? Do you trust God in the big things as well as in the small things? How do you go about doing that? How do you go about building trust in God so that He is not just important, but everything?
In Philippians 4:6-7 God says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Here are four things God wants you to do so that you will be free to live boldly and confidently in the peace of God.