Thursday, April 3, 2014

On Hope and Trust

Terrell and I have found ourselves in a 'leap of faith' season. Everything we do or don't do seems to be a leap of faith or "risk". And it's been a little scary and stressful. We're dealing with financial challenges since we've lost my income and have made a final decision to be without it for the next school year. We have big school decisions to make for Garrison. We have questions about what is best for Austin next year. We have questions about the best care/treatment for Terrell's back. We have possible changes in the future to consider and discuss. There's just been a lot to think about, talk about, pray about, and even occasionally argue about.

While we know in our hearts that God has taken care of all these things down to the smallest detail and that He is always faithful, it is hard not knowing. It is hard facing challenges and tough decisions. It is hard to not be anxious. It's just hard to be at peace when you have nagging little thoughts in your head and annoying little knots in your stomach...even though you do trust God and you are putting your hope in Him.

God has been working on me this week. He's been reminding me that hope and trust are nouns and verbs. They are something you do, not just something you wait around to feel or experience. They are action words. While feeling hopeful and trusting in God are certainly very real "things", most of the time God requires something of us... more than just hoping we'll feel hopeful or that we'll automatically trust Him and His plan. Sometimes He requires action.

This week, in the present, I'm having to choose hope and trust. I'm having to demonstrate faith. I'm having to intentionally stay positive. I'm having to rely on His Word, spend more time in prayer, quiet and guard my thoughts, and rebuke Satan's lies. It hasn't been as simple as just feeling hopeful and trusting, I've had to be proactive.

Two of my devotionals this week have been so specifically for me (and Terrell) during this season that I've had to pause and consider my lack of faith. His timing, His Word, His plan are perfect. And I'm guilty of doubting that way more than I'd like to admit.

One of my devotionals was about focusing our hope and not letting the worries and stresses and busyness of today overwhelm us and take our focus off our hope in God. Here's a snippet...

"When we focus on the frustrations of today and uncertainties of tomorrow, we rob ourselves of peace in the present moment. But, when we focus on God's grace, and when we trust in the ultimate wisdom of God's plan for our lives, our worries no longer tyrannize us.

Today, remember that God is infinitely greater than the challenges that you face. Remember also that your thoughts are profoundly powerful, so guard them accordingly."

The second devotional was about bearing witness to God's Truth. Another snippet...

Today as you fulfill the responsibilities that God has placed before you, ask yourself this question: "Do my thoughts and actions bear witness to the ultimate Truth that God has placed in my heart, or am I allowing the pressures of everyday life to overwhelm me?"

Wow. Like I said, these were specifically for me. Right now. This week. This season. It has been SO easy for me to feel overwhelmed... and to question and doubt. But God's Word and His prompting have reminded me to actively hope and trust in him...

To cast all my anxiety on him 1 Peter 5:7

To submit myself to God and resist the devil so he will flee from me James 4:7

To not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, to present my requests to God. Philippians 4:6

To guard my heart (and my thoughts)  Proverbs 4:23

To remember and claim that He hasn't given me a spirit of fear but of power, love, and self-control 2 Timothy 1:7

To think about whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy Philippians 4:8

To seek Him and find Him when I seek Him with my whole heart. Jeremiah 29:13

Truth after truth after truth.

Thankful this week that I learned to actively put my hope and trust in Him.

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