“God will never leave you empty. He will replace everything you lost. If He asks you to put something down, it’s because He wants you to pick up something greater” (Author unknown).
I’ve come a long way in my trust journey since I started doing blog posts back in 2011. When I first began, there was more fear than faith in my life. I had to actively choose faith while walking in fear at times. God has continued to provide repeatedly through various trials in my life while my faith muscle has received a good workout. I can now say there is definitely more faith in my profile than fear. The tide has changed.
Today I want to share what living a life of trust (faith) looks like to me on a daily basis. Remember what God is willing to do for me, He’s already done for countless other people and is more than willing to do for it you as well.
I’ve found the more I study Scripture, the more God shows me how I can trust Him. There are countless examples I could talk about, and today I’ll share about Ruth. Ruth was a Moabite who fell in love with and married a man from Bethlehem. Time went on and he died, along with his father and brother, leaving his mom (Naomi), Ruth (his wife) and Orpah (his sister-in-law) widowed and childless. Naomi heard it was safe to go back to Bethlehem (her hometown) and told Ruth and Orpah to go back to their families, remarry, and live their lives. Ruth chose to stay with Naomi and serve God alongside her even though worshipping God was opposite-thinking from the way she was raised. The story of Ruth talks about how through all their hardships, God had a plan for them and ended up blessing Ruth and Naomi more than they were previously blessed before the death of their husbands.
First, however, Ruth had to make a choice. She could choose to follow Naomi to her homeland and serve the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob or go back to her hometown and worship the gods of her people. Ruth made the right choice to serve God. There were sacrifices that God asked Ruth to make along the journey, but in the end, she married an upstanding, loving man named Boaz and they had a son who carried on the family name. If that wasn’t enough, Ruth is even mentioned by name in the genealogy of Christ Himself. Talk about a family tree!
That’s just one example of the many times God has blessed His people over and above what they had before they walked in faith and obedience, even when it seemed hard. As I wrote about in my article, titled Judgment Versus Grace, I used to believe God was ready and waiting to judge me harshly every time I messed up. My thinking, though, couldn’t have been further from the truth. God doesn’t ask for our obedience when it’s hard because He wants to torture us No…it’s the exact opposite. He wants to bless us.
God hasn’t set out to destroy our lives or to make things harder. However, He does ask that we give up certain things in our lives even if we don’t understand why. I’ve found I’m not able to fully appreciate the blessings He has in store when I’m holding onto things that get in the way. When this realization hit me, I was able to trust God, not just because I was taught I was supposed to, but because my heart now agreed with my thoughts. That’s when my level of trust in Him grew rapidly. I was able to obey Him faster when He asked me to give up something because I knew I could trust whatever I was giving up wouldn’t compare to what He had waiting for me.
When bad things happen (and believe me, they will), I know with certainty God is in control of the situation. If I continue to obey and ask His will to be done, I may not know what the result is going to be, but I know I can trust Him for a great outcome in His time, even if it looks completely different than what I thought it should. When I start to get discouraged, all I have to do to regain hope and excitement in the journey is to remind myself of the various examples in the Bible where God has blessed His people.
Lastly, I believe the act of obeying is part of the reward. When we obey a specific request made by God, it’s a lot harder to rationalize we had anything to do with the blessing we receive. For instance, if God lays it on my heart to give someone a set amount of money even though money is tight and He comes through and pays the bills, there’s no way I can rationalize that by saying I’m part of the show Extreme Couponing! Sometimes God will reward with double portions (Isaiah 61:7), sometimes God will reward you with the exact thing you had to sacrifice (Galatians 6:9), and sometimes God will completely blow you away and give you your heart’s exact desire (Psalm 37:4).
The God we serve is very personal. If He asks something personal of us, He’ll wow us with something even better when we seek His will and choose to obey. That’s one reason why I now strive to choose faith over fear. Not to get the reward, but to be at peace. Because I now know the God we serve can be trusted in every area of our lives.
© 2013 Cheri Swalwell