Do You Trust God?

” If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. ‘

James 1:5

Let me start by saying that I can NOT take full credit for this devotion.

Recently we attended the River Church in Durango, CO for their Sunday service.  It was amazing! 

They are touching so many different lives and it is absolutely amazing.

You might recognize their name, that’s because they were gracious enough to host our Couples Day, with the author of the 5 Love Languages, Dr. Gary Chapman!

That was one amazing event!  If you missed it, you missed one epic day.

Anyways….

While we were there for Sunday service Pastor Mark talked about the book of James. And he really dug deep into never giving up. 

He told a story about learning how to snowboard. And how he kept falling, and then fell some more. And yes he fell even more.

But he kept pushing himself backup and going down the hill.  No matter how tired he was, or how much his arms felt like Jell-O. He kept going.

The main reason he kept going was that he wanted the result so bad that he was willing to push through the pain.

It kind of reminds me of the phrase, “No Pain, No Gain!”

He used that amazing story to talk about resilience. 

Which we all need.  If we fall and never get up, then we allow Satan to win.  God wants us to keep going no matter how hard it is.  He wants us to trust his plan and know in our hearts that he is looking out for our best intentions every day.

After that, he talked about how important it is that we endure the short-term pain so that we can truly live out God’s purpose for us. 

He told us that we need to not only endure the pain but learn to like it. 

Wait. Hold the horses. WE HAVE TO LIKE THE PAIN?????

What the heck is this guy smoking?  Because he is crazy.

How can we learn to like pain? NO ONE likes pain! (especially not ME!)

Ok so here is what I really heard from Pastor Mark’s message.

We are all going to experience pain throughout our lives.  The way we react to the pain is what is really important.

If we get angry, then we are not living the life God wants us to live.

If we get sad, then we are not living the life God wants us to live.

If we react with fear, then we are not living the life God wants us to live.

If we TRUST that God has it all under control then we ARE beginning to live the life God needs us to.

How much do you trust God?

That’s a hard question to answer.

My personal answer might be different than yours. And that’s ok.

I trust God with all of my heart and soul. But I’m not super smart.  Because I continually chose not to trust him when things get tough.  I have a tendency to try and take the situation back into my own hands.

And when I do that it is because I am afraid of the pain that I know is coming.

Just like a child with a splinter in his hand.

What happens as a parent when a child comes running to you with tears in their eyes hollering, “I have a sticker. Get it out. Get it out.”?

You grab the tweezers (or if you’re me, your pocket knife. And thoroughly sanitize it by whipping it on your jeans. Just kidding. Kind of. Lol) and take the kid’s hand and start to get the splinter out.

What happens next?

The kid pulls their hand away!  They are scared of the pain that is about to come.

If it’s scary enough then the kid might say, “no leave it there.  It doesn’t hurt that bad!”

They see the tweezers, going for their hand, and know that it is going to hurt to pull out the sticker.

As a parent, we know that yes there will be a little pain as we pull the splinter out, but it is very short-term pain. Compared to leaving the sticker in and allowing it to fester and get infected.

God does the same thing for us.

He looks down at us when we ask, “Is this going to hurt?”

And answers, “you bet it is, for a little while. Then the pain is going to go away and all of your sufferings will be over.”

You see he knows that we need to get through the short-term pain in order to truly grow.

Just like we as parents know that after we get the sticker out, the child will feel better in no time at all.

Here’s what I have learned from my kids.

The first few stickers they got they would come to me and say, with tears in their eyes, “dad I’ve got a sticker.  Will it hurt when you pull it out?”

I would pull out my pocket knife (you thought I was kidding) and say, “not very much.”  Then if they pulled away too many times while I was trying to remove the sticker I would respond, “well it looks pretty bad.  You can either hold still and let me get it out. Or we can just cut you hand off.” Of course, I was kidding.

The funny thing is that with that humor it would throw them into shock and mom would respond, “oh sweety he’s not really going to cut your hand off, I think! You better stop moving so he can get it out.”

Then before she could finish I would have the sticker out, and because they weren’t focused on the pain, they never really felt it.

After about 5 times of going through this, they would come to me, look up with teary eyes and say, “Dad, it’s pretty bad…  I guess you should cut it off! “

Then as I would pull the sticker out they wouldn’t even wince. They learned to trust me and that I would do everything in my power to keep their pain to a minimum.

God does the exact same thing.  The more we learn to trust him and KNOW that he will get through the situation with as little pain as possible. the sooner we can learn to trust him fully.

How much do you trust God?

Take Action

Now is the time for you to take action!

The first thing I would like you to do is step out of your comfort zone and read the Passion version of the first chapter of James https://my.bible.com/bible/1849/JAS.1.tpt 

Here is a great way to learn to hear and trust that God will get you through the rough times. 

Ready for this?

The next time things start getting rough I want you to pray.  Pray for guidance and help.

Not only pray I want you to listen to God.  Listen with your heart and you will hear an answer.

Now don’t hesitate. Take action on what he tells you. No matter how hard it is.

I know it’s rough, isn’t it?

But the more you learn to take action when he tells you to, the easier it becomes. It shows him that you trust him fully.

Just like my kids learned to trust me with the splinters.

Prayer

Lord, today we come to you with hearts that are a little scared.  God, we know that you want us to find joy in every situation. Even the painful ones.  We know that when we experience pain it means that we are growing. God, we know that you are in full control and we want to give the reins back to you. Even if the horse is in a full run and we feel like we know better than you. Or like you aren’t doing what we would do in this situation.  God, we trust that you will keep us out of as much pain as possible. Lord, today I pray that you help us to find humor in every aspect of life. Because humor helps us to cope with pain. God, we know that by enduring the short-term pain, you are allowing us to have long-term growth.  And we love growth in every aspect of our lives. God, we pray that you would help us to find joy in every aspect of pain. Knowing that without pain there is no gain.

We ask all these things in your precious son’s name.

Amen.

A little More

As I sit here, racking my brain for a great story that I could tell you about trusting God. I came up with several.

One about when our car died on the way home from vacation and we were 7 hours away from home. And it died where there was no phone service.

One where I applied for a job and left it fully in God’s hands. Then when I didn’t get the position I asked him for an explanation and all he could tell me was, I have better things coming to you in the future.

One where things weren’t going so well and I had to trust that God was going to help me pull through it.

Then there was this story…..

As you probably know by now I am working on getting my pilot’s license.

I guess driving the biggest trucks on the road wasn’t enough for me, I wanted to enjoy God’s creation from the air too.

Well, I had been struggling to make myself bring the airplane to stall. 

I mean who wouldn’t want to cut the power and raise the nose of an airplane until you feel it crest over and your butt leaves the seat multiple times in an hour????

Sounds like lots of fun.  Yeah right!

Well, one day my instructor asked me, “what scares you about the stall?”

My answer was well thought out, “I don’t want to die!”

Then he said, “can I show you something?”

My abrupt response was, “NO!” then after a second I responded with, “yeah, as long it doesn’t kill me!”

He said ok, sit on your hands.

My first thought took me back to my childhood when my parents used to punish me by having me sit on my hands. Because nothing else seemed to work and for some ungodly reason sitting on my hands was unbearable.

But that’s for another time.

Anyways…..

Then he said, “Ok, don’t grab the sticks and don’t touch the rudders (foot pedals), I’m going to put us into a stall and then let go of everything and see what happens.”

My first thought was, well if we die today at least I got to experience everything that I have so far and share my life with my wife and kids.

So he cut the power, pulled the nose up. Then as the plane crested over, some unexpected words flew out of my mouth.  It was part sailor, and part truck driver.

He looked over at me and I could see it all over his face. Oh man, I just totally lost this guy as a client. 

I mean to tell you. We were looking at the ground and I was scared out of my mind.

I’m sure that it was only about 30 seconds from the stall to the level out. But it sure seemed like it took about an hour or two.

He let go of everything and the plane automatically leveled out on its own.

Then he looked over at me again and said, “see you just have to trust the process.  This plane wants to fly straight and level.”

Ever since then I have had no issues at stalling the plane because I trust that it will fix itself. All I have to do is let go and trust God.

Carrie Underwood has a song, “Jesus take the wheel”.

This is so true.  We have to trust God all the time, not just when we want to. 

If we learn to trust his every decision then he will guide us in the direction we need to go.  He will help you to come out of a nosedive and bring us back to straight and level.

WE JUST HAVE TO TRUST HIM!

So what do you say? Will you  give God control of everything in your life?

Will you pray with us?

Mankind throughout the world throughout our current situation

All Law enforcement and emergency response personnel

For all military personal serving our country and their families

Those in Leadership positions throughout the world