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This is blog #5 in the “Fear to faith series” that covers why and how you can learn to trust God with your fears.
In our blog series so far, you’ve learned 4 truths to apply faith to fear.
In blog #2, you saw how God loves you dearly so you can entrust yourself and your loved ones into His hands.
In blog #3, you learned that God knows what is going on in your life including every circumstance you are facing, mistakes you make, and inadequacy you are feeling. And, He’s powerful enough to help you move beyond focusing on your weaknesses.
In blog #4, you learned that God is good all the time and what His goodness looks like in our lives.
In this blog, we’ll continue our look at Truth #4 on our walk from fear to faith: You can trust His goodness in whatever He chooses to do. Now that you know for sure that God is good, the next step is to actually learn to trust Him.
Let’s start with this question: What does it mean to trust someone or something? Trust begins with faith. It’s important to know what faith is and what it is not.
What faith is and is not
First, let’s cover what faith is not. Faith is not a blind belief or mindless gullibility. It is not a life of passivity and doing nothing. Faith is also not a religious feeling like a tingle or good feeling from performing some ritual.
So, if faith is not that, what is it? The word “faith” means a “belief, trust, and commitment of mind and heart to something or someone.”
- Faith is intelligent. That means first you need to know about the something or someone. It is based on information about the object of your faith.
- Faith is also decisive. It involves the element of assent or agreement that the information about that someone or something is true.
- Faith requires an act of the will. Any conscious choice that involves trust or dependence on someone or something requires a deliberate action to both trust the information and act on it. It is the difference between walking alongside a pool of water (seeing it is there) and floating on the water (experiencing the water personally).
Christians of the first century AD recognized that the whole content of the gospel message is Jesus. They agreed that the information about Jesus was definitely true. They decided to trust God completely and believe in His Son Jesus Christ.
Simply put, faith is a full commitment to Christ. God acted. We are to respond to His action by saying yes to faith in Jesus Christ and jumping into the new life God has for us. Instead of believing in your own ability to earn God’s favor, you now trust in what Christ has done for you. That’s biblical faith.
Trust is an outworking of faith. As you live your life in Christ, you choose to trust Him daily for whatever it is you are called to do. It could be correcting sinful behavior in your own life. It could be serving someone else. It could be speaking up in a situation where a voice with biblical principles needs to be heard. And, it could be not giving into fear.
Whatever action you need to take involves two aspects of trusting God.
- You must trust Him as you step forward and do your part His way. And,
- You must trust Him to do His part in the areas over which you have no control.
Those two aspects of trusting God are necessary to act on whatever God has placed in your heart to do.
Esther’s story provides a beautiful illustration of this for us.
The seed is planted in the heart.
In Esther chapter 3, cousin Mordecai gave Esther some not-so-good news. All the Jews would be killed in 11 months. Her life would not likely be spared. Then, he challenged her with the message that she was in the God-chosen place to do something about the peril facing herself, her family, and her people. God confirmed this in her heart so she took action.
Esther prayed about what she needed to do for 3 days, calling other Jews to pray with her. She needed God’s guidance about what to do next. Before she approached the king of Persia about this, Esther needed God to be with her as she did her part (which was to speak to the king). And, she needed God to do His part in directing the heart and mind of the king to receive her. Those are the two aspects of trusting God.
Learning to live dependently on our God is not a matter of doing whatever you ethically and honorably can while trusting the rest to God. No. When God places something in your heart to do, especially when it involves someone else and situations over which you have no control, you must trust God to lead you in what you choose to do. You want to do your part His way, not your own way or the world’s way.
The time had come to act.
After that time of prayer, Esther knew the time had come to act. Trusting God, she did her part by approaching the king the right way, making sure he could see her, and waiting for his response. She didn’t force herself into the king’s presence, demanding his attention. No, she did her part the way God would want her to show respect for her husband, the king.
God took care of His part by directing the king’s heart and mind to be favorable to Esther’s presence and her request. The king invited her into the chamber and asked what she wanted from him. Esther’s part was to invite the king and Haman to a banquet. God worked through the king to grant Esther’s request and accept her invitation. Those are the two aspects of trusting God.
Opposition tested Esther’s trust.
But, completely trusting God and doing things God’s way doesn’t stop the opposition. Esther’s invitation included Haman—the enemy, the one who initiated the attack on the Jews.
That didn’t discourage Esther from doing what God had placed in her heart to do. She knew she would be in the presence of someone who hated her people and would have hated her if he knew she was Jewish. His pleading with her during the second banquet in such a familiar manner threatened her position with her husband, the king.
God didn’t make it easy for Esther to do what He called her to do. Yet, she did her part God’s way while trusting that God would do His part in making the king’s heart respond favorably to her request to save her people.
Learning to live dependently on our God does not guarantee that He will stop the opposition against you. Yes, He places that desire in your heart. He wants you to be obedient in carrying it out. But, He doesn’t necessarily make it easy. Why is that? After all, you could get the task or the service done more quickly without the delays and derision.
Why doesn’t God stop the opposition?
Paul learned the answer to this and wrote about it,
“But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” (2 Corinthians 1:9)
This happened (suffering, hardship, opposition, whatever it is) so we will learn to rely on God more than on ourselves.
When trouble happens, we are not to sit back and do nothing while waiting for God to do everything. Yet, sometimes we need to pray and wait for the right moment to act as Esther did. That is still trusting Him while we are doing our part (waiting and praying, asking for guidance). We pray and wait knowing that He is working on His part (whatever that situation requires). Those are the two aspects of trusting God.
Trust God while waiting on His work and timing.
Waiting is rarely pleasant to us, but we make ourselves do it daily in various situations (doctor’s offices, traffic, and checkout lanes). Our focus is usually not on the waiting itself, but on the end result of the waiting.
The Bible teaches that waiting on the Lord is part of our faith walk. We are to do it, and it’s good for us. Waiting on God brings us strength in all areas in our lives. It teaches us about Him and His timing.
During those times of waiting, our ear is usually more attuned to the work of God. The times of waiting strengthen our relationship with Him as we learn to rely on His timing and trust in His goodness. The Hebrew word most commonly translated as “wait” can also mean “to bind together as in tying together loose ends.” Waiting binds us together with God.
Most of us don’t like to wait for God to work. But, that’s part of a life of faith and trusting God. He is at work in the background of life. We must wait for God’s “always perfect” timing in answer to our prayers. Is this a problem for you? Consider that God is in the waiting, too.
Your walk from fear to faith involves both aspects of trusting God.
- You must trust Him as you move forward and do your part His way, and
- You must trust Him to do His part in the areas over which you have no control.
God did not make it easy for Esther to stand up for her people. Likewise, you will find yourself in situations that seem beyond your ability to handle or control. Perhaps you have an enemy (or your husband or closest friend may have one). God may not choose to rescue you from that opposition.
But, in all situations that induce fear in your life, you can count on 4 truths:
- #1: God loves you.
- #2: He knows what is going on in your life.
- #3: He can do something about it.
- #4: You can trust His goodness in whatever He chooses to do!
As you take action against whatever is causing you fear, trust God while you do your part His way. And, trust Him to do His part alongside what you are doing. Celebrate the victories! That’s how you walk from fear to faith.
In the last blog of this series, we’ll look at what it means to trust God in whatever He chooses to do for your situation. That involves releasing your expectations of acceptable outcomes.
The following Bible Studies and podcasts will give you more biblical insight into how to walk from fear to faith in your life.
- Everyday Women, Ever-Faithful God Bible Study (Old Testament women)
- The Walk from Fear to Faith Bible Study (Old Testament women)
- Satisfied Series 1 Podcasts (Old Testament women series)
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