I know you all aren’t here for a weather report, but in case you were wondering, it’s snowing like crazy in Colorado.
We are in the middle of what the Weather Channel is calling an “Arctic Outbreak” and our final fall colors are all but gone and replaced with bitter cold and low gray skies. Booo. I recently heard from a beautiful sister who has joined us for our November Joy Series who lives in South Africa.
It’s probably not snowing in South Africa.
I so need that reminder that the world is always bigger than what I can see right outside my window.
That my God is so much bigger than what I can see right outside my window.
God moves in ways that I cannot see. Isn’t that hard to grasp? God does things that are out of my control, which is even harder to wrap my brain around. And daily I am faced with His question to me, “Do you trust Me beyond what you can see?”
Earlier this fall when I felt (completely) compelled to re-visit our November Joy Series, I was truly entangled. My heart was gray, filled up with a lot of worry and fear, and I was mostly irritated by my inability to just make life work and get everyone else on board. I knew I needed a reboot, a real shift in my thoughts. I desperately wanted back my joy.
But I knew it had to be bigger than just a fresh catchphrase like “I choose joy”. Because I can say “I choose joy” until springtime, but unless I deal with the fact that my thoughts are fully overshadowing God’s authority and power in my life, real joy has nowhere to land.
Do I trust Him beyond what I can see?
Last time we were here we looked at Psalm 28:7, “The LORD is my strength and my shield, I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.”
I’ve been sitting in that phrase… “I trust Him with all my heart”.
Because here’s what I’m seeing in my own life: when my focus is so intent on being able to see and understand and manipulate the future, I am not trusting Him.
When I stay focused on my doubts and fears, I am not trusting Him.
When I’m so easily irritated by another person’s actions, I am not trusting Him.
And when my trust in Him goes missing, so does my joy.
Trust and joy. They are inseparable.
Our joy in God is bound up with our trust in God. The two cannot be separated — not ever. Trust is the backbone of joy. And joy is the outflow of trust in one who is fully Trustworthy…Disillusionment and disappointment will always strike where genuine trust in God grows thin. And that’s why when trust is missing, joy will also go missing. There can be no joy in God where there is no firm trust in God, and no confidence in his all-sufficiency. And this is why we all feel the inner battle for joy, because we face a daily battle for faith. Our hearts are prone to trust in self, in money, in occupations, in a spouse, or in any other worldly security or circumstance. And when our faith wanes and we no longer trust God, we are set up for a disastrous fall into spiritual dehydration. – Tony Reinke, Pastor
Trust is the backbone of joy.
When I begin to recognize my thoughts patterns, I have to be honest and ask myself a few questions ~
- Do I trust Him on that one?
- Is He wiser?
- Can He see beyond what my eyes cannot see?
- Is my future really dependent on that event, or that person, or that circumstance, or is my future dependent on God?
How I answer those questions will bottom line my faith real quick.
How do you answer those questions? Today, whatever the weather looks like outside your window, with all the thoughts and worries stirring around inside your heart, take a moment to (honestly) ask yourself this question:
“God, do I trust You beyond what I can see?”
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