It’s the beginning of a new year. It’s the time when everyone starts reflecting on the last year and thinking about goals and dreams for the next twelve months. I don’t know about you, but I get excited about the thought of a fresh, clean slate and a new adventure (obviously one that has been strategized and planned and marked with goals that are bullet pointed!) But, as much as we look forward to the future with excitement, I also tend to look toward the unknown with apprehension. Maybe, it’s because God has been working on my heart and teaching me to trust him more.
Have you ever thought about what it means to trust God – REALLY trust Him? Maybe you’re like me and recently found yourself in a situation where God asked you to do something that you don’t understand. A situation where you know you don’t have the abilities, the knowledge, or the strength to complete the task. A situation where you have to take a risk and it seems crazy to other people. A situation that is going to require you to sacrifice financially, emotionally, or physically. A situation where you don’t even know how to take the first step.
If, like me, you’ve found yourself in this place, the good news is that we are not alone. The Bible is full of stories where God asked people (just like you and me!) to take huge risks. He put them in situations that seemed impossible.
Think back to the time when Moses was instructed to rescue the Israelites from Egypt. When God appeared to him in a burning bush and told him about his assignment, Moses responded with “Who am I to do this?” (Exodus 3:11)
(I often start judging Moses at this point because I think: “Moses, he just talked to you through a burning bush! Believe Him!”)
But, unfortunately, his response sounds all too familiar. God immediately reassures Moses that “I will be with you…” (Exodus 3:12). The following dialogue in Exodus 3 and 4 is almost painful to read as we see Moses offer up his best “but, God…” excuses. Honestly, Moses just didn’t believe God. He didn’t trust him to overcome the weaknesses that Moses perceived were too big. God continues to reassure Moses that he is going to be with him and instruct him in what to say and do. When Moses (insultingly) reminded God that that he was not eloquent and that he was slow of speech and tongue, God responded with: “Listen, who made your mouth? I made it!” (Exodus 4:10-11). But even after all of this, Moses finally says in Exodus 4:13: “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.”
We know that God still used Moses in a mighty way to rescue the Israelites, but Moses’ weak trust in that moment angered God (Exodus 4:14). He couldn’t see the end result and he wanted to run. I wonder what wonderful blessings Moses missed out on because of his lack of trust.
On this side of the story, we KNOW that God is going to be with Moses and his pity party is pretty pathetic to watch. But, I can’t help but think: THAT IS ME! How often does God give me an assignment and because I can’t see the end result, I want to panic and quit? I want to give up, throw in the towel and send out invitations to my own pity party.
One of my favorite quotes from George Mueller (a man of great faith – read about him if you’re not familiar) is:
“Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man’s power ends.”
This man, who had great trust in God and saw him routinely perform miracles (seriously – go read about him!) is telling us: when it gets hard, when you can’t see the end – that is where faith starts to work. That is where we let go of trying to control our own circumstances, let go of our own weak “power” and TRUST God.
Faith is believing God even when we are scared. It is trusting that His power is made PERFECT in our own weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). It is believing that we can “do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).
It is “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
See, we don’t have to worry about our own abilities. God doesn’t want us to offer up a myriad of excuses like Moses. He wants us to TRUST him. If he gives us an assignment, he is going to follow through in providing everything we need to complete the task.
So as we start off this new year, let us do so with confidence. Let us trust God with our hopes and our dreams and most importantly – with his dreams for us! Let us open our hands and prepare to receive any assignment that God puts in front of us. Let us respond with faith and obedience.
It’s the time to do as the writer of Hebrews tell us in chapter 12: “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
I can’t wait for the great adventures ahead!
About the Author
Hi, I’m Karen Taylor. I live in Jackson, Tennessee and for the past 11 years, I’ve had the incredible privilege of working in Student Life at Union University. I enjoy working with college students and teaching in women’s ministry at my church. In my free time, you would most likely find me reading, checking out local antique stores, traveling or hanging out (and laughing!) with friends. And, fair warning: I can’t be trusted in front of a bowl of chips and salsa. I love discovering all of the new things that God is teaching me. It is my desire to teach and encourage others in their walk with the Lord and to live out Proverbs 27:17: As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.