I read a blog the other day that really hit home. It said, “If it seems God isn’t answering our prayers, we may wonder if He is serious about listening to them. We can doubt if His Word really applies to our situations. We might question if His promises are meant for us. During these times we are faced with two choices. We can either assume God’s promises are not trustworthy or we can believe that when He makes a promise He is serious about keeping it.”
As I read this I was struck by the word, choice and how correct this is. We make choices every day, what we will eat, where we will go, and what we will do. We make a choice. We also choose each day whether we will live for the Lord or ourselves. Whether we will trust or doubt. Whether we will obey or disobey. Most days these choices seem simple but there are days when it is a battle and it is much harder. However from experience I know that when we choose to doubt or think upon lies, the pit of despair is close by. I can’t tell you the number of times the enemy has come along and roped me into this pit. By planting doubt and lies in my mind, luring me in and then leaving me to try to find my way out.
There have been days I have woke up trusting and believing, knowing God is on His throne and completely in control. Resting in His sovereignty and peace. Then there have been days when I have doubted the very Word most days I cling to and struggled to hold on.
I believe Paul felt like this at one time. In 2 Corinthians 1 he says he and the others despaired their very life. They had been through so much, much more difficult than I have ever encountered and they struggled, wondering if they had been sentenced to death. Or remember Elijah, he had just seen God send fire from Heaven, yet soon thereafter we find him running for his life, despising life so much that he asked God to kill him. And we must never forget John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus. Yet, when he was placed in prison, he questioned the very existence of the one he had told others of.
So, how did these endure? How do we endure? Again, I believe it truly is a choice we make. A choice to believe by grace through faith. Just as we did when we received Christ for salvation. A choice to say I believe you Lord, despite how I feel and despite my circumstances. A choice to hold fast to God’s promises, to claim them, pray them and then wait upon them. A choice to focus our eyes off of ourselves and onto Him.
This is not easy and I’m by no means saying it is. Some days it seems impossible, some days I feel too weak to even try. Yet that’s the beauty of it, for when we are weak, He is strong and will carry us through. He will shelter us under His wings, until the storm is passed (Ps. 91:4). He will enable us to do this by His grace.
Now, when the fears grip my heart or the doubts assail, I pray as many times as needed, Lord, I choose to trust You. I choose to trust You despite how dark it feels, despite how hard it is, despite how hopeless it seems. I choose to trust You, because unlike me, our God is always faithful, for He can not deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13).