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Are You Trusting God in Difficult Times When You Don’t Understand?

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Do you always understand the path God is leading? I don’t.  Is it okay to say I don’t always understand why God leads me in certain directions?  Sorry if it’s not, but I just don’t always see His plan, understand His way or trust what I can’t see.  Today, as we continue in our 40-Day Fast on being still and knowing God more, we will explore a question.  Are you trusting God in difficult times when you don’t understand?

Did you find this 40-day Fast to learn How to Be still mid-series?

I struggle with Trusting God in Difficult Times

God often leads me into situations that are too hard to handle on my own.  Often I have no choice but to trust God with everything in my life.

But… I really wish I were independent and strong enough to handle them on my own!

He leaves me in seasons that are insane for way longer than I would prefer – so long that I grow weary and want to quit.  Can you relate?

What I really dream of is a peaceful, self-sufficient life.  The end of a fairy-tale without all the drama in the beginning.

Nowhere in scripture does God promise us a happily ever after, fairy-tale Christian life.  What God does say, over and over again, is “be still and trust Me even when you don’t understand.”

But how can we really be still?

How can we really begin trusting God in difficult times?

True faith is trusting God in difficult times without understanding God or His plan. Click To Tweet

How do you trust God when life is hard?

“The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me], I shall not want. He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and quiet waters. He refreshes and restores my soul (life)” (Psalm 23:1-3a AMP)

The context of Psalm 23 is critical to understand how to apply it in our lives.  This is another Psalm written by David and I find it inspiring that a man who suffered so much is our main source of learning how to be still.

I am in the middle of a Bible Study by Jennifer Rothschild called Psalm 23: The Shepherd with Me and am finding it fascinating to slow down and think through what it means that Jesus is our Good Shepherd and we are His needy, skittish, easily anxious sheep.

Do you think of yourself as needy and easily anxious? If I’m very honest that describes the real me, the me I don’t let others see behind my independent, perfectionist mask. But it’s okay to be a needy sheep because we have a Good Shepherd.

Learning how to trust God in any situation is about accepting that truth.  I need God.

Learning how to trust God in any situation is about accepting that truth. I need God. Click To Tweet

Letting Go and Trusting God

Observations from Psalm 23 show a theme that comforts me.  It’s okay to trust God.  Needing God is actually okay.  God designed us to need HIM!

Understanding the truth and the roles as God created them is helpful to get us to trust Him more fully!

  • The Shepherd’s job
    • Guide me
    • Lead me
    • Feed me
    • Refresh me
    • Provide for me
    • Protect me
    • Defend me
    • Preserve me for eternity
  • The needy sheep’s job
    • Follow God
    • Obey God
    • Trust God
    • Be Still

Trusting God in hard times is not easy. But letting go of the need for control and trusting God comes more easily when we understand our roles!

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Do you have faith in God during hard times?

Do you find yourself trying to take on some of the Shepherds job responsibilities?

Why do we do take control or take the throne?  I can’t speak for you, but some of my excuses are:

I’m just trying to help Him

Just trying to do my part

Trying to pull my own weight

Let’s be gut-level honest.  When you take the Shepherds jobs is it really to help Him?  Or if you look deeper is it a bid at control (mutiny for being the god of my own life)?

When you take the Shepherds jobs is it really to help Him? Or if you look deeper is it a bid at control (mutiny for being the god of my own life)? Click To Tweet

Why Does God Put Us Through Hard Times?

Confession of a control freak.  It is hard to be dependent on others for anything.  I hate to trust others to care for my needs. Leaving the chance of something being done wrong open kills me.  Guilty, I micromanage most things in life… even God.  That is sin anyway I look at it.

God, in His divine planning, gives us situations that are harder than we can handle.  Why?  Why does God put us through hard times?

Maybe so we learn to depend on Him more fully?  It’s a question, not a fact because I don’t know.  I only know that the more difficult life is, the more I have to depend on God.  What about you?

We may also face difficulties as a result of sin at times.

  • My sin has consequences.
  • Other sin splashes consequences on me.
  • The Original Sin sent us into a tailspin of deprivation that impacts even the best life.

It’s important to also remember that not all difficult seasons are bad seasons.

  • God prunes away things that are not bad but are not the best.
  • We learn and grow through trials.
  • Stress brings things to the surface that we were ignoring.

Some of the best things in my life came through hard seasons.  My children are a great example of that.  Labor and delivery were excruciating!  Blessings came from those painful hours.

Some of the best things in my life came through hard seasons. My children are a great example of that. Labor and delivery were excruciating! Blessings came from those painful hours. Click To Tweet

Trusting God or Understanding God is Hard

The applications from Psalm 23 is that it is hard for all of us to trust God when we are set on understanding God.

Why do I try to take control away from God?  I don’t trust Him.

You see, life has been hard and I wrestle with how to trust a God who allowed so much hurt in my past.  When I come face to face with a need in my life I have this inward debate… maybe you can relate.

Finances are tight right now.  I don’t know if we can pay all the bills on time this month.

‘Give this need to God in prayer and leave it with Him’ I tell myself.

Remember when you lived with relatives, homeless because finances got crazy?” rebukes doubt.

‘Remember the years you lived on food stamps and had to pray for every single need?’ critisizes fear.

‘Be Still.  You can Trust God to provide,’ Reminds the Holy Spirit.

The internal debate rages until I choose one of two paths

  1. I can surrender the need to God, trust Him and be sill as He works.
  2. Or I take control from God.
    • Worry over the bills
    • Try to find things to sell
    • Seek out work I can do from home
    • Stress leading to daily anxiety attacks

I’ve lived it both ways and by far way #1 is the best path… but I still wrestle.  Why does God let bad things happen to Christian people walking with Him?  Can I really trust God with my needs this time?

How to Begin Trusting God in Difficult Times

This Psalm points us to the answer of how to trust God, our Good Shepherd when we don’t understand what He is allowing into our life.

What God says about difficult times is that they will come!  Hard seasons come and we can face them while trusting Him with these 3 steps.

  1. Accept that it’s not your job to understand.
  2. Embrace that Paths of righteousness will not be smooth and easy.
  3. Realize that the path is not about you anyway.

1. It’s Not Our Job to Understand

It is crucial that we accept our role in life.

I am a sheep.  You are a sheep.

God is the Shepherd.  God is the one in control.

It’s not the sheeps’ job to understand or control the direction of the path.  The Sheep just needs to accept the leadership of the shepherd.

Understanding the path will not help us follow it.  Obeying and following the guiding hand of the Good Shepherd is all we need to successfully navigate any path of life.

 

2. Paths of Righteousness Will Not Be Smooth and Easy

Get the idea that life should be comfortable and easy out of your head.  That will go a long way in helping you be still and trust God when you don’t understand the path.

True faith is trusting God in difficult times without understanding God or His plan.

Why can we trust God our Good Shepherd when life is hard?  Because His rod and staff protect us, guide us and comfort us.  Because God is trustworthy, He has been faithful and He will continue to be faithful!

 

3. The Path Is Not About Us Anyway

This path of righteousness, the one that is so hard and makes me want to quit, is for God’s Name Sake.

My little story is just a small part of the big story of God. He has a plan I can trust even when I don’t understand His direction for my life.

When I can’t understand life’s path, I can trust the heart of my Good Shepard as He leads me to dwell in His presence forever.

I want to pause here and answer a question I get often.

 

How do you pray for someone who is going through a hard time?

Praying these three things over their lives is a powerful way to help them through a difficult season.  Pray that God will open their eyes to accept their role, embrace the truth and realize the bigger story!

A Prayer to begin Trusting God

Father, You are a Good, Good Father, a Good Shepherd.

Forgive me for doubting, complaining and becoming anxious as the path leads me through the valley of the shadow of death.  This road has been long and hard and I am weary.  Take back control, I surrender it to You… again.  You are the Shepherd.  I am the sheep.  I need You.  Today I am tired of how hard things are and struggling to see past this trial.  Open my eyes to see You guiding me, protecting me and providing for me.

Thank You for always being faithful even when I stray from the path.  And thank you for all the times you’ve brought my wandering heart back to You.  Take this life, use it in Your bigger story to bring You glory and shine salvation to the lost world.

Amen

Will You Begin Trusting God in Difficult Times?

I can’t tell you how many times I Google things when life is hard.

  • Bible verses about faith in hard times
  • Trusting God in difficult times Bible verses
  • Scriptures on hope
  • Bible verses about faith and love
  • Bible verses about faith and trust
  • Faith Bible verse

To begin trusting God in difficult times we must begin in prayer!

Look through some of those results and see that in scripture there are many short prayers for hard times!  People of faith spent a lot of time praying for the impossible to be possible.  We could learn a lot from their example.

Will you pray today that God will help you:

  1. Accept that it’s not your job to understand.
  2. Embrace that Paths of righteousness will not be smooth and easy.
  3. Realize that the path is not about you anyway.

Can I pray for you in any of those ways? Just comment below and I will lift you up today!

in HIM,

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Tiffany Montgomery

Tiffany of Hope Joy in Christ inspires Christian Women to grow in faith, live out Biblical Marriage Principles and raise Godly Children.  Join the Wives Only Facebook Group here or keep up with her through Pinterest.

14 thoughts to “Are You Trusting God in Difficult Times When You Don’t Understand?”

  1. This was such a good read, and such a great reminder that there is hope and we should believe xo

    theninebyivana.blogspot.com

  2. One of my favorite verses about being still before the Lord is Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted over the earth. That “be still” in Hebrew means “cease sriving” and is such a great reminder to me to just stop. Stop working so hard, stop trying so hard because He is God and He will be exalted. I can let it go because God’s got this.

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