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Tag Archives: in God we trust
When it comes to taking a test, there are two main methods: taking your time and cramming. I usually found myself on the cramming side. I remember staying up all night trying to get as much information in my head in as little time as possible. When you’re up against a deadline, an all nighter is common. Deadlines make force us to focus and put our energy into what’s critical to us at that moment. Remember the last time you were up against a deadline? You got rid of all distractions and did what was necessary.
Jesus faced a literal deadline. He knew that He would be sacrificed as a Passover lamb. The night before His crucifixion, He pulled an all nighter with His disciples. He spent all night helping them to cram as much information as they could before He died. He focused on the critical things with them. He showed them servant leadership, had supper with them, then gave them final instructions. In John 14:1, I believe He said one of the most important things to them, and it applies to us today.
He said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me” (NLT). That word “let” means to allow. He told us not to allow our hearts to be troubled, anxious, or worried. We have control of that by choosing what we think about and who we trust in. Jesus was telling them, and us, “Don’t panic. I got this. Trust me.” He knew that the disciples were about to feel like sheep without a shepherd. He was reminding them that when life gets chaotic, He may not be visible, but He’s there with us. We can trust Him to work His plan.
If you believe in Jesus, then you have to know that our God is not a hands off God. He is one who is intimately involved in our day to day lives. We can put our trust in Him instead of in the uncertainty and chaos of our life. Don’t let your heart be troubled. God is in control. He sees the whole picture of your life, and is working things for your good. You may to see it now, but that’s where faith and trust comes in. If you trust Him and have faith in Him, you don’t have to let worry rule your heart.
Life is unpredictable. It’s full of uncertainties, crossroads, and unknowns. When we are facing these things in life, our minds get consumed looking for answers and wondering what tomorrow holds. It can suck the energy right out of you if you let it. I think that’s why Jesus told us in Matthew 6:34, “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries” (NLT). He knew that with all of life’s uncertainties, we could easily get wrapped up in all the what if’s of life.
The truth is that even though you and I don’t know what tomorrow holds, God does. And He’s not worried. What is unknown to us is history to Him. He knows how it all plays out and He is in control. No matter what each day brings, we can trust that He has a plan for our lives and a path for us to walk down. Psalm 37:23 says, “The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” Not only does He direct our lives, He knows all the details that are unknown to us.
Trusting Him in those times is paramount to our peace of mind. Where worry consumes us, His peace frees us. We get peace in uncertainty when we trust that God is in control, that He has a plan for this time, and that He is directing our path. Stress and worry come from thinking we are in control, that God doesn’t care, or that He doesn’t have a plan. He gives you and I the ability to choose in this situation. Do we want to stress or do we want peace through trust?
I’m reminded of Proverbs 3:5-6 when it comes to trusting God in uncertainty. It says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way” (GNB). The word “trust”, in the original language, means to feel safe, be careless. In our most difficult times, we can feel safe and be carefree by trusting God. He will direct our path and show us the right way when the time is right.
In Genesis 20, there is a story that many of us are familiar with, but we forget about it. Abraham told King Abimelech that Sarah was his sister and not his wife. At this point, Abraham had already been told by God that he should leave the land he was in and head to the place He would show him and he and Sarah had already been told they would have a son. He had already made his mistake with Hagar and had Ishmael. You would think that he had learned to trust God at this point.
Just like you and I, he still had some room for growth in his trust with God. You would think that a man who heard God speak to him, met with angels, watched Sodom and Gomorrah burn and got a woman pregnant when he was nearly 100 years old would be able to trust God. When you hear what Abraham said to Abimelech in Genesis 20:11, you see that he was afraid that people might kill him and take Sarah. He let fear drive his decision making instead of trusting in God.
I’d get upset with him if I didn’t have the same problem. Too many times I hear God speak to me and I let fear take me on a different path or keep me from acting on what God told me to do. There’s the fear of what others will say. The fear of living by faith. The fear of change. The fear of stepping into the unknown. All of these fears repress my desire to do what God asked me to do. I have a choice to make each time that fear steps in. I can listen to it and allow it to keep me from action or I can listen to God and act on what He said.
If Abraham learned his lesson, I can too. It was just a few chapters later when God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Without hesitation, Abraham woke up early and began to act on what God told him to do. He acted on God’s word before fear got a foothold in his mind. If we can learn to act on what God says before we allow fear to take over, we will begin to see the hand of God more in our lives. If we can trust God more than we trust fear, there’s no telling how different our lives would be.
David understood this principle too. In Psalm 56:11, he wrote, “In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” David had wrestled with fear and trust as well. Ultimately, you see that he learned the principle that you and I can adopt. We need to trust God when He asks us to do something. We need to block out fear so that it doesn’t keep us from accomplishing all that God has for us. In the end, it’s God’s opinion of us that matters, not man’s. Act quickly on what God speaks to you before fear has a chance to rear its head and stop you.
I never want to get to the point in my life that I’m too good or have too much that I won’t bend down to pick up a penny. I especially make sure that I pick them up when I’m going through a difficult time. There’s a lot to learn from a penny when you stop and look at it, but most of us toss them aside as worthless. When I look at a penny, I see things in it that help me through tough times.
One of the first things I recognize in a penny is that it costs more to make a penny than it’s worth. The government keeps producing them because they are an integral part of our monetary system in giving back exact change. There are times in my life when I don’t think I’m worth much. When I think of the cross and the price that was paid for me, I realize that it cost more to save me than I’m worth. I then realize that God sees me as worth it and as an integral part of His plan.
I also see on the penny the words “In God We Trust”. Those words are words of comfort in difficult times. They remind me where I need to place my trust when things are too hard to handle on my own. I try to face each trial in my own strength to prove to God that I can handle it. In reality, I feel the trials and tests are there not to test my strength, but my reliance on Him. In difficult times, I can trust in God.
The president that is on the front of the penny is Abraham Lincoln. There’s probably not another president who went through something as difficult as leading a nation divided by civil war. He relied on God to help him navigate that difficult period. One of the quotes I heard that was attributed to him was, “My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side.” He knew that God’s plan was more important than anything. I can learn a lot from that.
Another thing that stands out to me on the penny is the date. One of the things I like to do when I see the date on a penny is to think back and remember one thing that God did for me that year. When I recount the blessings of what God has done in my past, it gives me hope and strength that He’ll do it again. God has been faithful in my life. I just need to take the time to remember it. When I do that, my confidence in Him is bolstered and I know with Him I can face whatever comes my way.
I know there’s a lot more on a penny than what I mentioned here. You may not have looked at a penny the way I do. I see a lot of value in it beyond what it’s worth because of what it reminds me of. When God looks at you, He sees the same thing. He sees value beyond what you think you’re worth. He sees someone worth dying for. He sees someone worth spending eternity with. He sees what no one else sees, smiles and picks you up when others have discarded you. That’s what I see when I look at a penny. What do you see?