Pilgrims, Don’t Let Past Failures Stop You From Trusting God With Your Present

When we say we are going to trust God, what does that mean?

Is God waiting for you to trust Him with something? Answering that question might require being honest with yourself rather than holding on to comfortable stories. If you need to admit some difficult truths to yourself and confess them to God, do it. Then forgive yourself for not being perfect. Jesus died so you could be forgiven for that.

Not trusting God is not a small thing. It is a sin. A lack of faith, whether we claim to be too good or too bad or too smart for God, has one root, pride. Pride leads to rebellion which leads to sin which leads to guilt and the need for forgiveness. Pride says I can do it better than God. Trust admits that we can’t.

While we might think of faith as “simply trusting” , real faith is actually more complicated than you might think. This is because trust is an action word. You have faith, to trust God. Faith is a condition of your mind, what you believe about God. But trust refers to doing or not doing things in your physical life.

For example, you might say that you have faith that God is real and powerful and loves you. But this faith must be translated into action in your life by making decisions and choosing actions that show that you trust that God is sovereign over your life. That’s where people usually struggle. We hold onto the reins in areas where we don’t truly trust God because our faith is not resulting in real surrender to God’s will.

We can make a lot of rational excuses for our life choices. Such as , “God helps those who help themselves.” This is usually stated by someone who is working hard at being successful according to their definition of success, not the example that Jesus gave us in the Word. Pursuing worldly success and security is not based upon faith or trusting God.

But in my personal experience, which is what this post is really about, what has repeatedly held me back from fully surrendering my life to God is my own memories of past failures. I remember when I made bad choices that had real consequences . I remember when I made honest mistakes and embarrassed myself. I can’t forget the many times I quit jobs or didn’t complete something I enthusiastically started. I quit high school, but I went back and graduated. I did the same in college. I repeatedly let my emotions rule my life. And now I don’t trust myself to be responsible for important things.

The devil is called the accuser. He frequently reminds me of the times I have been an idiot, a hypocrite, a terrible mother, a bad friend, lazy, irresponsible and spoiled . He points out my mixed motives or when I’m taking the easy way out again. And he whispers , “see, you’ll always be a loser”. And too often I believe him!

But by His mercy, God is always working on me , telling me not listen to lies . So I throw myself at Jesus’s feet again and ask for help to trust him more so I can keep moving forward in my Christian journey.

Following Jesus means I was redeemed. I was saved from slavery to sin and eternal judgment. My life belongs to God now. As His child, I am expected to obey God’s will and I am responsible for that obedience, but not the end results. I’m a soldier, not the general. But unlike a general, God doesn’t make me obey. I still have to choose to do that.

But acting in faith is not just a mental or spiritual struggle. Our real lives are full of practical problems and actual people who have wants and needs and they resist and push us in other directions as we try to obey God.

But God knows this and He is at work. Although we can’t see a solution to our predicaments and obstacles, He already has it worked out. But we won’t see it unless we prayerfully and faithfully keep trusting and obeying. And sometimes that means not giving up on someone or yourself. And other times it means doing something that scares you.

I want to act in faith with the freedom I’ve been given. I want to be obedient to whatever God has planned for me which means I must be strong and courageous, not passive or fearful of failure. My faith is in God, not myself. God has demonstratedi His trustworthy character and sovereign power in my life. Once again, I surrender.



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