Do I Really Trust? Let’s Find Out…

Do I Really Trust Let's Find Out...

This blog is titled Scattered Journal Pages for a reason, and it’s time I use the theme more than I do.

These are my contemplations, and the equivalent of what I would write (sort of) in my journal. My contemplations. Things I’m feeling, and learning, and growing from.

Yesterday (Monday) was a miserable day for me.

Actually, it really wasn’t miserable, but I was miserable. My attitude. My feelings. My outlook. And yes, a few days before, I had just written about not forgetting my joy.

I felt like a hypocrite, I really did. This girl who claims that joy lasts is not living with a joyful spirit.

And I mean, that totally happens. Sometimes we just succumb to our dark circumstances and make ourselves see only bitter dark tunnels with no end.

Some things have happened that have weighed on me emotionally, and I let that become the end.

Some people say they ‘can’t feel,’ but for me, it felt like I was just feeling so much. And for my future, I’m scared.

I have to do my own invented version of self-analysis when I feel this way.

Why am I so down?

I’m down because I’m scared to death.

Why am I so scared?

Because I have no idea what’s coming in the future.

Do I trust God?

Of course I trust God. Don’t I?

Do I trust that God’s plan is best, even when I can’t see it?

Well, I know it is.

 

Yes, but do I really trust? Do I trust that He will bring me through everything that happens to accomplish His plan?

Yes…I think so.

 

Do I trust that even if He doesn’t bring me through, that it’s for the best?

I don’t know. I should. Because I know it is. So, yes.

 

Then why am I still afraid?

Because…what if things never get better? What if my life stays just like this forever? What if I’m hopelessly lost for the rest of my life?

 

Should that really be my concern, though? Okay, let’s say things never get better. Say I have to live with my circumstances how they are long-term. Do I still trust that God’s way is perfect? Do I still believe that God has my life under control, that what happens happens, and that He will never leave me or forsake me?

*thinks for a long while* Yes, I do trust.

The light is what we make of it.

I told myself I was fumbling around in darkness. I told myself I had to be miserable. I told myself I was in a tunnel without and end. I told myself that there was no light.

 

But those are lies.

 

I forgot (temporarily) what the Bible says.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

I wasn’t giving thanks and living with what God had given me. But now I am.

2 Samuel 22:31

“This God—his way is perfect;

the word of the Lord proves true;

he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.”

I wasn’t trusting that as hard as God’s plan may be, that it is the best. Now I am.

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

I wasn’t trusting that God’s plans for me were for my welfare, future, or hope. But now I realize that they are.

Isaiah 55:8-9

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

I was basing my fear of insecurity off of my perception of what was going on. Instead, I’ve refocused. I’ve realized that things may look like they’re impossible, but God has a plan through it all. That His ways are far better than mine.

The verses speak for themselves.

I want to encourage all of you today, don’t give up on trusting God.

Don’t give in to the lies that hold you captive.

Never lose hope that God’s ways are best, and whatever happens is for your good and His glory.

And please remind me of all of this when I feel like I’m in the dark!

*aj

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Even When It’s Hard

Even When It's Hard

Life is pretty crazy at the moment.

I will spare you the details, but let’s just say things are different around here at the moment.

And it’s not easy. I’m easily overwhelmed, and it’s hard at times. Lots of times.

Through all of this, I’m realizing more and more that God is faithful.

In the easy times, and in the hard times, God does not change. He does not leave. He does not forget us. He does not forsake us. He does not revoke His promises. His grace still stands. He never stops loving us. He still protects us, even when it seems like our world is crushing us. He is still with us…even when we can’t feel Him.

Psalm 91 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. And it’s such an encouragement. You all know how much I love words and imagery.

Please do read all of it when you get a chance (it is really beautiful) but here are just the first two verses.

Psalm 91:1-2

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress,

my God, in whom I trust.’”

I always have to remind myself that God is my refuge, and He is faithful when I am faithless.

2 Timothy 2:13

“if we are faithless, he remains faithful—

for he cannot deny himself.”

Psalm 36:5

“Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.”

Deuteronomy 7:9

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations[.]”

Even though life is really rough, God keeps His promises about never leaving or forsaking us. It still stands true that God comforts us.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

I know this post is short today. But know this.

Whatever you are going through today, God will be with you. He is faithful, and His promises still stand.

And lastly, one of my favorite verses.

Isaiah 43:2

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”

I’m really tired…so I’m not going to say much more. Please know that God is for you and not against you, and that He wants to work good out through your situation.

Trust. The key to everything.

Don’t forget to trust Him who formed you, created the stars, and know every thought you’ll have even before you think it.

Trust Him, for He is trustworthy.

Even when it’s hard.

*aj

Bits of Advice to Turn Over Your Worry Into Trust

Girl on Lake

Lately, I’ve been thinking.

Not about anything in particular, really, but just about the future.

Everything from the coming school year to my life career, from my future marriage to my future kids, and all that. (If I told you that I also think about retirement on occasion, you’d think me mad. But to quote Alice – from Wonderland of course – all the best people are. We’re all mad here.)

What if I “fail” school this year?

What exactly am I going to do when I graduate?

What if I’m still single at 30?

What if I can’t have kids?

What if I lose my friends?

What if…what if…what if…And on and on.

Though I don’t completely consider myself an anxious person, I do sometimes get caught up too much in my thoughts. You must know, that as an introvert, I spend way too much time thinking about things and less time talking them through. This, in turn, leads to stressing over things that are completely implausible and ridiculous, but you couldn’t tell me that then if you tried.

So, as a reference for myself in the days to come and everyone else who has ever struggled with stress or anxiety (let’s face it – we all have), I’ve compiled some hopefully-helpful advice for the life ahead.

  1. No matter how many self-help books we read, or conferences we attend, or sermons we stream online, or any other resource we gather information from, there’s no better truth than the Bible.

No matter how stressed, depressed, anxious, or afraid I feel, I can always – I repeat, ALWAYS – find strength and encouragement in the Bible. Here are some of my top verses that encourage me when I’m going crazy.

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Psalm 55:22

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

Psalm 118:5-6

Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

  1. God is always near to us. He has never left, and never will, and will deliver us.

Psalm 34:17-18

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Psalm 143:7-8

Answer me quickly, O Lord! My spirit fails! Hide not your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit. Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

Isaiah 41:13

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”

It’s crazy to think of how many times we don’t pray and trust God through each aspect of our lives. Even in hardships, a lot of times, I forget that my all-powerful and all-loving Creator is on my side.

For example, I read a random fact that the average person will spend two weeks of their life sitting at a stoplight. Think about that. Can you imagine if we spent that same amount of time in prayer, turning our worries over to God? Can you imagine if we spent that same amount of time every day getting to know God better?

For me, that really puts things in perspective, because I know that I spend more time of my life all stressed out than I spend sitting at a red light. Whoa. I’m going to change that.

  1. We don’t need to trust in ourselves.

Most of my stress comes from my forgetting that I’m not the one in control. So often I think about how “I’m not going to be able to ______” or “I don’t know how ______ is going to come together” or whatever. It’s really crazy to think like this, because this burden is not for me to carry.

Read this and believe it along with me.

I’m not the one in control of my life, but I know the One who is. He loves me, and has a perfect plan all laid out for me.

It’s not all up to me.

I just need to trust, for His ways are best.

1 John 3:20

For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.

  1. Worry Time doesn’t do any good. Trust Time does.

Matthew 6:27

And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

Proverbs 12:25

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.

All the time we spend in stress could be turned over into time trusting in God. Trust is soooooo much more beneficial than stress…because all of this isn’t in our hands anyway.

For me, I know that having the security of God’s promises is enough.

When we don’t trust, we are essentially saying, “God, I don’t believe that you are strong enough to handle my problems.” Ouch, right? Of course He has everything under control, even as out-of-control as it may seem.

But He’s never going to let us down or disappoint us. I find it to be such a beautiful and awe-inspiring thing that God cares so much about us to hold our lives so carefully. He can do anything, and nothing is too hard for Him!

Jeremiah 32:17

‘Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.

So let’s all do something together. Let’s trust in the One who has it all under control. As hard as that is, I’m surrendering my stress, worries, and anxiety to my Maker, who holds me so tightly in the palm of His hand. ❤

*aj

Lead Me When I’m Blind

Rocks and Waterfall

Do you ever just feel blind?

Sometimes I feel really blind. And… I feel like I’m lost.

Or alone.

Or afraid, because I’m dancing really close to the edge of a cliff.

Or I’m fighting for my life, blindfolded, in a gladiatorial arena. (Um… never mind.)

Sometimes I feel like my life is a mystery. Like what, I’m going to have to figure out what to do? On my own? By myself? I’m going to have to guess how to live my life, and hopefully not mess up? That’s sure what it feels like sometimes.

I feel inadequate. Do you want to know why?

I feel inadequate because I am inadequate.

By myself, I am exactly how I feel. I am blind. Lost. Alone. Afraid (and rightly so). Fighting blindfolded.

I’m never gonna make it anywhere in this life if I try to do life by myself. See, we were made for more. God made us to love Him, glorify Him, and live for Him. In doing these things, we are satisfied in Him.

He has a plan for us all. No matter what we are going through, He is with us. By our side. Fighting for us. He is our Father.

We are blind, but He is leading us. And that’s really hard for me, because I’m a visual person. I want to see it to believe it. Don’t just tell me, show me! But God doesn’t always work like that.

There’s a few verses that have really encouraged me when I feel blind.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

 

Romans 8:28

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

 

Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

 

Isaiah 42:16

And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.”

 

I’m learning more and more to trust God with everything. He has a good plan for us. No matter how powerless and insecure we feel being blind, God really is leading us. He works out our lives for good, no matter how hard and horrible it may seem. Our understanding is flawed, but His is perfect. He straightens our paths. He guides us in paths we have not known. He does not ever forsake us. And He is always with us.

It’s so hard to wrap my mind around.

I mean, I’m not speaking from a bubble in happiness land. No, I’m right here, and life is hard.

It is extremely hard to trust God.

But once we give up trying to be the leaders and orchestrating our own lives, and give God the keys, it’s wonderful. Nothing we do can be done by ourselves alone.

It is God who empowers us to do the things He has planned for us, and not just what we can humanly do.

So maybe being blind is okay.

By letting God lead us, we will be so much better off.

He knows the plans He has for us. Plans for welfare and not for evil. Plans to give us a future, and a hope.

We can be strong and courageous because He is with us.

He will never leave; He is always going to be right here.

He guides us in paths we do not know.

We need Him more than ever, and He wants us to lean on Him.

God, please lead me when I’m blind.

*aj

How Long Will I Trust God?


How Long Will I Trust God?
Really, how long will it be? What will be the thing that would make me stop?
The world wants me to believe that I know what’s best for me. Because “only I would (and do) know that”. It’s “my” life, after all. 
But wait. Who gave me “my life”? Um, God did, actually. So technically it’s not “mine,” then. 
The Spirit of God has made me,         and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. (Job 33:4, ESV)
Who knows what’s best for me? Well, God gave me life with a purpose, so He must (and does). 
The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. (Psalm 138:8, ESV)
Sometimes that’s the only thing I have to hold on to. When my world falls apart and I can’t help it, He will get me through. When life crumbles and feels like it’s crushing me, it’s okay. 
Because I trust God. 
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,         and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6, ESV)
I will trust Him always. 
I will trust Him when I succeed. I will trust Him when I fail. 
I will trust Him when I’m singing with joy. I will trust Him when I’m crying tears of pain. 
I will trust Him if I stay right here. I will trust Him if He calls me away. 
I will trust Him with now. I will trust Him with the future. 
I will trust Him if I stay secure. I will still trust Him if I lose everything. 
I will trust Him no matter what happens. 
I think we have two choices. 
1) Trust God and follow along, because He knows what’s best for us. 
2) Don’t trust Him and be dragged around in life, because we honestly have no idea what’s best for us.
Without God, we. are. hopelessly. lost. Really. Our finite minds cannot know the best. We can’t even make good little decisions. How could we possibly trust ourselves with our entire lives?
I’ve made my choice. I’m trusting God, and I’m not turning back.
*aj