Are the troubles of the world interfering with your faith and trust in God? Tired of living life with worry, doubt, and fear? Does it seem that you fight the same mind games and can’t put it behind you once and for all? Well this book is for you! Here are concrete, day-by-day, step-by-step, show-me-how-to-do-it fighting tools
Once you develop a habit of knowing the depth of God's love for you, you will remove your boundaries and the wolrd opens before you. But you must develop this new love habit.
Get in the Wheelbarrow
There is a difference between faith and trust. Friends of mine, counseled me as I was being constantly bombarded during my congressional campaign. (See Day 4.) The money wasn’t coming in. The voters didn’t believe that all the facts I had unearthed about my opponent were true. And I was not getting the type of support that I had been promised. I complained to my two friends that my faith was absolutely strong: I know that God exists. I know this and I know that, I know this and I know that.
Well, my friend, Marinna, picked apart my arguments and showed me that my problem was that I did not trust the Lord; she used an example to clarify:
“Picture,” she said, “A rope going across from one end of the volatile Niagara Falls to the other. Now picture a wheelbarrow on that rope.” “Faith”, Marinna said, “Was believing that God could push the wheelbarrow across. Trust is when you get in the wheelbarrow.”
I was immediately shocked and quietly said, “I can’t get in the wheelbarrow.” “Well,” she said, “That’s your trouble: you don’t trust God.”
See, getting in the wheelbarrow means giving up total control. And I couldn’t do that! Have you seen the dangerous waters swirling in Niagara Falls? Can you picture the depth of the fall if I should have tumble from the wheelbarrow? But I failed to remember that God can take you through. And you don’t control your life anyway—even if you are not a Christian. What do I mean? Well, if you controlled your life, you could live anyway that you want to and when you died, you could will your spirit to heaven. But it doesn’t work that way!
Well, I got in the wheelbarrow. But it took all night of tossing and turning, wrestling with my thoughts, questioning God, wondering just how much God really loved me, and on and on. But then something happened? What do I mean? Well I remembered something the children of Israel did in times of trouble: they would speak aloud all that the Lord had done for them in the past. And, by doing so, they gained courage to realize that if God helped them in times past, He would help them again. So I decided to write all the troubles that I had endured and how God was faithful to bring me through all of them—even if it did not work out the way that I wanted.
Let me tell you that the consequent peace that washed over me is unimaginable. In fact, I was so at peace that when I met Marinna the next morning, she looked at me and said that I had the look of peace! I had not said a word to her so how could she know that I was fully at peace? And so I was amazed that my peace was so evident, that God’s presence was so evident, that my peace was also a physical manifestation!
So, your assignment is to not be overwhelmed by what you are facing. Begin to list all the times in your past that God was with you—begin to experience His peace.
One last thing: Hebrews 11:1 talks to us about faith. It tells you that what the Bible says happened is what happened; believing that what God says will happen is what will happen; and, believing that what we hope will happen will happen. It doesn’t mean that it will happen; it means that you are believing that it will.
In fact, you will not attempt any thing unless you believe that it will come to fruition. Look at what Shadrach, Mishach, and Abednego said:
O Nebuchadnezzar we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able save us. He will rescue us from your power, your majesty. But even if He doesn’t…26
Look at some other biblical people and how they exercised their faith and trust:
1. Naaman, a Gentile, had enough faith to at least go and dip himself in the “dirty” river of the Israelites (2 Kings 5:14). And this faith was enough that Jesus mentioned Naaman’s action in Luke 4:27;
2. After a long night of fishing—without any success—when Jesus told Peter to cast the nets again, Peter had just enough faith to believe that maybe, just maybe fish would indeed be caught (Luke 5); and,
3. A hurting father had enough faith to bring his child to the disciples to be healed (Mark 9:24)
I want you to see that the people above didn’t have a bucket full of faith; they had little faith: but they used the little faith they had!
1. Naaman had enough faith to believe that what a little, servant girl told him to do is what he should do. Naaman then had enough faith to at least walk down to the river.
2. Peter had enough faith to do what Jesus said even though he had worked all night and was not successful.
3. The father had enough faith to at least bring the child instead of staying home on the couch.
So, let’s say that as you are singing in church, you suddenly have a thought that God isn’t listening. Using the faith that you do have, you should realize that you at least had enough faith to get up, get dressed, and walk/drive to church in the first place; and that you’re even singing in the second place means something! God will help you with your faith for the rest of the way.
Look, you would not have come to church and also be singing unless you had faith—even if the faith is so tiny that it’s the size of a mustard seed. Have you ever seen a mustard seed? It is so tiny that it can fit under your finger nail. And, by the way, that’s all the faith that Jesus says you need—He doesn’t require a bucketful of faith: just give him faith that’s the size of a mustard seed to work with. (Matthew 17:20)
On a different note of faith, you might say, “But look what Paul’s faith got him. Paul believed that God was sending him to Rome and that he would eventually be killed there!” (Acts 23:11, 25:11, 26:32) But I say to you, we must again remember that God’s definition of success is obedience!
So, get in the wheelbarrow!
Scripture reading for today: Psalm 62 and 78