Category Archives: trust

This We Believe

The denomination in which I was raised did not practice infant baptism, but rather, encouraged a personal decision to follow Jesus Christ, usually followed by baptism and church membership a few years later. I was eighteen years old and about to graduate from high school when I got baptized along with several of my friends.

Prior to baptism, all candidates were required to complete a catechism course (ours was taught by the truly awesome pastor of our church), and we studied a book called This We Believe, by James H. Waltner. I lost the original copy of my book somewhere along the way and it’s out of print now, but a few years ago I came across one at a thrift store, so I forked over fifty cents to go home with a piece of my past. My purpose? I wanted to trace my faith back to its roots to discover if what I believed, or was told to believe in that catechism class, was what I still believed today.

Reading the book has surprised me. First of all, the deep description of the Christian faith is remarkable. I’m pretty sure that as a teenager I never read the book with much serious thought about how and why my salvation was actually possible. It just was. Second of all – and this may sound like a contradiction to my first of all – the book barely scratches the surface of where my faith is today.

Does that mean I’ve made progress? I sure hope so. What I do know is that the more I study God’s Word and spend time with Him, the more I realize how much I don’t know. But instead of being frustrated by that knowledge, it motivates me to dig in and study more. Allowing the Holy Spirit to teach me the things I need for where I am right now is the absolute best place to be and the best way to grow spiritually.

It’s sad when people give up on their faith because they think God doesn’t hear them, or because reading the bible is too complicated, or following Him requires too much sacrifice. None of that is true. Sometimes, however, it requires a return to the basics to find out what you believe and why you believe it.

What do you believe.

For this is how much God loved the world – he gave his one and only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life. God did not send his Son into the world to judge and condemn the world, but to be its Savior and rescue it! John 3:16-17 (TPT)

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Filed under Bible, Christian, Faith, God, holy spirit, Jesus Christ, trust

Help

When I was eight or nine years old, I thought I was going to drown. I was at a lake with my family and, being a dauntless kind of kid, I jumped into the water at the end of the dock. No big deal, right?

Wrong.

The water was deeper than I had anticipated and I couldn’t swim, at least not well enough to compensate for the depth I was in. I started thrashing around, went under, came up and thrashed some more. That’s when I decided it might be a good idea to call for help. Except no one was around. No. One. I think my guardian angel must have rolled his eyes when God gave him the nod to get me out of yet another mess of my own making. By some miracle (thanks, God), my legs straightened out and my feet touched sand. I made it to the shore and upchucked a few gallons of lake water. I was safe.

I don’t know what I expected when I cried out for help. I had no conscious thought of calling on God for assistance while I was flailing around in that water, but He heard me and made certain that a foolish and terrified little girl didn’t drown in the lake that day. I admit that I never even thought to give Him credit until years later.

This memory reminded me of how often we find ourselves drowning. Drowning in trouble, in sorrow, in debt, in broken relationships, in loneliness, in anger, in confusion, in fear, in unforgiveness, etc. It’s an awfully long list. We plead with God to help, asking for answers that don’t seem to come, and we grow weary. Hopeless. Desperate, even. We sink, floundering in the deep water.

In those impossible situations, it’s hard to see the answer, especially if it doesn’t look like we think it should. We have ideas in our heads for what we think the perfect solution is, but our Father, who knows us even better than we know ourselves, always provides the best way to overcome the problem. How often do we miss it because we’re looking for our way and not His? We revert to survival mode instead of trust-in-God mode. Believe me when I tell you that it doesn’t work. At least not as well as it would have had God’s direction been followed.

Trying to keep yourself from drowning isn’t fun. I know this. Neither is relying on your own resources. They may keep you afloat for a while, but you’ll sink eventually. Call for help. Listen to what the Father has to say about your circumstances, even if it’s not what you want to hear. Trust Him.

He really does have the best answers. I know this too.

The following became a life scripture for me when I memorized it as a child. I like it in The Passion Translation:

Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make. Become intimate with him in whatever you do, and he will lead you wherever you go. Proverbs 3:5-6 (TPT)

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