Trust and thankfulness

I tend to worry things to death – like a dog with a bone.

So, I have been meditating recently on this passage from Philippians 4:6:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but, in everything, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God.”

The more I think about it, the more I realize what good advice this is. In essence, this tells me that if I truly believe that God has my best interests at heart, I must simply take my problem to him and let go.  And then thank him for what he is going to do.

This involves faith in God and the character of God.  Is he truly loving?  Does he want the best for me?  Am I willing to let God decide what is best for me?

I am more and more convinced of the truth of the well-known verse Romans 8:28:

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

But what happens when there is no immediate evidence that things are turning out better?  That’s where I need to have faith and trust in God.

I don’t think it is blind faith to trust God when things are going badly.  In my case, I can look back and see that bad things have sometimes turned out for good.

But, what if the bad things in my life never turn out well in my lifetime? Suppose I am unable to see where God has worked things out for good while I am alive?

There, I think it is good for me to try to see things through God’s eyes.  Is my problem part of a larger drama?  Is God working things out for good in a greater plan?

I remember reading about a young Christian girl in the Soviet Union being beaten to death by Soviet police because of her faith.  One of the police officers was so struck by her steadfast faith that he began searching for God and became a believer.

The Bible is full of stories of prophets who spoke God’s word and never saw change in their lifetimes.  But their words have fallen on fertile ground in later generations over thousands of years.

What I love about Philippians 4:6 is the phrase “with thankfulness”.  Thankfulness is one way of stepping out in faith.  It is saying: “God, I thank you for whatever you are going to do.  Thank you that you are working this out for good.”

So, now I am learning to hand over my problems to God and releasing them.

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