H O P E–He Offers Peace Eternally
Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope. then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
Matthew 7:7,8 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. for everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Matthew 4:7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’
Deuteronomy 6:16 Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah.
Romans 8:26-28 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. 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.
John 14:26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
Friendships and deeper relationships need a foundation of trust. Trust is needed before the relationship can grow and develop. And it takes time to build trust. Persons who are not in the friend category, you generally are not sharing anything except ‘how’s the weather’ type of topics, so then don’t really need trust. If it is a cashier, you might glance at and mentally have tallied what your change will be, but that is it. There is no sharing of deep secrets, and intimate feelings. There is no real investment with that exchange or relationship with that person.
But friends and friendships are totally different. Those you consider friends are closer and more trusted than the many acquaintances you have. Acquaintances are casual, not close, not anyone you have shared your heart and deeper feelings with. You have not built the needed trust to risk your heart, to expose vulnerabilities. Those are important relationships and take time and require a foundation, a sturdy, not leaky foundation. And until you have a firm foundation, you don’t share the most intimate details of your life—good or bad.
I think most of the women in my circles tend to be trusting when they initially meet someone, and will give the benefit of doubt until and unless someone breaks the trust. That does not mean they initially share the stuff they keep in their “personal closet” but they maintain an open mind and attitude toward new folks.
There are a myriad ways to break trust—gossiping, lying, consistently making plans and not showing up, stealing, saying hurtful things—not necessarily a lie, but a deep jab, using someone’s weakness or sensitivity against them. It’s been a long time, thankfully, that I have been with females who behave like that, but I well remember the cliques in high school and the mean-spirited, hurtful thrusts.
And all good relationships take time to develop. It often takes time for us to build and trust in Jesus. Oftentimes, this is even more difficult for some as you can’t see Him. You don’t always hear a verbal guide, promise, or loving comment. You have to open the Bible, to study WHO His word says He is, and test it. He stands by His word, His promises. He encourages you to test His word. Our God is steady, sturdy, stable, and substantial. But, like all relationships, we sometimes need to test if He will really be there, will really rescue and guide us. That is from our uncertainties because of other previous “human” relationships we have had during our life. All humans are fallible and they sometimes disappoint and let us down. We have learned to be at least a little mistrustful, hesitant, guarded. . .and we ask (can it REALLY be? He wants me, He chose me? Me?)
And yes, He chose even me! All this doubt, uncertainty comes until you know in your heart, mind and soul, that YES, HE WANTS YOU! HE LOVES YOU. He knows who you are—all your faults, flaws, sins, and muck and mire…He knows, and is so thankful that You chose Him back. He’s always chosen you, and He waited patiently for YOU to choose HIM.
The delay was on you. God loves unconditionally and waits steadfastly for us to realize He loves us, and wants to love and embrace us. He is consistent, steady, loving, forgiving, and wants to support us and give us rest always. The mistrust comes from us—our past has hindered or experienced broken trust relationships. It may have started as very young children seeing “loving” parents fight, hurt, and create havoc in a home, being told that parents love one another, then seeing/hearing/witnessing the opposite of any kind of love and respect.
It may have been a friend who lied, gossiped, ridiculed you; it may have been a peer, someone you worked with who ‘stole’ your work and passed it off as their own; it may have been a sibling stealing something you valued, or lying about something in which you were punished, but they were not. Our mistrust is caused by people, not by God, yet, because we don’t see Him, sit on His lap, and fully trust what we can’t see, we doubt. And sometimes our prayers are not answered in the manner we prayed and wished for—someone died and we expected, wanted their full recovery, someone is living with addiction, and because we know God’s word says ‘Ask, Seek, Knock and you will receive’ (Matt 7:7,8) we expect immediate gratification to what we pray for. So we begin to question the bond of trust. (When, God, when? The promise is….) But God knows all, and it is not always according to OUR wishes, OUR agenda or timeframe.
We frequently need to see Him be steadfast and sturdy and experience the evidence of Him being in our life, before we fully trust. Listening to what He says when we pray can help us become more trusting. We may have to wait, the answer may be different than what we prayed for, and we are left feeling adrift, lost, hurt and confused.
We don’t know God’s mind, but we do know He has good plans for us, plans to prosper and not to hinder (Jeremiah 29:11). But when we don’t always see the results of our prayers, we wonder, maybe wander a bit away from His truth, staying on the fringes, but the bonds of trust have weakened. We are a people of wanting immediate gratification.
Early in my walk with Jesus, I would test frequently. It was the story of Gideon in Judges 6:30-36 which had me walking forward and saying “I accept.” So for a long while, I tested. “God, I’m not sure if this is right, the path You want me to follow, so . . . If this is what You want, then this will happen, but if You want this, then another will happen.” I was new, not in a strong church with bible studies, and so on, so I was not reading the bible often, and when I was, my mind danced in dizzying circles trying to understand the KJV and proper English. So I depended on the “fleece” results for years.
I had some good Christian friends, bought a different, easier to understand bible, and found a new church in the area I had moved. Let me tell you how shocked and apologetic I was to read, “You should not test the Lord your God.” (Matthew 4:7, Deuteronomy 6:16). . . Aw-oh!
But I grew in my knowledge of who He is, and who I am to grow toward. I attended bible studies, hung with other Christian women, continued reading and seeking. As I grew in my knowledge, trust deepened. So then it was relationship rather than scary deity. I became secure He loved me—not that there were not periods when I felt He was silent, (are You furious with me, Have You left me forever?) but I learned the issue was mine. I was the one who had messed up the relationship, and needed to examine how, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to correct it and exactly what I did wrong. It is the Holy Spirit who leads us to answers, uncovers hidden sins, blockades to deeper relationship with God. It is the Holy Spirit who puts verses in our minds, Counselor, Romans 8:26-28,Phil 4:4,6-7 John 14:16 “And I will ask the Father and He will give you advocate to help you and he will be with you forever.”
I do trust in this relationship and in His word. I share them when I can and believe in His promises. I may never see some of the things I am praying for come to pass—all family members being saved, but even if they accept when I am in the everlasting home, promise kept.
Thank You, God. You patiently let me examine the bricks of trust in this relationship and You just kept adding to them, until my whole heart was in. Thank You that I am so much less mistrustful and hesitant now. You have opened me to many wonderful friends and adventures. Thank You for all You continue to do for me and ‘mybellaviews.’