We were recently on a family vacation and spent a few days in the Magic of Disney World. My kids love rides! We all do. When I think of ‘white knuckling it’ I recall gripping onto the bar on a roller coaster…loving the thrill but at the same time …not letting go!
Can you relate? I sure can. There have been times in my life when I felt like I was on a ‘ride’ and couldn’t get off so I simply held on until the end!
NOT the best way to appreciate a ‘ride’! You see – when you actually trust the bar that is placed in front of you, that in fact, the engineers have designed that ride so that you will be able to endure it safely – you ‘raise your arms’!!
Giving into the thrills and spills and feeling the exhilaration that comes with the adventure of ‘letting go’!
This is like living with a spirit of TRUST in the Christian’s life. You see, when I can stop ‘white knuckling it’ and just hoping for the ride to end – I actually miss out on the thrill of the ride – I lose the exhilaration of giving into the twists and turns and TRUSTING that the ride has been well planned out – it is intended to bring me joy – in the midst of the tension and fear!
Why is it that I have a tendency to ‘white knuckle’ it … rather than trust God? That TRUST word is a tricky one to actually live out. I can say I trust God. That’s easy! I can even pray it…Lord I trust you…help me trust you…and then I find myself caught up in anxious thinking, worry or fear – and grasping for anything to ‘hold on to’ rather than raising my hands and releasing my fear to God – trusting that He has engineered a perfect ride for me!
So, how can you learn to trust God in the middle of a crazy ride? It’s called FAITH!
You don’t get faith by sitting in a Bible study group or just talking about it. Faith is like a muscle; it develops by being used. The more you use your faith, the more it gets stretched. And the more it gets stretched, the more God is able to bless your life and the more you will actually be able to ‘enjoy the ride’!
We call the circumstances that God creates to stretch our faith “trials”: “These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold” (1 Peter 1:7a NLT).
When your on what seems to be a crazy ride, you can know that it is an opportunity for you to develop your faith so you can trust God more.
Here’s a few ‘crazy rides’ that God may be allowing you to experience so that you can increase your faith and trust in Him:
The STRESS Ride “How will you handle stress?” Will you depend on yourself, or will you depend on God? Psalm 50:15 says, “Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me” (NIV). Do you turn to God when you’re in trouble and not to other things?
The People Ride God often uses people in your life to test and stretch and develop your faith. This test asks the question, “How will you handle disappointment?” Life is often disappointing. Careers, marriages, and even plans don’t turn out the way we planned them. But the most disappointing thing in life is people. Why? We get disappointed by people because we expect them to meet a need that only God himself can meet. This is a test!
Your problem is not the people in your life. Your problem is your response to the people in your life. People are not the problem, and they’re not the answer to the problem, either. The answer is God. When you expect other people to be your savior, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
Jeremiah 17:7 says, “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence” (NLT). What happens if you trust in the Lord? Look at God’s promise in Isaiah 49:23: “Those who hope in me will not be disappointed” (NIV).
You will NEVER BE DISAPPOINTED in the ‘ride’ when you lift your hands toward God and truly trust Him – he will be your HOPE and your CONFIDENCE!
What about you?
Which of these ‘rides’ is God using in your life right now to stretch your faith?
How will you choose to respond to the stress and people in your life that are testing your faith?