Have you ever been in a place of seeking after joy, real joy?
There was a season in my life when I was unsure what joy was, but I knew what I was living was anything but…tied to IV support to keep me alive. Every day of that journey I cried out to God to show me His joy.
Do you know what He showed me?
He showed me that if we want joy, we must trust Him. We do what He has called us to do and obey His leading, and then we trust Him for the result.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get wrapped up in “the doing” for God. I want to please Him with what I do.
But that’s not what pleases Him. What makes God happy is when we trust.
His word says, “And without faith (trust) it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe (trust) that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV).
Despite all the times that David wallowed in his misery in the Psalms, he continually came back to “and yet will I trust Him!” That’s what pleased God.
During the difficult trials, my trust muscle often seems weak. I find it hard to trust myself because my feelings are unpredictable. They are simply the outward manifestation of the thoughts I’ve believed.
I find it hard to trust others because their words often relay lack of understanding or compassion. Embarrassingly, I often also struggle to trust God, even though that’s my heart’s desire.
Morning after morning in the quiet of the dawn I silently prayed for God to help me trust Him more.
One morning as I prayed that same prayer again, I sensed God saying, “We’ve been over this before.” We had–just the day before, and the day before that, and several days in a row before that.
I wanted desperately to trust God more, but trusting Him was an area of weakness for me. This particular morning, however, He took a different approach with me.
“Yes, Lord, I know. I just seem to keep struggling. Please help me trust you more.” He surprised me with His next response (which was a typical clue to me that it was the Lord and not my own thoughts):
“It’s really not that complicated. It’s your choice. Either you choose to trust me or you don’t. Either you believe in me or you don’t. Either you believe I’m sovereign or you don’t. Don’t make it any more difficult than that.”
Hmm. When you put it like that it certainly does simplify things. If I’m honest, however, it doesn’t necessarily make it easy. I have to get past myself, past the sum of my human interactions with others that has weakened my readiness to trust in any capacity, and decide to re-engage.
Still, it is a choice. It is a risk. But what did I have to lose? My control? My responsibility? My burden? My loneliness?
Wasn’t that worth the risk?
Scripture repeatedly encourages us that if we “trust in the Lord, we will not be disappointed” (Psalm 25:3, Isaiah 28:13, Isaiah 49:23, Romans 10:11, 1 Peter 2:6). This is an empowering promise.
My struggle to fully trust God has been much like a game of tug of war. At times I trust Him so easily, yet at other times, I seem to fight with all my might by trying to achieve in my own strength rather than trusting His.
I have found, however, that God is not interested in fighting a battle to persuade me to trust Him. The Bible provides all the reasons to trust Him. Then He waits patiently for me to respond.
Sometimes I quickly come into agreement with His word, while other times I have to learn the hard way. Given His promise that we will not be disappointed when we trust Him, I have endeavored to trust Him more quickly in all matters.
What’s keeping you from trusting God?
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
A short brief about Hope Prevails.
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide
- An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
- As with the bestselling My Stroke of Insight, the author experienced the same condition she treats
- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.
For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.
Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: Hope Prevails Book.