Have you ever had the pleasure of knowing someone who gave God everything they had, living each day like it was their last?
I think we all want to live that way. But if fear gets hold of us or life gets busy, we can get distracted from the dreams and goals God gives us.
Well, I want to encourage you today that you can do everything God calls you to do if you will learn to trust Him "in the middle."
See, we all get excited when God initially tells us to do something. And it feels great to finally accomplish what He's given us to do. But it's what we do in the middle that determines whether we will make it to our finish line and how long it takes to get there.
Remember the story about how Jesus calmed the sea? (See Mark 4:35-41.)
Jesus said to His disciples, "Let us go over to the other side [of the lake]," and right away they got in the boat. They were probably excited to go with Him. But when they got out on the water, a major storm arose and their boat started sinking!
Now, it may seem clear to us that since God was with them, they were going to make it safely to the other side. But think for a minute: How would you have handled that situation?
Would you have trusted God to get you to the other side?
A lot of people never get to see their dreams fulfilled because they just don't know how to trust God "in the middle."
Getting to Know God in the Storm
Back in the early days of my ministry, I quit my job so I could become a full-time Bible teacher. Because I was serving Him, I really thought He was going to work quickly to bring Dave and me to a place of financial blessing. That's not what happened.
For a number of years, we depended on God for everything we had right down to our socks and underwear. I remember, every month we needed about $40 beyond what we had just to pay our bills-and we learned to trust God to provide it-and He always did.
Looking back, those years are so precious to me because it was during that time that I developed a close relationship with God, and I experienced Him working in my life on a daily basis.
When you learn to put your life in His hands, you will also experience His faithfulness, and you will be amazed what it does for your relationship with Him.
Holding On to What's Yours in Christ
Jesus gave us many gifts, but one of my favorites is peace (see John 14:27).
This may surprise you, but you don't even have to pray for peace when you need it. Just thank God that you already have it! Choosing an attitude of faith will release peace out of your spirit and into your soul.
Now, it takes diligence to keep an attitude of peace, but you can do it. A peaceful person thinks and talks like this: "God, I don't like what I'm going through right now, but I trust You to get me through it. I know You're in control and will work all things out for my good. Give me the grace to be stable in this situation."
If you're not careful to think and speak words of faith, worry will creep in, and it will not only steal your peace and joy, it will steal your "today."
The present is the greatest gift God ever gives us. So hold on to the peace that's yours in Christ. Don't let it go.
Psalm 37:3 says, "Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed."
Even during the storms in your life, keep reaching out to people. Be a blessing. Sow seeds of time, service, love and encouragement and you will make it through the middle to reap a harvest in your life.