Peace is one of the most precious gifts God has promised His children. I know, because for many years my life was not peaceful, and I was miserable. So, to now have this peace and live in God's rest is a treasure to me. And it is a gift that He wants all of us to have.
But to attain this peace and rest, I had to learn to be patient while God was working in my life. It definitely didn't just happen overnight. I had to learn to trust God while His peace was being cultivated in me. And I think we all have to learn this very important lesson.
I believe that a trusting attitude and a patient attitude go hand in hand. You see, when you let go and learn to trust God, it releases joy in your life. And when you trust God, you're able to be more patient. Patience is not just about waiting for something…it's about how you wait, or your attitude while waiting.
The key to it all is humility. Philippians 2:5 says, "Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility].
Humility may well be one of the most difficult of the fruit of the Spirit to be cultivated in us – and to maintain. That's because without humility, it's not likely that you will put your complete trust in God.
I have learned from personal experience that putting trust in God means there will be some unanswered questions. That was a hard lesson for me because I naturally want to understand everything…to know what's going on so I can feel like I'm in control.
It's just human nature to try and figure things out. So, when we're in the midst of a situation, we usually try to reason our way through it. We generally want to know "Why, God, why?" or "When, God, when?" We want to know the outcome now. Our pride just has a hard time with not knowing. Because to not know means to not be in control, and that's hard on the flesh! But humility submits to what God is doing. This is where we must make a decision.
Where Will You Put Your Trust?
Deciding to trust God releases us from feeling like we have to have all the answers. And Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us exactly where to put our trust: "Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths." I don't know if it can be much clearer than that…We are just not smart enough to run our own lives…but God is!
And the good news is He will not promise us something and then leave us on our own to make it happen. His Word tells us that "no [one] who believes in Him [who adheres to, relies on, and trusts in Him] will [ever] be put to shame or be disappointed" (Romans 10:11).
Here's something else I've discovered: God won't give us the ability to solve our own problems. He's got that covered. But He does give us the capacity to help someone else solve theirs. So, while we are putting our trust in Him to work in our situation, the best thing we can do is focus on being a blessing to others.
Forty Years or Eleven Days?
As I mentioned earlier, another essential part of trusting God is having patience. It is very important to realize this, because even when a decision is made to trust God, it doesn't mean that things will just fall into place right away. We may have to wait – and wait longer than we think we should have to – on some things.
It's important to understand that while we're waiting, having a negative, impatient attitude will not make God hurry. Remember, the Children of Israel spent 40 years in the wilderness on what could have been an 11-day journey, mainly because of their attitude! When things were not going like they wanted, they began to murmur and complain and ultimately, they sinned against God, simply because they got impatient and stopped trusting Him.
A good question to ask yourself is, Will I keep God's commands when I'm not getting what I want? Will you continue to put your trust in Him? Will you exercise patience while you wait on Him to work things out for you?
I encourage you to do like the Word of God says in Psalm 5:11; 7:1; 9:10; 11:1; 16:1; and 20:7, just to name a few. The idea here is to plan to put your trust in God…to trust yourself and everything in your life to Him. That way, you will free yourself to focus on loving and being a blessing to others, while you are confident that God is working on your behalf.
Remember, God is always in control. So, humble yourself…trust Him…and be patient. You will not be disappointed.