Trust. Control. Two words that seem to cause a constant struggle in my heart and life. To trust means to have an “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something” or the “belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc”. Control means to have power over (something), to direct the actions or function of (something) or to cause (something) to act or function in a certain way.” (Merriam Webster Online Dictionary)
I believe God. I believe His written words are truth, His truth. I read and believe in His goodness and yet when it come to my life so often I struggle to trust that He is good to me in all things. I struggle to trust that He will always DO good, not that He IS good. Yet, I know those two can not be separated. He is good and does good. (Ps 84:11; 119:68) I struggle to trust that He will always have MY good in mind even in the midst of horrific circumstances. I struggle in my human flesh to choose what I know is TRUTH over that which I FEEL.
Most days I am a desperate, needy child of God who battles over what I feel and what I know is truth. Truth says that God is trust worthy, He is good and He will work out all things together for my good and His glory. I don’t always see it. The good I mean. In many things I am still waiting to see the good. I might not ever see it until heaven and I need to be okay with that. I am most days.
You see the truth is I am broken, desperate and in need of a Savior. I have tried to be in control. I have tried to “fix” people and myself, but failure always comes. I can not do it. I was never meant to fix anyone or thing. I try to do in order to please so that I might be worthy, but it’s never enough. Even on my best day when I am totally in sync with Jesus it’s still not enough. The truth is I am a desperate, weak, needy sinner. Every single day I fail at some level to be righteously good. I do not have the power to make myself righteous, only Jesus does. Yet too often I try, in my own power, to be good enough.
I am desperate. Yet it is the desperate that Jesus came to save. The leper knew he was an outcast. He knew he was unclean, unworthy and could do nothing about it. He could not heal himself. So he did the only thing he could think of, he went to Jesus. The leper knew that no matter what he tried to do, how well he might try to hide his skin he would always be unclean. He knew he needed a savior. He needed the One true God and so he went out to find Him. (Matt 8:1-4)
The woman with a blood issue knew she too was unclean. She had tried for years to be clean but was powerless to do so. Nothing helped. No one could make her unclean. Then in desperation she reached out to Jesus. Empty of all other hope she reached out and touched Jesus and in that moment she was healed. (Luke 8:43-48)
Both the woman and the leper knew they had no power to fix themselves. They didn’t let their neediness keep them from reaching out. They knew their only hope was Jesus, God incarnate. In Him there was power to raise the dead and to make them clean.
In Jesus there is still the power to raise the dead, make clean, forgive sin and defeat the enemy. Yet I struggle to trust completely. I so often fight for control of my life. I want things “fixed” in my way, in my timing. The truth is, I want to be God. Not really, but isn’t that really what we are saying when we want control? Aren’t we saying, “God my way is better than yours?” If it wasn’t so serious it would be laughable. I mean, it’s not like I’ve done a good joy trying to control my world anyway.
How this must grieve the heart of God when I fight for control. Why do I say I believe with my mouth yet deny His power when I try to do it my way? Why do I deny the work that Jesus wants to do in me by thinking I know better?
Why? Because I am desperate and in need of the gospel. I need to preach it to myself every single day. And when I forget to preach it I forget I am not in control. Every single day I must remind myself that it is Jesus who came to die for my sins, my weakness, my desperation and neediness. He came to die and to defeat sin and death. He paid the price. I must remind myself that He died and then was raised through the power of God. He died, was raised from the dead and this same power that raised Him is available to me.
This is the power of the gospel living in me. A power that says, yes you are desperate, needy and you are so filled with pride to think you can control, yes you are unclean but Jesus came to set you free. Because of what Jesus did on the cross God sees Him not me. It’s the power of the Gospel of Jesus that tells me I can trust that He truly does have everything in control.
So on those days when I battle for control, when I am not inclined to trust completely I must preach the Gospel of Jesus to myself. I must choose to believe, trust and surrender to what I know it truth instead of what the circumstances show or how I feel.
Oh Father I find great comfort knowing that you will not stop your work in me until I am perfect. You will not give up on me. You do not grow weary or impatient with my desperation or neediness. No, because of Jesus You already see me as I will be. My mind can not comprehend it for I only see my need of You and yet You see Jesus. Forgive me for the times I lack trust and I refuse to surrender my will. Help me to trust more completely and surrender wholeheartedly to You. Amen.
Weekend Rewind and