The Risk of Trust
Trusting in God isn't always easy, but its always worth the risk.
Ever heard the saying “Put your faith in God”? For me this saying was accompanied by sweet old ladies pinching my cheeks while smiling kindly (totally unaware of the pain they inflicted), and nodding as if to say “Dont worry dear, everything will be OK”, as if they knew something I didnt.
Wait, there's a formula?
Turns out – wisdom does in fact come with age. Because these sages knew exactly what they were talking about. They also knew ‘how’ this was achieved. A formula not many young people (sometimes even adults) know. Its easy to say “Trust God” but if this doesn’t accompany a clear strategy on how this is done – how then is one to be able to just trust God – something easier said than done? After all, these ladies didn't have rosy lives, their lives were filled with hardships, but yet here they were, in their golden oldies, smiling, happy, peaceful and filled with hope!
Well, in my thirty-something years of experience, I had come to learn a few things. But first a bit of background:
I was raised in a Christian family in a non-Christian neighborhood. In my country we have eleven official languages, our previous Zulu president had nine wives… so saying I was raised in a “Christian’’ country would be inaccurate. My grandfather was a Pastor, a pioneer in fact in the local community where if one was not privileged by race (aka non-white) it was all the more harder to succeed in academic achievement, opening businesses or just life in general. But my grandfather did. He converted to Christianity at the age of 14 to a sermon entitled “Beauty for Ashes”. He married and my grandmother was converted too. Thus began the lineage of Christian Indian descendants in apartheid South Africa.
Now I sat in many a church service growing up, my loving grandfather took me (and the rest of the family) to many preaching events, where he was a guest speaker at different churches locally and nationally. He received his Doctorate in Theology in the United States in his late forties. By then, I was a teenager, and listening to boring preaching didn't interest me. All I wanted was to put on my headphones and listen to the latest rap songs and hang out with my friends rollerblading or playing soccer. It was only in my twenties that I started to open my ears to the messages being preached at church on Sundays; and slowly but surely the messages got to me, made me strong, and unbeknownst to me, this upbringing prepared me for life. It taught me that no matter what the circumstances in my life, the promises of God are forever and unchanging, and that as Christians, we have victory through Christ – by his death on the cross at Calvary. I only began to understand this in my second decade of life. By the time I got to my thirties, I was married, with two kids of my own, going through life’s inevitable difficulties – and this is where I questioned – where is God and why isnt He at my side right now? Aka “Why am I suffering?”
Looking back, I now realize that He was always there, ready and waiting, all I had to do was seek him:
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh. findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
When I was eight years old, my father was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and its safe to say that I lost out on having a father thereafter. My mom and him divorced that year too. Which is why I was raised by my grandparents, although I lived with my mother. They were always there for us, even through my moms consequent three mariages after my father. One of her husbands were physically abusive toward her. My dad lived with my grandparents (his parents) as they insisted on ‘home therapy’ for his condition. Which I suppose helped him, but scared the rest of us because every now and they he had a relapse and we all had to get strong men to hold him down and escort him to the nearest hospital in one of his frenzies.
I never attended Sunday school, I never learned the scriptures in the Bible (despite the fact that I was a Pastor’s granddaughter) – something which I have started to do more now in my mid-thirties. Because I finally see, that there IS a strategy, and I’m going to share it with you now. This is what you need to fight the attacks of the enemy in your life, and the life of every Christian:
1. Stay close to God – this you can do by reading a daily devotional with a scripture from the Bible for as long as it takes to start hearing God’s voice.
2. Join a church community – fellowship with others makes a world of difference. “For where two or more are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." [Matthew 18:20]
3. Pick out your favourite scriptures and say them out loud if you are ever feeling down, depressed, or stressed.
4. Voice out your frustrations to God. There's nothing wrong with telling Him exactly how you feel (cuss words are allowed).
5. Believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He DID die on the cross for our sins. Notice that I didn’t put this as point No. 1 – why because lets face it – its the hardest thing to do – to believe that a man who was born a human was actually the Son of God, AND that he ascended into heaven (unbelievable, I know) but yes thats the game changer.
6. Praise Him. Praise Him for the things you have, and the things you do not yet have. Have a grateful heart. Always.
I am still learning how to deal with life’s curve-balls (and more specifically the attacks of the enemy), but I know in my heart that Jesus has won the battle for me already, I know how the story of life ends… and I guess this is what those little old ladies who pinched my cheeks outside the church hall were smiling about. Victory through Christ, is already ours.
Bless you whoever is reading this, and know that God is just a prayer away. Don't give up.
For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. - John 3:16
Taking The Leap of Faith
Can you say you trust in God wholeheartedly?
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