Living What You Believe
Over the last two months I have written about two questions: What do you believe about you? and, What do you believe about God? February’s article considered three facts about your standing before God. You are loved, cared for, and saved if you have believed in Christ for salvation. In March, I challenged you to consider the fact that God is faithful, sufficient, and good. Whether or not you believe these statements will greatly impact your view of the world. These six truths greatly influence your perspective on life.
Your belief system is the lens through which you evaluate the world. This is commonly referred to as your worldview. You and I live in a world that is broken by the effects of sin. All of creation groans as it waits to be set free from its bondage (e.g., Romans 8:19-23). Troubles and difficulties are all around you, making your worldview of great importance. You must vigilantly assess the world from a Christ-centered perspective while adopting realistic expectations. If you don’t bring a biblical understanding to your daily life, you will be unprepared, discouraged, and unable to function as God intends.
Like you, I want to live a life that matters. I would prefer to rid my life of dysfunction and be a functional part of God’s plan of redemption. To help us live more functionally, let’s study three specific ways we can apply these six truths to your daily life. I will also call your attention to three positive outcomes of believing that you are loved, cared for, and saved by grace while also trusting that God is faithful, sufficient, and good.
First, by choosing to confidently rest in God’s faithfulness, you can successfully turn your feelings of weakness into Holy Spirit-empowered strength. In 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 Paul writes, “Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Weakness is a part of life. All people have shortcomings and need God’s daily provision of strength to function as God intends. Your weaknesses usually show during the most inopportune moments. Your impatience and anger never come out when it’s convenient. Your anxiety and worry never arise when you’re perfectly prepared to keep them in check. Your insecurities and selfishness always show when you’re feeling the most vulnerable. The point is simple and easy to see: you are weak. But God’s power is evidenced in your weakness. When you confidently rest in God’s faithfulness, you are able to turn your weakness into His strength.
Second, by choosing to confidently rest in God’s sufficiency you can successfully turn your feelings of inadequacy into joyful confidence. In 2 Corinthians 9:8 the Apostle Paul wrote, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” I am convinced that a lack of confidence keeps most people from accomplishing all that God has equipped them to do. The most prominent battle in your life is in your mind and heart. There is something dark and deceitful that still lurks in your heart. Your cravings are not perfected, and Satan can use them to lure you into sinful actions. Satan can also attack your mind and keep you from believing truth about God and yourself. God has created you and equipped you with specific gifts to be used for His glory.
The Bible clearly forbids pride and arrogance, but the Scriptures do not forbid you from living with confidence. God has equipped you for service, and there is no sin in owning your giftedness and using it for God’s glory. Works do not save you from your sin, but God equips His people so that good works may abound after salvation. Satan wants to keep you timid. The devil would love for you to remain consumed with your sense of inadequacy. The accuser wants to remind you of your shortcomings and failures. The reason the enemy wants you to dwell on your inadequacies is so you will remain insecure and self-conscious. Resting in the sufficiency of God’s power allows you to confidently abound in good works that help build God’s kingdom. Don’t confuse confidence with pride. Pride is sin. But confidence in God’s sufficiency allows you to joyfully serve your Creator.
Third, by choosing to confidently rest in God’s sovereign plan, you can successfully turn your feelings of confusion into clarity. In Psalm 25:8-10 David writes, “Good and upright is the LORD; therefore He instructs sinners in the way. 9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way. 10 All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.” In the middle of your weakness, when you are dealing with feelings of inadequacy and confusion, you will run somewhere to find direction and refuge. There are many places we tend to run seeking relief and direction. We can seek clarity from another person, entertainment, a substance, food, or sexual pleasure. Since none of these can provide lasting help and comfort, your pursuit only adds to the disappointment and trouble you’re already experiencing. Seeking direction and help from something or someone other than God always leads you to a dead end. Thankfully, God willingly leads those who are upright. God lovingly directs the humble. God’s steadfast love and faithfulness keeps those who trust Him on the right path.
The world is filled with uncertainty. Confusion abounds in the world, leaving us uncertain and fearful about the future. As humans, we readily place our trust in people or pleasures to give us the direction we long for, but our souls are never satisfied. Who or what are you trusting in to give you the direction your wandering heart craves? Placing your trust in anyone or anything over God only produces more uncertainty and confusion. God is sovereign in your life. You can trust Him to direct you. Humble yourself before your Creator, and submit your life to His sovereign control over your life.
The world is a troubling place at times. There is confusion and uncertainty all around you. While you cannot change the world around you, you can change your perception of the world. Peace and joy are possible, even in the midst of chaos. If you choose to see yourself from God’s perspective, and see God through the lens of His word, you will enjoy God’s power, joyful confidence, and the direction your heart craves.
In the words of the prophet Isaiah, “Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock” (Isaiah 26:4).