There are times in our lives when we simply do not understand what God is doing or what God wants us to do.
Personally I have been without a job since August 2nd. Unfortunately things weren’t working out in the church that I was leading and so sadly I decided to resign. Yes, in the middle of a pandemic. These things happen. However, we are both in a good place and are looking forward to the future and all that God has planned for us.
For some reading this, coronavirus has meant illness, the loss of loved ones, jobs, careers, businesses, and income. For others, everything that you have built or been working towards appears to have been dismantled over the past few months. Many are experiencing the loss, loneliness and isolation of lockdown.
There is fear, anxiety and uncertainty about the future almost everywhere. Thankfully it looks like we are on the way towards some effective antidotes however this may have little real impact until the spring of next year.
So how do you and I respond to the sudden changes in our circumstances?
PRAY, WAIT, TRUST
The day after I resigned from my position as pastor I saw a media image on Instagram. It simply said: “Pray, Wait, Trust.”
I was struck by its powerful simplicity and determined to hold onto it. Two months later when Julia and I were struggling and feeling a tad anxious about our situation and how we would live, I was reminded about the image and it’s simple words. As I shared it with Julia once again, I became aware of the incredible peace of God filling the room and our hearts. In that moment I knew that this was His desire for us – to pray, wait, trust.
Several weeks have passed since that moment and I can honestly say that God has been amazing. He is continuing to provide all that we need and more importantly we both share this incredible peace about our situation and a renewed excitement about our future. Three scriptures come to mind.
The first one reminds me that God knows the plans He has for me:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11).
He truly does know those plans and until He reveals them our job is to be patient, to pray and wait and trust. That’s tough sometimes.
If you’re the kind of person who worries then this post may well help you.
Place of surrender
Praying, waiting and trusting is, in fact, a place of surrender to the One who knows best. Sometimes we can be tempted to make things happen. Far better to wait for God to open the doors.
Could it possibly be that God is causing you to wait because that perfect opportunity isn’t quite ready yet. To rush into something else would mean missing out on all that God has planned and purposed for you.
Could it be that God has allowed this moment to cause you to reflect and that in fact He wants to take you on an entirely different course? Perhaps He wants to do a new thing in you and He has new plans and purposes for your life. Exciting and daunting all in one! Perhaps this is a season in which to really seek Him and listen to His voice.
PRAY, WAIT, TRUST
“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD” (Ps. 27:14).
I hate waiting for anything – whether it’s a traffic jam, a queue at the supermarket or on the phone to a call centre. Waiting is a massive part of our lives.
Be still before the Lord
We must learn to be still before the Lord as we pray and wait for Him to guide our paths.
Frustratingly He is never in the rush that we are! His timing is always perfect so we must learn to wait. Notice also that this verse suggests that there is strength and encouragement in waiting for the Lord. So wait.
Here’s a great article that highlights how God is working in your waiting.
PRAY, WAIT, TRUST
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Many of you will know that I wrote a book about these two verses called ‘Imagine’ (Trusting God like never before).
Well as a friend said recently – ‘a new chapter is being written!’ Julia and I are re-learning this all over again.
In fact, can I be honest, I’ve actually re-read chapters of the book that I wrote! That makes me smile! We’re always learning and re-learning aren’t we? Perhaps right now God is allowing you to do some learning or re-learning of trust.
I really want to encourage you today to trust God.
Trust Him to be everything and to provide everything you need during this season. Perhaps you’ve never trusted Him.
Can I encourage you to place your life in His big strong capable hands today. He will never let you go. He is my provider and He is your provider. He remains faithful.
Here’s a prayer that you can use right now that I hope will help you PRAY, WAIT, TRUST.
“Father I want to place my life in your hands today. Everything is up in the air right now. I have no idea what the future holds, however I’m grateful that I know the One who holds my future.
Thank you that I can place my trust in You today and every day. I make a decision to trust you with all my heart, not to lean on my own understanding (for your ways are not my ways) and in all my future plans and decisions to talk it through with you, in order that you can lead and guide me into the right and prosperous paths.
Help me to be patient and wait during this season and to be thankful for all I do have right now (rather than what I don’t) and to be a person who is simply willing to PRAY, WAIT, TRUST.
May I know the peace of God that passes all understanding and may it saturate my heart and mind and may I experience your wonderful provision in this challenging season in every sense. For your glory. Amen”
I’m praying for everyone that reads this and who is struggling in this season that the incredible peace of God will fill your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:7)
Be inspired and encouraged in your faith!
Perhaps you’re looking for something to read to inspire and encourage your faith or perhaps you have a relative or friend that you’d like to encourage in their faith as we enter a New Year?
They’re available from Amazon and all good online bookshops. Here are some links for further information:
Great article, we all need to learn how to wait better.
Thanks Adam. Totally agree. I’m not great at it but this season is helping…
Thank you Simon your words and pray have encouraged me this morning may God bless you and your family 🙏
Thanks Dee. That’s really encoring to know. Hope you’re doing ok. Blessings
Thanks so much, Simon, for your transparent honesty and Biblical integrity.
When June and I left Rothly Baptist Church we were seemingly cast adrift; we had no sense of God’s direction, and I certainly had no realisation of God’s plans for a while. Gradually as the days and months wore on – many days full of deep sadness and uncertainty – God’s directives began to be revealed. Not at all in ways that I was thinking, nor in ways that I was praying, but He knew best! Two years later, after 24 months of anxiety, frustrations, occasional miracles(!), some answers to prayers, financial provision, hard work, and infrequent opportunities to testify to God’s goodness and greatness, His will for us was wonderfully revealed and realised. And we knew we were back on God’s paths again! May you and Julia continue to know God’s ways and richest blessings.
Thanks Stu. I don’t think people realise what Pastor’s go through and to be fair how would they? I hadn’t realised you’d experienced all that. To be honest Julia and I are in a really good place. Totally at peace with our circumstances but very much helped by those there words – Pray, wait, trust. Bless you pastor!
Thank you Simon, I am slowly coming out of a very dark place at the moment, your words were appropriate and encouraging. Bless you both as you wait on Gods vision for your future in building His kingdom
Ah bless you John. I think this has been a tough year for a lot of people. Praying for you. Bless you my friend.
Thank you for this, Simon. While I was looking for answers to so many questions, God led me straight to this.
Thanks Barbara. It’s something I’ve had to re-learn again this year and we’re still living in that place. God bless.