I said that I would write an article about my problems with trusting in Jesus, and I want to. I’m not sure how to go about it, so this is another impromptu. It’s the best way I know how do to these things. Sorry in advance if this gets a little messy.
I know that for me, one of the greatest barriers to trusting in Jesus has been a fear of man and fear of failure. When I compare myself or my Christian walk with others, I feel a mixture of emotions, one of these being fear.
I fear because I do not seem to fit in anywhere, yet at the same time I fit in everywhere. I agree with all my brethren in part and I disagree with all my brethren in part. Yet, as far as I have experienced, there is little to no leeway given for those who disagree, so finding a church to join has not went well. I also disagree with the way church is done in many ways, so I don’t all together enjoy it. I usually just get upset when I visit churches, to tell the truth.
As someone who naturally wants to do as she is told and to please others, this is a fearful place to be. Yet, I know that the Lord put me in this place for a reason, though that reason is never fully clear to me. I don’t think that I am something especially set apart or anything. That’s something my accusers like to say I believe.
On the contrary, I am afraid more often than not. I am afraid that I am deceived because many things that seem apparent to me are not apparent to others, and this feels foolish and proud. Arrogant even. So, to write about these trust issues feels awkward. I also know how I feel when I compare myself to others, so I don’t want to create those feelings in someone else.
I also fear because it seems like everyone around me is getting ahead in this world and I am not. Why do other Christians get to be Christians and also prosper in this world? Writing that “out loud” is shameful. I know how silly it is to compare in these ways, but I have. I know that true riches are not in this world, but it seems that many get to have it both ways. God knows.
I fear because I don’t really know what I am doing most of the time, as far as service goes. I have a basic road set in front of me, and I can’t see much past it. Or maybe I don’t want to. Sometimes I wonder if I willingly blind myself to certain things. Some things just seem to be too much.
Yet, despite the evidence all around me that could cause me to question my relationship with Jesus and the calling He has given me, there is more evidence to trust in Him. I know what He means to me, and I know that I must matter to Him too because He has brought me out of so much. That also feels like too much to write about. I’m teetering between the need for honesty and transparency with the need for discretion.
By all natural reasoning, I should not even be here. I was born very prematurely at a time when the survival rate was not good. My parents were told to prepare because I would not make it. They went to church, held a service for me, and when my father called to see how I was there was an immediate and remarkable change. I was soon able to breathe on my own, which I could not do before. I know God did that. This also shows me how God is with the churches and He is patient with them, even if there are problems. He is merciful, and all who belong to Him will repent as needed. I believe this to be true.
He has provided a life of hardship so that I could learn many things, but my life has not been exclusively difficult.
There have been remarkable blessings also. When I nearly lost faith and asked for someone to teach me because I was confused and suicidal, He sent me to a teacher without delay. I began to study for myself also, comparing scripture scrupulously to what I was taught—when previously I had no desire to read the bible and could not hold interest in it.
Once I realized that I needed the Holy Spirit and asked, He only made me wait about a year and a half. Though, the things I went through afterward were nothing short of trying. These trails were also grace because one of the reasons I wanted the Spirt was to have better understanding of God’s will for His people, so that I would not be confused and so that I could help others also. There seemed to be so much confusion over what being a Christian was about.
I did not know what I was asking for, but I suppose that because my heart was not looking for something vain, He gave it. He gave it through enduring various things, and He continues to give this through enduring various things. Hard things, usually. Especially fear. Fear that I am not really hearing from God. Fear that I am deceived. Fear because if what He shows me is true and I am not deceived, we have a whole mess of trouble coming our way—and no one wants to hear about that.
Yet, I also know and have experienced the mercy of God. We are faulty. Even with all He has shown me and brought me out of, I fear. I don’t trust like I should. I haven’t been as faithful as I would like to have been at all times. I have not laid sin aside as readily as I should have. For all that I have been given, I feel like the greater sins are with me. The greater faithlessness is with me. So, I fear.
In one way, it is good to fear. It is good to fear God, and when I think of all that He has done and what that means for me, I do fear Him. I owe Him. I owe Him my all, and I need to pay it. Not to earn salvation, because His grace is what saves me, but out of respect. When we receive much, much is required. That fear overshadows any other fear I have, and even that is the grace of God.
He is so gracious. So good to us. If we seek Him with all that we have, even when all we have is very little to nothing, He rewards us. He is patient with us. He leads us. He does His work in us and nothing can stop it.
If you have problems with trust, I hope you will find comfort. If you have had problems with fearing man or fearing failing God, I hope you will find comfort. Do not trust in man or yourself, and do not fear man or yourself. Fear God. Trust in God. And know that He will cause you to if you struggle in these areas. Keep seeking. That’s the best advice I know to give. Never give up. It is always better to throw yourself at the feet of His mercy than to give into fear—yet God is to be feared. He is not to be trifled with. Fear Him and find mercy. Fear man and find death.