So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in…
But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. -Jeremiah 17:7-8
Today, you may be praying, “Lord, I’m exhausted, drained of all my spiritual energy, but you know that I’m trying my strongest to do what you’ve asked me to do, to put my trust in you. But how do I do it?”
Good question. God wants us to trust him every minute of the day and every day of the year. But, as much as we’d like to think we’re spiritually mature, we sometimes stumble and fall and find it difficult to get up. The biblical prophets were no exception.
Jeremiah, worn down by the people’s apostasy and abuse, returned to what he knew to be true: those who trust in the Lord’s will have that trust vindicated by God’s unwavering faithfulness in God’s time. Jeremiah brings in one of the most favored images in the Bible to describe a life lived trusting God. It’s the tree that is planted by streams of water. It is fearless, healthy, anxiety-free, and fruitful. Doesn’t that sound like the kind of life you dream about?
There are times when, as much as we want it and try for it, we can’t produce the energy to bring about such trust. In such moments of human weakness, it is a comfort to know that God bestows on us the power and the faith to live the abundant life we want. All true spiritual life comes from its Source, and he chooses to grant it as often as we need and ask for it. King David knew this and forever trusted in the mercy of a righteous God:
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).
We didn’t create faith in our hearts when there was none before. Neither did we make ourselves a believer. None of this happened because of our efforts. It was and is the gift of God. With great power, he draws us to himself. He pulls us in and captures our hearts and minds in ways that he knows will appeal to us.
Since God is the author and finisher of our faith, ask him right now for what only he can give. He never tires of lavishing us with his gifts, and if we can continue to fix our minds on him, he will keep us in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3-4). We come to this place of peace as we walk hand-in-hand with God, and our confidence in his rescuing power grows.
So don’t sink deeper into despair. Focus on thanking and praising God. God likes us to do that. I know it is difficult when you don’t feel like it, but even when we’re too worn down, God has granted us his Holy Spirit, who “helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26). That’s how blessed we are to have a Father like him in heaven.
And when you continue in praise and thanks to God, you can feel your strength for tomorrow growing. God likes it when we trust him. He loves bestowing on us the gifts he knows will grow us into disciples who are a lighthouse to those who need brightness shone into their dark lives.
Prayer for This Time:
Father in heaven, giver of everything good, I can’t get through the day without your constant presence. Hold on to me when I’m not strong enough to do anything. Plant me in the good soil of your eternal, unchanging grace, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
-Photo by Charlotte Austad on Unsplash