Life often feels like a lot of effort with nothing gained. It reminds me of what Jason Kidd said after the Dallas Mavericks drafted him: “We’re going to turn this team around 360 degrees!”
(Photo by Photodune)
At times, the Bible seems like a history book in which God makes and fulfills promises to the ancients, but the words somehow lack immediacy to our struggling lives. And yet, it’s funny how the anxieties that overwhelm our lives seem identical to those that biblical people struggled against.
Even though Scripture provides assurance of God’s promises, assurance doesn’t negate the stressful circumstances that force us to trust God.
Truth doesn’t make the hard parts of life go away. We still have to trust God with that truth.
The Struggle of Trusting God
God called Gideon to deliver Israel from their enemies. But like many of us, Gideon hesitated to obey in spite of God’s assurance:
Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you? . . . Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man. —Judges 6:14, 16
Outnumbered more than four to one, Gideon thought he needed reassurance before he could obey.
So he set out a wool fleece and asked God to make it wet with dew while the ground remained dry. God answered that prayer (Judges 6:18).
But just to make doubly sure, Gideon then asked for the ground to be wet and the fleece to be dry, and God graciously consented.
The fleece didn’t cause the Midianites to disappear; Gideon still had to trust God for deliverance.
Gideon shows us that when we need assurance from God, a fleece isn’t the best way to get it. For later, when God reduced Gideon’s forces from 32,000 to 300 at En Harod, the fleece test proved absolutely worthless to Gideon’s assurance.
Gideon already knew God’s will through God’s promise to him. The problem was Gideon’s fear to take God at His Word.
How God Develops Faith in Your Life
Have you noticed you always have something to trust God for in your life? There is always an obstacle to trusting Him.
Because the Lord allows circumstances that force us to trust Him, God’s will seldom follows the smooth path. That’s why many people never see the power of God in their lives, because they never trust God long enough for Him to demonstrate His might.
Does this describe someone you know?
He or she gives God a timetable, they set the rules, and they lay out the fleece.
If God doesn’t wet the fleece, they jump ship and say God failed them.
Life then becomes a series of 360-degree attempts to find happiness. But what they really needed, God already attempted to develop within them through opportunities to trust Him.
If you’re looking for how to turn your life around, the “full-circle” method gets you nowhere.
How to Turn Your Life Around for Good
God’s Word remains the only source you can consistently count on—that excludes people, circumstances, and even yourself. This is true even when you’d swear it wasn’t: