Lately I've been spending a lot of time talking to God about the topic of trust. And when I say “talking”, what I really mean is that I've been asking God to help me trust Him more. Here’s why: as I mentioned in the devotional earlier this week, our church is facing some big challenges - with one of the biggest ones being finances. As a small church in a high-poverty community, we have regularly struggled to make ends meet financially. Over the years, we’ve seen God provide for us in amazing ways. Through this process, God has built my faith, as He's supplied what we needed through the congregation, and through the generous support of folks outside of the congregation.
However, over the course of this year, several of our financial partners from outside of the congregation have experienced financial changes of their own, and have been unable to continue to partner with us in ministry. The result is that the we are struggling financially. To be honest, it’s been a challenge for me to understand what God is doing in all of this. Our church has been doing this type of ministry for nine years - and for nine years I’ve been confident of God’s calling to continue His work in this neighborhood. But each month, as the financial needs have grown and the resources have shrunk, it’s become harder and harder for me to trust God for His provision. The result is that my focus has shifted from the work God has called me to do, to trying to come up with solutions to the obstacles our church is facing.
That’s never a good place to be, because this is God’s work - not mine. And He is the God of the universe, who can do what I cannot: save the lost. So today, as I was talking to God about all of this, He reminded me of Luke 9:51, which tells us that when Jesus was headed to Jerusalem to be crucified, Satan tempted Him to not go. But Jesus responded by, “setting His face steadfastly toward Jerusalem.” Then He went forward in obedience to God’s plan. As I thought about that, I realized that the only way Jesus was able to move forward in what seemed like an impossible situation, was by trusting that God would provide what Jesus needed, when He needed it.
And what was true for Jesus is true for me as well – and for you. God will provide what we need, when we need it. So when Satan tempts me to not trust God for His plan for me, and for this church, I need to do what Jesus did. I need to turn my face towards the work God has called me to - and then move forward, trusting Him to provide in His way, and in His time. And whatever you are facing today, I encourage you to do the same. Let’s turn to the same source Jesus turned to. Let's recognize Satan’s temptations, disregard them, and turn our faces to what God has called us to - moving forward with hearts that trust Him fully.