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I’ve landed where I am after a series I don’t want tos—circumstances that felt beyond my control and left me wrestling with God. That’s not to say my life has been filled with hardships. In fact, I’ve experienced numerous blessings and steps forward from opportunities seized.

But I’ve also found myself at the end of what I’d previously determined to be a pointless detour or painful dead end, thanking God for His faithful guidance to lead me, when I wasn’t even aware I was being led.

Through it all, one truth has become clear—my vision is faulty and short-sighted, but God knows all, sees all, and is working in and through all to bring about His very best. Whether I see or understand His plan.

Quite frankly, most times I don’t. In those moments, surrender doesn’t come easily. I may even resist God’s leading for a bit, until I remember:

He’s good, even when life’s hard.

He’s true and unchanging, even when everything else shifts beneath me.

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He’s loving and attentive, even when I feel alone.

But here’s the thing: Though Scripture reveals all of these divine characteristics and more, they felt most real when God displayed each of those traits to me personally.

This almost always followed a particular pattern. Something unpleasant would hit, such as an illness or financial difficulty. I’d initially get upset, complained to God and told Him all the ways He could and should fix the situation. But after my prayer rant, His gentle whisper broke through, reminding me of what I most needed to hear—that He loved me, heard me, and was sovereign.

That He was God and I wasn’t.

Usually, circumstances that followed proved this to be true. When our family went through a period of unemployment and I feared for our future, God sold our house and brought my husband temporary contract work–at just the right time. When that contract work ended, and we weren’t sure where we’d land next, another offer came through. When daughter faced challenges that kept me up late in prayer and tears, He held both of us through and used the event to strengthen and grow us both.

Again and again, God’s proven just how trustworthy He is. That He truly is working all things out for my family and my good. That His plans are so much better than mine.

My brilliant solutions, more often than not, land me and others in messes.

In fact, I’ve often wondered where I’d be now, if God hadn’t guided me to surrender. If I’d chosen to disobey and pull away.

The relationships I would’ve missed out on, the memories I would’ve forfeited, the personal growth I would’ve prevented. The ministries I never would’ve started or served in, the personal encounters never made, the truths never spoken, the prayers never offered …

In 1 John 2:3, the “disciple whom Jesus loved” wrote, “And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments” (ESV).

To know God is to love obey Him, and as we obey Him, we come to know Him more. It’s an ever-deepening cycle of increased intimacy and freedom.

Of increased trust, which results in increased obedience …

Let’s talk about this! When has obedience increased your trust for God? When has your trust led to obedience? Share your stories and examples with us in the comments below, because we can all learn from and encourage one another.


Experiencing God's Presence This Christmas (Luke 1:28) Your Daily Bible Verse

Today’s Bible Verse: The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” – Luke 1:28   Want to listen without the ads? Become a PLUS Member today:   MEET OUR HOSTS:   JENNIFER SLATTERY is a writer and speaker who hosts the Faith Over Fear podcast. She’s addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of Building a Family and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at   Follow Jennifer:    CAROL MCCRACKEN is a Christian communicator who teaches women Biblical truths through real-life application and humor to connect them to their God-given purpose. Carol has been a Bible teacher for twenty years and served on church staff and in women's ministry for three decades.   Follow Carol:   REVEREND DR. KYLE NORMAN is the Rector of St. Paul’s Cathedral, located in Kamloops BC, Canada.  He holds a doctorate in Spiritual formation and is a sought-after writer, speaker, and retreat leader. His writing can be found at,,, Renovare Canada, and many others.  He also maintains his own blog  He has 20 years of pastoral experience, and his ministry focuses on helping people overcome times of spiritual discouragement.   Follow Rev. Kyle:   JOY A. WILLIAMS is a writer and speaker who is amazed her first name became her life’s mission. As life happens in ways that baffle us or bring us joy, she loves exploring how those moments can bring us closer to God.  She is a member of the “First 5” writing team at Proverbs 31 ministries. As a licensed minister, she serves as a teacher for the Women’s Bible Study and the Married Couples Ministry at her church.  Joy is a wife and mother and she shares encouragement on the “Joy to the Soul” blog.  Subscribe to receive the newest posts and updates at   Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest   Read Joy’s 7-day Bible reading plans: “Live Your Joy Story” and “When Easy Doesn’t Live Here: Living by Faith When Life Is Hard” on the YouVersion Bible app.   JESSICA VAN ROEKEL loves the upside-down life of following Jesus as she journeys to wholeness through brokenness. As an author, speaker, and worship leader, she uses her gifts and experiences to share God’s transformative power to rescue, restore, and renew. She is the author of Reframing Rejection: How Looking Through a Different Lens Changes Everything.   Jessica and her husband have two adult daughters spreading their wings, and two high schoolers, a son and daughter, fluttering their wings as they edge closer to the nest. Connect with her at and   GRACE FOX is the award-winning author of 13 books, a popular Bible teacher at international women’s events, and a member of the “First 5” Bible study writing team (Proverbs 31 Ministries). She’s also been a career missionary for more than 30 years.   She and her husband have served in Nepal, at a year-round Christian camp on an island off Canada’s west coast, and currently co-direct International Messengers Canada, a missionary sending agency with 300 staff in 30 countries. They live fulltime aboard a sailboat in Vancouver, British Columbia. Married in 1982, they celebrate three grown kids and 13 grandchildren.   Learn about Grace’s books and subscribe to her free resources at   Follow her: Learn more about ministry opportunities with International Messengers:   Discover more Christian podcasts at and inquire about advertising opportunities at
  1. Experiencing God's Presence This Christmas (Luke 1:28)
  2. You Are Not Alone (Isaiah 7:14)
  3. Your Prayers Have Been Heard (Luke 1:13)
  4. Shouting for Jesus! (Isaiah 40:3-5)
  5. The Birth of the King (Isaiah 9:7)