What most tends to make you anxious? Where do you find it hard to trust? Your loved ones? Your career? Your health? Some of you may be nodding affirmative to each of those questions. I get it. I know that queazy stomach feeling that comes from watching someone I care about struggle, from stepping into the unknown, or waiting for news that could either allow me to catch my breath or cause my heart to race.
If you can relate, I hope you’ll find encouragement in my friend, Grace Fox’s guest post below.
Deepening Our Trust in God
by Grace Fox
In a recent conversation about trusting God with our concerns, a friend reflected on bygone days when her kids were young. She recalled sleepless nights, laundry piles that multiplied by the minute, and temper tantrums (not hers!) over simple things like broccoli touching macaroni and cheese on one’s lunch plate. “Those times were challenging,” she said, “but they were nothing compared to the challenges I face as the parent of adult children, especially when they make choices that hurt themselves or others. I can’t tell them what to do. I have to just pray and trust God to work in their lives.”
Another friend told me about her dad. Widowed and in his 90s, he’d recently moved into a seniors’ care facility and was finding the transition difficult. “I worry about him,” she said. “The facility is short-staffed. What if Dad’s needs can’t be met adequately? I begin every day by asking God to watch over him. When worry starts to creep in, I have to intentionally choose to trust God with my concerns.”
I just returned from moving my youngest daughter and her family to northern B.C. As a mom, I pray that they’ll adjust well and find friends who not only share common interests but who love the Lord and make His kingdom their first priority. Today I’m heading south to visit my other daughter. My prayers for her focus on persevering with hope through chronic pain. Oh, how I wish I could fix it for her, like in those bygone days when I could kiss my baby’s boo-boo away. But I can’t. I can, however, trust God with my concerns.
The Bible tells us over and over to trust God with our concerns.
Philippians 4:6-7 is one example: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Trusting God with our concerns is easier said than done, but it can be done.
Paul and Barnabas put this into practice. On one particular occasion, they’d been crisscrossing the country to preach the Gospel and encourage believers to continue in their faith despite suffering. They’d also helped churches set up their leadership. They could have hovered over the new leaders to ensure they understood their roles and did things right, but they did not. Here’s what they did: “Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church. With prayer and fasting, they turned the elders over to the care of the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.” (Acts 14:23)
Don’t you love that? Despite the potential for things to go sideways, Paul and Barnabas trusted the elders to God and headed to the next location to continue the work He’d called them to do.
My friend, what concerns are on your heart today?
Are you like me, feeling concerned for your adult kids? Maybe you’re concerned about your marriage, your church family, your financial state, or a major decision coming your way. Isn’t it reassuring to know that we don’t have to carry these alone? God invites us to give them to Him because He cares for us. (1 Peter 5:7) He also commands us to combine prayer with fasting as a way of showing that we depend on Him more than on physical food. (Matthew 6:16-18) There are different types and lengths of fasts, and He’ll teach us what to do when we ask Him for direction in this regard.
No matter what worries weigh us down, let’s acknowledge our need for God’s help, invite His intervention, and expect Him to answer in His way and in His time.
The One who is all-wise and forever faithful knows our hearts and hears our cries. He holds us and those we love in His hands. Our souls crave peace, and trusting God with our concerns is the pathway to finding it.
Here’s a simple but powerful exercise to do today. Take Acts 14:23 and make it personal by filling in the blank: “With prayer and fasting, I will turn _____________ (identify your concerns) over to the care of the Lord, in whom I have put my trust.”
Feel free to post your completed statement here so others can pray for you, okay? Know you are loved.
Get to Know Grace!
Grace Fox is the author of 12 books, a member of the “First 5” writing team (Proverbs 31 Ministries) and a regular contributor to Guideposts’ annual devotional, Mornings With Jesus. She also co-hosts the podcast “Your Daily Bible Verse.” A career missionary for nearly 30 years, Grace lives aboard a sailboat in Vancouver, British Columbia. Married in 1982, she and her husband celebrate three grown kids and eleven grandchildren.
Her latest release, Keeping Hope Alive: Devotions for Strength in the Storm, is available wherever Christian books are sold. https://www.hendricksonrose.com/p/keeping-hope-alive/9781649380517
You can subscribe to Grace’s weekly devotional blog and monthly update on her website – www.gracefox.com/blog
Check Out Her Latest Release!
The storms of life hurl us into uncertainty and leave us longing for rescue. In times like this, we need the hope God’s Word offers, and we need it in snippets our overloaded minds can absorb. Keeping Hope Alive delivers. Ninety brief meditations offer nuggets of encouragement, a sentence prayer, a point to ponder, and a thoughtful quote by someone who’s survived the storm. Its daily messages and beautifully designed full-color interior soothe the troubled soul and remind readers that God is faithful and sovereign in their circumstances.
Available wherever Christian books are sold.
Before you go, make sure to check out the latest Faith Over Fear podcast episode!