Have you ever struggled and fretted because your life wasn't going the way you wanted? Do you feel that way right now?
You have legitimate needs and desires. You know what would make you happy and you pray for it with all your might, asking God to help you get it. But if it doesn't come to pass, you may feel frustrated, disappointed, even bitter.
Sometimes you do get what you want, only to discover that it doesn't make you happy after all, just disillusioned.
Many Christians repeat this cycle their entire life, wondering what they're doing wrong. I should know. I was one of them.
The Secret is in the 'Doing'A spiritual secret exists that can free you from this cycle:
Trusting God. Trusting in the Lord."What?" you're asking. "That's no secret. I've read that dozens of times in the Bible and heard lots of sermons on it. What does he mean, secret?"
The secret lies in putting this truth into practice, by making it such a powerful theme in your life that you view every event, every sorrow, every prayer with the unshakable conviction that God is totally, spotlessly trustworthy.
That's where we mess up. We want to trust in anything rather than the Lord. We'll trust in our own abilities, in our boss's judgment of us, in our money, our doctor, even in an airline pilot. But the Lord? Well…
It's easy to trust in things we can see. Sure, we believe in God, but to allow him to run our life? That's asking a little too much, we think.
Disagreeing Over What Really MattersThe bottom line is that our wants may not agree with God's wants for us. After all, it's our life, isn't it? Shouldn't we have the say over it? Shouldn't we be the one who calls the shots? God gave us free will, didn't he?
Advertising and peer pressure tell us what's important: a high-paying career, a head-turning car, a drop-dead-gorgeous home, and a spouse or significant other who will make everyone else green with envy.
If we fall for the world's idea of what matters, we get trapped in what I call "The Loop of Next Time." The new car, relationship, promotion or whatever didn't bring you the happiness you expected, so you keep searching, thinking "Maybe next time." But it's a loop that's always the same, because you were created for something better, and deep down you know it.
When you finally reach the place where your head agrees with your heart, you're still hesitant. It's scary. Trusting in the Lord can require that you abandon everything you've ever believed about what brings happiness and fulfillment.
It requires that you accept the truth that God knows what's best for you. But how do you make that leap from knowing to doing? How do you trust in the Lord instead of the world or yourself?
The Secret Behind This SecretThe secret lives within you: the Holy Spirit. Not only will he convict you of the rightness of trusting in the Lord, he'll help you do it. It's just too tough to do on your own.
Because the Holy Spirit knows you better than you know yourself, he'll give you exactly what you need to make this change. He's infinitely patient, so he'll let you test this secret—trusting in the Lord—in little baby steps. He'll catch you if you stumble. He'll rejoice with you when you succeed.
As someone who has gone through cancer, the deaths of loved ones, broken relationships, and job layoffs, I can tell you that trusting in the Lord is a lifelong challenge. You never finally "arrive." Each new crisis calls for recommitment. The good news is that the more often you see God's loving hand working in your life, the easier this trusting becomes.
When you trust in the Lord, you'll feel as if the weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders. The pressure's off you now and on God, and he can handle it perfectly.
God will make something beautiful of your life, but he needs your trust in him to do it. Are you ready? The time to start is today, right now.
Jack Zavada, a career writer and contributor for About.com, is host to a Christian Web site for singles. Never married, Jack feels that the hard-won lessons he has learned may help other Christian singles make sense of their lives. His articles and ebooks offer great hope and encouragement. To contact him or for more information, visit Jack's Bio Page.