I crave ease! Here is what that looks like, in the big and the small ways:
I don’t like to fight for faith; I want it to come naturally, without a fight. I’d like my children to honor God without needing too much training. I don’t want to think too hard about what to make for dinner. I want trusting God to not be so hard. I wish I could walk up or down the stairs without it hurting so much. I’d like to not have to wonder where the money will come from to buy the groceries or gas… I just wish things could be easy!
Do you ever feel this way? I must confess that I am seeing this a lot in my life lately. And, it seems that God, in His infinite wisdom, is allowing things to be somewhat difficult right now. As I have faced these trials, I see that I have been focusing on the wrong thing: I have just been wanting to get through them! But, I was reminded tonight of James 1: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”
The dictionary defines being steadfast as “resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering.” I know how ‘prone to wander’ my heart is, and He is allowing these trials, to (hopefully) produce a faith in me that is unwavering.
I am reminded of Abraham, who was promised a son, and it seemed like it would never happen. I’m sure the waiting was anything but easy! But, Romans 4:20 says that, “No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God.”
As I struggle with faith, and my desire for things to be easier, I think one of the best things I can do is to call my soul to give glory to God. I love the song we sing that says, “Bless the Lord, oh my soul. Oh, my soul, worship his holy name. Sing like never before oh my soul. I’ll worship your holy name.” This is what it can sound like to tell our souls to give glory to God! Whether we feel like it or not, whether it’s easy or not, we have many, many reasons to call our souls to praise and give God glory!
The psalmist did not have an easy time of it either, and reading the psalms can renew our faith, especially when times are hard. So often, he calls his soul to remember what God has done, and to praise him for it. I would encourage you, if you just don’t even know what to say or where to start, to ‘pray’ aloud Psalm 103.
Another good verse for this is Psalm 42:11: “Why are you cast down, o my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”