Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 134 - You've Trusted God with Eternity - What About Today?
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast
Episode #134 – You’ve Trusted God With Eternity - What About Today?
Thank you for entrusting and investing your precious time with me to seek, find, and follow Jesus together as we live with purposed eternal perspective.
The absolute best day in the life of a believer in Christ should be the day we humbly submit our life to Him. While filled with many emotions and feelings, most of us wonder with amazement at what the rest of our life will be like with Jesus at our side.
However, one of the best revelations or lessons a follower of Christ can realize is that Jesus does not ever belong by our side. The Lord of All, Prince of Peace, Author and Perfecter of our Faith, and the Alpha and Omega holds out His strong and capable arms, ready for us to rest in them. This means He isn’t behind or beside us, but should be the One carrying and sustaining through every disturbance, disruption, and delight.
One of the most basic, but challenging questions in the personal life of a believer is: How can I choose to trust Jesus for eternity, but not for each moment?
I believe that if we study the story shared about Peter in Matthew 14, we learn valuable insight. Matthew 14:22-33 says, “Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds. And after He had dismissed the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out His hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
What a decision Peter made! He chose to step out of the boat and into the choppy, stormy waters to walk toward Jesus. While His eyes and mind were centered on Jesus, Peter actually walked on the water! When his focus slipped away from Christ and fell to self and surroundings, Peter experienced fear, panic, and difficulties. Jesus had not moved; He had not changed. Jesus remained centered on Peter and ready to care for him. Peter’s mind moved away from Jesus and he began to sink.
Focus marks the distinction between faith and fear.
Are you choosing to focus on self, the world and those around you, or Jesus?
While it is easy to blame Peter and belittle his faith, he was willing to be the one who walked toward Jesus. Peter was willing to leave the other disciples, leave what he knew, and venture alone into the turbulent waters toward Jesus. The other men remain unchanged and unmoving inside the boat while Peter took the risk of trusting Christ.
Why did the others remain in the boat? Why didn’t they walk with Peter?
Why is it so difficult to place and keep our mind, heart, and focus on Christ?
What do people struggle to trust God with each occasion and stage of life?
There are actually multiple reasons. Let’s look at what the most common causes are and how we can turn to Scripture to battle them.
1. Trust – It can be difficult to trust or believe in what we cannot see.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
John 20:29 says, “Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.”
Psalm 40:4 says, “Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!”
2. Worry/Anxiety – It’s easy to imagine what might happen and allow our thoughts to spiral out of control.
Matthew 19:26 says, “But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
1 Peter 5:7 says, “Casting all your anxieties on him, because He cares for you.”
Matthew 6:31-34 says, “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
3. Control – We don’t want to relinquish our perceived control.
Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Psalm 138:8 says, “The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of Your hands.”
4. Doubt – When things don’t go the way we desire or think they should or if we begin to wonder why there is hardship and evil in the world, doubt can begin to creep in.
Hebrew 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
James 1:6 says, “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.”
Matthew 6:30 says, “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”
5. Sinfulness – I also like to call this selfishness. When we don’t want to give up sin, we are choosing self over Christ. We’re also choosing self over those we love or are in our life. Personal sin always affects those who love us.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
1 John 1:8 says, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
Romans 7:22-23 says, “For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.”
Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
6. Arrogance/Pride – Pride rears up in each of us through different ways. Whether it be entitlement, perfectionism, bragging, if we think we are superior to someone or deserve something more than another, the root of each thought ties back to arrogance or pride.
Isaiah 2:12 says, “For the LORD of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up—and it shall be brought low.”
James 4:6 says, “But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.”
Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
Proverbs 11:2 says, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.”
Proverbs 16:5 says, “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the LORD; be assured, he will not go unpunished.”
7. Unworthiness – Each of us was bought with a price. The life of Jesus was exchanged so that we could begin to understand our great worth to God.
Isaiah 43:18 says, “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.”
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Psalm 56:8 says, “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?”
Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.”
Matthew 6:26 says, “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
8. Fear – When fear creeps in, I believe it is because we have taken our mind and eyes off of God and centered them on self or surroundings. Every time I have felt fear even begin to touch me I stop and focus on Jesus (and in my mind I actually picture blinders on my face that force my vision upwards on God). As I rest in His presence and pray to Him about the situation I am fearing, He takes the burden and calms any fears. It is said that God leaves the message “Do not fear” 365 times in the Bible. I'm not sure whether that is an accurate count, but I trust that the Lord gives us the command as many times as needed. He knows our thoughts can easily be distracted and move from His sovereign holiness and perfect provision and protection.
Isaiah 43:1 says, “But now thus says the LORD, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine.”
Psalm 23:4 says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Psalm 34:4 says, “I sought the LORD, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.”
Psalm 94:19 says, “When the cares of my heart are many, Your consolations cheer my soul.”
Psalm 115:11 says, “You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.”
Psalm 118:6 says, “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
Matthew 6:34 says, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
9. Faith – Perhaps our belief doesn’t feel real or big enough. Maybe difficult times in the past, unanswered prayers, or present hardships may cause us to feel like God has forsaken us or that He isn’t real. Each of the points we discussed can arguably return back to the thought of faith that is too little. But remember, God’s Word tells us all we need is a faith the size of a mustard seed. Plant that seed and let it grow and mature through Christ.
Romans 5:3-5 says, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
James 1:2-4 says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Romans 8:18 says, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
We each know how easy it can be to allow self or situations to distract us and move our eyes off Christ. Being aware of this offers us the opportunity to purposely prepare to be ahead of our next season of trials. Intentionally living in ways that set us up to trust God gives us assurance that our focus will not be easily swayed this moment or tomorrow.
How can we live in ways that set us up to trust God for eternity and the everyday?
1. Know Jesus through a personal relationship.
2. Read and study God’s word.
3. Prayer – speak to God and listen for God.
4. Pursue close relationship with God daily.
5. Invite and allow Christ to transform your life.
Take your thoughts captive for Christ and see the difference He makes to a surrendered soul.
Isaiah 26:3 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”
Psalm 56:3-4 says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?”
Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
2 Corinthians 1:10 says, “He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will deliver us again.”
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 says, “Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
As you study God’s Word and think about or pray about the verses we read today, ponder the following questions:
1. What does this verse promise?
2. What does this verse command?
3. Where do I need to apply this in my life?
Ask God to carry your cares and deepen your faith and trust. He alone is able to reach the crevices of your body and spirit and remedy what troubles you.
Dear Heavenly Father, Your love for us is so great! Your glory fills the earth and yet we fail to experience Your love and power as You desire. Help us to see You clearly as Your word instructs and to love us with a love that fills us in the deep and dark spaces of need we each carry. Thank you for loving us first and for making a way straight to You through Jesus. Help our faith to be full, alive, and active. Enable us to cling to You through every moment we face and trust in Your provision and protection despite what happens in the world around us. Fix our eyes and our heart on You. In the precious name of Your Holy Son, Jesus we pray. Amen.
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