“In Thee, O LORD, do I put my trust . . .
Thou hast set my feet in a large room.”
~Psalm 31:1a, 8b
The day before New Year’s Eve, I was talking to my two oldest children (8 and 6) while getting them to bed. I mentioned that the next day—Thursday—was the last day of the month and the year, and that Friday would be the first day of January and of the new year. One of them said, “I wonder if Friday will be very different than Thursday.”
“Actually,” I told him, “Friday will probably be very much like Thursday.”
We celebrate the coming of the new year, and sometimes have big hopes and expectations for the year ahead. But we also recognize that nothing magical happens at midnight on December 31st, and that January 1st will probably be very much like the day before.
But the truth is, every year holds a vast quantity of unknowns. We have no idea what a year holds and how it might be different than the year before. As someone humorously observed during 2020, when back in 2015, people answered the question “Where do you see yourself in five years?” nobody imagined a year of lockdowns, Zoom meetings, and the like.
God is the only one who knows exactly what my life will look like in 2021 and beyond. One of my desires is to learn to trust Him more fully with every aspect of my life.
God has been helping me understand trust in a deeper way recently, but I still have so much to learn. Too often, I find myself fretting about some aspect of my life instead of releasing it to God and trusting Him to work it out in the best way possible.
I believe our trust in God rests on two things: His word and His character.
First, trusting God is about taking Him at His word. When God speaks, we can have absolute confidence that He’s telling the truth and that He’ll deliver on whatever promise He has offered. Think about salvation: Jesus has done all the work necessary to save every sinner who has ever lived. God asks us to take Him at His word that Christ’s sacrifice is enough—that we can’t add anything to what He has already done. No one has ever been born again without this simple act of taking God at His word that Jesus is sufficient. It’s the same in other areas of life besides salvation. Trusting God means believing that when He speaks, He’s telling the truth and we can accept that with absolute confidence.
But trusting God also means resting in His character: His goodness, love, wisdom, and power. Even when we don’t have a specific promise to hold on to, we can cling to our knowledge of who He is and what He’s like. He loves me, He’s actively working on my behalf, He’s powerful enough to bring His plans to pass, and He’s wise enough that whatever He has planned will be good and right.
I believe both of these aspects are profoundly important, but I think it’s in the second area that God may be helping me grow the most. It’s easy for me to forget that God is profoundly interested in my life and is actively working on my behalf from a heart of love and kindness.
With that in mind, here are some areas of my life where I want to trust God in 2021:
- Finances: My wife and I have gone through some lean years recently, but things started looking better for us in 2020 thanks to some clients God brought to my business. I want to trust that no matter what happens in 2021, God will take care of us and meet our every need.
- Family: I’ve written before about our need for God to be at work in the lives of our children, and that’s still true in 2021. I want to rest in God’s love not just for me, but for my children as well. I can’t manufacture godly kids, but I can trust that God will be actively working both in me and my children to bring them to spiritual maturity as they grow.
- Future: After an unexpected career change nearly four years ago, I’ve struggled periodically with uncertainty about where God wants me to be and what He wants me to do. I still don’t have all the answers, but I want to trust that God will order my steps as I continue moving forward.
Is there some area of your life where you need to trust God more? Is it harder for you to trust God’s word, or God’s character? Why not join me in asking God to help you trust Him more completely than ever before in the year ahead?