I’ve devised a slogan that sums up how I want to live my Christian life. Here it is: “Believer est. 2005: Learning to Believe God One Circumstance at a Time.” With that goes a tagline: “And learning to trust Jesus 5 minutes at a time.” I know that’s a repeating “at a time,” but honestly, at a time fits me better. It’s more honest.
I’ve discovered I can’t make false promises to God. I can’t tell Him I will believe Him for the rest of my life or trust Him in the storm. I’ve got to work on this in small increments. When I approach my life with the Father that way, I get a different perspective. Because, more often than not, I don’t have problems as much as perspective issues.
I’ve noticed that I have knee-jerk responses to events and then judge them as good or bad depending on how they make me feel. If an incident makes me uncomfortable or anxious, I automatically deem it a problem or a crisis. And voila, I turn my circumstance into difficulty and get freaked out about it. I even do this with imagined “what if” possibilities that haven’t yet occurred! Don’t get judgy on me; you know you do it too.
We scare ourselves by imagining future events that probably won’t occur; if they do, they are nothing like what we imagined. When we let our imagination run wild, we become anxious and fearful. What if we determined to only deal with circumstances as they develop? And what if we decided, as each occasion arose, to believe what God says rather than our imagination?
Here’s how this works for me. I imagine a scary event, and in response, I say, “That hasn’t happened yet; therefore, it is not a circumstance.” That automatically eliminates most of my worrying. When a circumstance does arise, I take a deep breath and ask myself, “What would God say about this?” One thing I know, God will NEVER tell me I need to be afraid or worry about something. He will always say that He will work EVERY situation out for good (Romans 8:28). From that posture of faith, I can listen for His voice and let Him guide me.
Practicing this has brought some fantastic insight. I’ve discovered my enemy is not my circumstances; it’s the negative beliefs I attach and assigns to circumstances. Restated, my enemy is Fear. Fear is the lying serpent that twists in your gut when you encounter an unplanned event you don’t know how to deal with. Fear is the snaky thing that gets in your head when you let your imagination run wild. That is your enemy.
Therefore, I will work on believing in God one circumstance at a time. And when I don’t have a circumstance, I get to practice trusting Him in micro-bursts. It’s like doing HiiT for my faith! Want to join me in my circuit training? Feel free to jump in any time!