March 3, 2024 | Doug Sauder
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“Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.”—Philippians 1:18–20 (NIV)
“Can you be out by September?”
Those words were spoken by the kind gentleman who let us rent his home for a few years. He gave us plenty of time to find a new home, but there were some things going on in his life and he needed to sell his home before the end of the year.
At the time of this phone call, we were in the COVID housing boom. House prices and rentals were 30% higher than the previous year and climbing. After an hour of searching, I felt desperate and hopeless. Where would we stay? Where would we go? And even if we found a home, how could we afford it?
My wife Erin looked at me and said, “God provided us this home, He’ll do it again. We’ll keep looking and He’ll provide.” We continued to search with that in mind.
Sometimes, things just seem out of our hands, right? It could be an unexpected expensive car repair that depletes our bank account or health test results that will shape the rest of our lives. Whatever it is, we regularly navigate things that seem completely out of our control. How do we handle these things as Christians?
Paul is writing the book of Philippians from a jail cell. He’s in chains with no real sign of release. What does he do while he remains in prison? He continues to minister! He perseveres. In fact, he writes that because of the God he serves, he can press on while expecting God to work on his behalf.
We often come face-to-face with things that seem out of our hands. However, because of our faith in a sovereign God, we can navigate our difficult circumstances while eagerly waiting for Him to work.
Faith in God isn’t easy! In difficult times, it’s like walking a dark path with a flashlight. We may not know the way ahead, but we can walk in confidence because the flashlight shows us the way forward. We can keep walking in faith.
The theologian J.I. Packer once said, “The Christian motto should not be ‘let go and let God’ but trust God and get going.” Instead of feeling hopeless and giving up, we can navigate through our difficulties while eagerly waiting and trusting God to act on our behalf. We can’t walk away from our problems, but because of the God we serve, we can surrender our problems to Him while we live through our circumstances. He is sovereign and holds all things together.
One of the best examples of “trust God and get going” is how Paul continued to minister and encourage others during his imprisonment. He didn’t allow his circumstances to hinder or dampen his ministry. Paul’s life shows us that situations can seem completely hopeless and out of our hands, but we can trust God is still active and working all things together for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28).
Wherever you are and whatever you’re navigating, you don’t have to let go and let God—you can trust God and get going. He is faithful.
Pause: What current circumstance do you need to surrender to the Lord?
Practice: Trusting God is hard work. Consider praying the prayer below with your hands out and palms up, demonstrating that you’re humbly surrendering all your circumstances to the Lord. It’s only when we come to God with open hands that He can fill them.
Pray: Gracious God, I want to trust You above all things. Often, problems steal my attention and rob me of my joy. Today, I surrender them to you. I want you to take __________. You can do more with it than I can. You are sovereign, I am not. You are in control, I am not. I eagerly expect Your healing hand and Your faithful provision. Fill me with your Spirit and help me walk in your ways. Amen.
Jimmy Purchase serves as the Groups Development Director at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. He graduated with a Master’s Degree in Church Planting from Capital Seminary & Graduate School. He has been in full-time ministry since 2006, has helped plant two churches, and is passionate about seeing South Florida changed by the gospel of Jesus. Jimmy and his wife, Erin, have been married since 2008 and have three children.