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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

Don't Try to Figure it Out

"Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He's the one who will keep you on track."
- Proverbs 3:5-6 MSG

About a year ago, I had such a severe reaction to a new toothpaste I tried, that it made my mouth sensitive to every other toothpaste I used. After seeking the Lord for a solution to my problem, I discovered an extra-gentle toothpaste, which I tolerated well enough, but which wasn't getting my teeth clean. When I sought my dentist's help, he suggested that I stop focusing on what toothpaste I was using, and begin focusing on my toothbrush. Needless to say, I was skeptical at first. But as I continued to pray and to trust the Lord for His guidance, I decided to purchase the toothbrush that my dentist recommended. My problems were instantly solved, and no one was more surprised than I was.

This experience reminded me once again that God often delivers us and meets our needs in ways that we don't expect. Because of that, I've discovered that one of the worst things we can do when we're in a difficult situation, is to try to figure out how the Lord might solve our problems. The fact is that trying to figure things out on our own can lead to confusion, frustration, and despair. It can also lead to a host of mental, emotional, and physical problems. The last thing we need when we're in a trial is to fret ourselves into new and bigger problems than we already have. The Lord knows this, and that's why He gives us words of reassurance and encouragement throughout the pages of the Bible. Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV) says: "'My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,' declares the Lord. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. '" This is a nice way of saying that our puny little minds are no match for God's, and we shouldn't even try to figure out how He works, or what He'll do on our behalf. Yet that's exactly what a lot of us do. Instead, God wants us to trust Him with all of our needs and problems. His Word says: Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT) I like the way the Message Bible says: "Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own." (v.5) Trusting God is clearly the antidote for trying to figure out the solutions to our problems. How can we tell if we're really trusting the Lord? We will have an unmistakable, unshakable sense of peace deep inside of us. Romans 15:13 (NKJV) says there is "peace in believing." And Hebrews 4:3 says that it's only those "who believe" who shall enter God's "rest."

When the psalmist describes God's miraculous parting of the Red Sea in Psalm 77, he says: "Your road led by a pathway through the sea--a pathway no one knew was there!" (Psalm 77:19 TLB) In other words, no one could have expected the Lord to deliver His people the way He did that day, as they faced what surely must have seemed like certain doom. No matter how big our problems or needs are, God has perfect plans for our deliverance and provision. And always keep this in mind--big problems put us in the perfect position to receive big answers from God. Psalm 121:1-2 NIV says: "Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." Notice that the psalmist answers the question of WHERE his help comes from, only with WHO it comes from. All he needs to know is that his help is going to come from God. He doesn't need to know the details of his deliverance. And we should have the same attitude. Do you have a pressing need today? Put it in God's hands. And rest assured that when you do, His help is on the way!

Prayer: Lord, teach me how to bring all of my problems and needs to You with a trusting heart. Remind me that I don't have to know HOW You are going to help me--only that You WILL. Thank You that as I cast all of my concerns and anxieties on You, I will walk in Your perfect peace!

- J. M. Farro


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