Marriage and the Past

“Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find? The righteous who walks in his integrity—blessed are his children after him! A king who sits on the throne of judgment winnows all evil with his eyes. Who can say, “I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin?” – Proverbs 20:6-9.

As you well know, marriage is a subject near and dear to my heart. Marriage is a gift from God that He wants you to fully enjoy. But if the pain you’ve suffered in your past is still impacting your relationship now, you can’t fully embrace the new life God offers you because you’ll be stuck in a frustrating rewind of the past. 

When I married Angela I didn’t know everything about her. Nor did she know everything about me.  Neither of us knew much about married life, but we wanted to figure it out together—the two of us. I was learning how to be her husband, and she was learning how to be my wife. And that included dealing with any issues in our past. The truth is the past isn’t the past until it has been dealt with properly, because our past affects today in a negative manner. Therefore, it is still the present.

We must look back and deal with the past in order to move ahead. Your best bet for a successful future is to own your share of the past. In order to deal with your past, you first of all have to be willing to be blatantly honest with yourself. We need to honestly look at some of our less than stellar qualities and ask this question: “Could I be this way because of something in my past that I haven’t dealt with?”

The answer could be yes because we are the sum of all our experiences. The good things in our past show up in the positive aspects of our lives today. But here is the thing. The bad things in our pasts that we haven’t dealt with can create personality problems, emotional issues, relational difficulties and potentially, trouble in marriage. Those same bad things can also show up as positive aspects of our lives if we give them to God and we learn from them.

Jean Paul Sartre once said “Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.” So what are we going to do to dissolve the hold the past has on us? In marriage as in very phase of life, the first thing to do is to surrender to Jesus and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you anything or anyone in your past you need to deal with. And that includes forgiveness. Forgiveness is an essential part of marriage and when we forgive, we give up the right to punish others. The simple act of forgiveness can set you free from your past and free from your future faster than almost anything else you can do.

When Angela and I stood hand in hand at the altar, promising to stay in this covenant for better or worse, in sickness and in health, until one of us died, we knew little of each other’s past. But it really didn’t matter unless we let it matter.  We were focused on our future and what God planned for us. We were focused on loving God and loving each other.   

Now, after all these years of marriage, we know much more about the past. We have learned to look past what is not important down to the terra firma. And that is one relationship with Jesus Christ.

Discussion Questions: 

  1. Talk about a time when you’ve seen someone repeat mistakes from the past because that person didn’t take ownership of his or her part of those mistakes.
  2. Why do you think it’s so difficult for people to recognize their roles in past mistakes?
  3. What are some things in your past from which you’ve hidden? In what ways did that make you unavailable for the people in your life?
  4. What is one area of your life where you haven’t owned your part of past results? What can you do this week to begin to own your part? 

Through a Glass Darkly

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” – 1 Corinthians 13:12 (KJV)    

It seems that the more we accomplish, the more we have to learn. With all our knowledge, how little do we actually know?  And when it comes to God, we do see through the glass darkly. The glass referred in 1 Corinthians is a mirror, but not what we know as a mirror today. Mirrors in biblical times were most likely brass and they required constant polishing. It was probably a cloudy reflection.

The Amplified Bible says it this way: “We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us.”

We all see thru the glass darkly when it comes to our past and our present. It is like peering backward through a telescope or microscope. If you look through the wrong end, you will get a little light, but what you will mainly see is your own eye reflected in the glass. It does not provide a clear picture. So it is in dealing with our past. If we are are looking backward we are looking in the wrong direction. And, as a result, we struggle for peace and we forget the author of peace, Jesus. The past, the present and the future does not seem nearly as intimidating when we place our faith in the risen Savior. 

Faith is the belief that Jesus is in your corner, that Jesus is looking past your past and has plans for your future. Faith is believing that Jesus knows you and loves you right precisely where you are at, regardless of any baggage you bring into the relationship. Faith is trusting that He is fighting for you, loving you, forgiving you, seeing you and sitting with you in your darkest moments, and celebrating right along side you in your greatest joys and when you experience His peace.

If I think, really think, about how much God has loved us all these years — it is overwhelming. But here is where it gets challenging. When I catch a glimpse of what that love has meant to me, it can be life changing. The truth is that the kind of love, the kind of depth of relationship, the kind of forgiveness and mercy and grace and gentleness that we hold so close is like peering through the fog, of the true extent of love that God has for us.

The love of God exceeds all comparisons, and is strong enough to move past our past, regardless of what that past looks like.  

Discussion Questions:

  1. Is seeing through a glass darkly a metaphor for life? If so, what areas?
  2. How does humility apply to seeing through the glass darkly?
  3. Do you think God’s love changed based on our past? 
  4. What steps can you take to broaden your faith in and vision of God?   

”But This is Who I Am…”

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17. 

Are you living a life full of of regrets? In those quiet moments of reflection do you think, “If only…” “If only I had that college education…If only I had married the right person…If only I had won that job…If only I had not made that stupid mistake…”

But here’s the thing: The key to peace and to real life change is forgetting, not remembering. That doesn’t mean that you don’t need closure. Is it important to deal with your past?  Yes, it is. God doesn’t want us to pretend. He wants us to face our past and to deal with it by focusing on Him, and putting it behind us. 

There are positives that can come out of the past. You have the ability to make today better than yesterday. You can change the way you lived by applying the lessons you have learned. Your past was meant to teach you, train you and equip you for where you are today. Everything happens for a reason. Nothing remains the same unless you choose not to change. We have to keep moving.

But we are used to letting the past hang around. We hang onto the past for any number of reasons. One of those reasons is because we think it is a part of who we are. Or it feels so familiar because the past is a known commodity and the future is a question mark. Or maybe we just feel that the future can’t be better because of our past. Or finally, maybe we just think that because of what we did in the past, there is no point trying because we will always be behind in God’s view of us. Or maybe we can’t let go of the past because of the way some person treated us. Maybe we have anger because of a long list of wrongs that have been done to us  But we can let go of the past and what’s more we should.

The past cannot block our future because it is behind us. Our past can only remind us of where God brought us from. The future is ahead of us, just waiting for our arrival. Take a moment and thank God for everything in your past. The past was supposed to happen.  It is part of the plan. And better yet, it had a purpose. 

If I didn’t have a past, I would not have a future. My past is the reason why I am who I am today. I may have failed at some things, but I am not a failure. The past may have bruised me, but I am not broken.   

I’m not what happened to me. I’m not what I have been through, I’m not what people said I would become. I am who God created me to be. Remember what 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.”

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you have a lot of regrets?
  2. How has the past contributed to who you are today?
  3. How much does the past play in your present life?
  4. What steps can you take to put the past in the past?

Redeeming The Time

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” – Ephesians 5:15-17 (KJV).

As you are reading this devotional, one of your most valuable assets is slipping away. This asset is shared equally by the poor and rich, educated and uneducated, married and single alike. And once it is lost, it is impossible to regain. I am talking about time.  And in Ephesians 5, Paul tells us to redeem the time. The NIV version tells us to “making the most of every opportunity” while the ESV tells us to “making the best use of the time.” Paul instructs the church to use their time in a way that reflects Jesus’ redemptive work in their lives. That means there is a way that we can give generously of our time, in a way that honors God.

God is going to give to you a measured amount of time to live on planet earth. How are you going to spend it? Or, let me back up a bit and rephrase that question this way. How are you spending it?

The difficulty we have in redeeming the time in the present is we often find ourselves traveling and dwelling in the past, as if we would have little to do with the present. We return to our yesterdays, resurface bad memories, and by doing so lose the time in the present. Happily, it doesn’t need to be so. The apostle Paul reminds us that the past can be forgotten so we can focus on the present.

Redeeming the time is a great reminder when the holidays are in sight. Time is about to become scarce and, if we are not careful, time will fly by before we know it. We have to be intentional about reserving time so that we can be generous with it.

With that in mind, think and pray about how you might be more generous with your time this holiday season. Maybe say “no” to activities that take up time while distracting us from Jesus. Say “yes” to activities that keep us focused on Jesus and the people Jesus loves. As you do, you will find peace and blessings in the time of the holidays. You will also find that Christ is redeeming your time as you give it away.

Every once in awhile it hits me. I made the decision to start Northstar over 18 years ago, although it seems like yesterday. And 20 years from now may seem as if it is here as soon as tomorrow.  And then my grandchildren will be looking at pictures of me and thinking, “He sure does look old!” No, I am not having a midlife crisis. The point is that we don’t have enough days to spend on the past. We need to focus on the present.

Since I only have a limited number of days, I want them all to matter in the light of eternity.  So I’m focused on the present and helping the whole world find and follow Jesus.    

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do any of your past afflictions or trials still affect you in the present? In what way?
  2. Do you ever fear that your past experiences will keep you from serving God and ministering to others in the present? Why?
  3. What past hurts do you need to trust God to redeem? Take some time to pray for God to help you let go of the past and trust Him to work those past hurts for your good.
  4. Spend some time this week reviewing your use of time. Write out how you are spending your time. Don’t let your time keep slipping away. Identify time that can be captured for His kingdom’s purposes and redeem it.

In Times Past

“…that, regarding your previous way of life, you put off your old self [completely discard your former nature], which is being corrupted through deceitful desires, and be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh, untarnished mental and spiritual attitude], and put on the new self [the regenerated and renewed nature], created in God’s image, [godlike] in the righteousness and holiness of the truth [living in a way that expresses to God your gratitude for your salvation].” –  Ephesians 4:22-23 (AMP)

Ephesians 4:22-24 is a very encouraging passage of scripture. The Amplified Bible tells us to “put off our old self… and be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude]”  In other words, you can overcome any negative situation or pain from your past if you will just get with God and say, “Yes, I did this in my past. And yes, it haunts me to this day. But I am a child of yours and I know You have a good plan for me.”

Of course that is easily said than done for many of us because we tend to keep looking in the rearview mirror. We want to stare at our past rather than focus on the future. Our hope should never be based on what’s in our past. Our hope should be based on God and His promises for our life. Philippians 3:13 says, “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” 

Paul tells us to forget what was behind, but is that really possible? It can be very hard to forget some aspects of the past, especially those we are not proud of. Even though it is difficult to forget, we cannot allow our past to hold us back from our future. I believe as we move into 2016 that God has great opportunities planned for each of us. It is hard to see those opportunities ahead of us if we are too busy looking backward. Or in other words, we should not let our past deter us from our future. Our past can either be an anchor which holds us back, or a rudder which helps guide us forward.

The question is are we looking forward or backward? My prayer is that as we move into this new year we would be laser focused on Jesus Christ and seizing the opportunities Jesus Christ and all that He has for us. May this be a year where you grow closer to God than you have ever been and that you see life, others and opportunities through His eyes.

The book of Numbers records the Israelites journey from Egypt to the promised land. A trip that took 40 years. The Israelites stayed in the wilderness 40 years because they couldn’t see God’s vision for their life. They thought of everything in terms of their past. In fact, they complained to Moses that they wanted to go back to Egypt and return to a life of slavery because that’s what they knew. But God wanted them to get a new present and future in a land flowing with milk and honey.

If you want to see change happen in your life, you’ve got to see past what you’ve already seen and experienced.  

Discussion Questions:

  1. How much is the past a part of your present life?  
  2. What did you get that you did not expect from God, people, and circumstances in the past? What was your view of God before the situation occurred? When it was occurring? After it occurred?
  3. What do you want from God, people, and circumstances in the present so you can move past your past?
  4. What part of your past do you need to let go? What is one thing you can completely give to God now?

God Cares

“ When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? – Psalms 8:3-4.

This week we looked at the subject of worry. Peace is the opposite of worry. When you look at the subject of worry, you end up trying to come to grips with just how much God cares.  People are often concerned whether God cares. Because if you believe that God doesn’t care, you will not trust God, which leads to a control freak, which leads a person into a scary world of worry and anxiety. Most people have people that care about them, but God cares the most. 

When we keep our eyes focused on God, we remember his love for us and we realize we truly have nothing to worry about. God has a wonderful plan for our lives, and part of that plan includes taking care of us. Even in the difficult times, when it seems like God doesn’t care, we can put our trust in the Lord and focus on His kingdom. God will take care of our every need. And if every need is met, what do you have to worry about.

That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life-whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?”  (Matthew 6:25 NLT)

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:31-33NLT)

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NLT)

God cares. In fact, he cares more than you care. He wants to help more than you want help. He knows what will help you more than you know what will help you. He is aware, and He cares.

If you knew and felt how much your heavenly Father cares compassionately and constantly about you, you’d have to love him back. If you feel like God is a million miles away, it’s because you don’t understand the kind of caring Father He really is. That understanding is the first step to real peace.

Discussion Questions: 

  1. Do you believe God cares about you? Why or why not?
  2. Does the belief that God cares change why you worry?  Why or why not?
  3. What steps can you take to worry less. 

Give Peace A Chance

“The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.” – Psalm  29:11.    

John Owen said, “We cannot enjoy peace in this world unless we are ready to yield to the will of God in respect to our death. Our times are in His hand, at His sovereign disposal. We must accept that as best.”

Have you ever wondered what it took to live life in peace? Is it a choice, or something that has to be achieved? It is a choice. God’s will is for us to have peace. But we often allow our circumstances or other people to get us upset and angry, or we fret and worry about things we can’t control. When we do, it saps our peace. But if we really understand God’s Word, we can live in peace.

We waste so much time and energy worrying about stuff we can’t do anything about. And worry is never the solution. The Bible says in Matthew 6:27: “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Yet, we still do. We worry about this and worry about that, and it eventually gets us nowhere. 

The answer is not to spend all your time and energy on fixing something that only God can fix. Instead, find peace knowing that God is in control. John 14:27 (AMP) says, “ Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]” Interestingly, this is one of the final things Jesus said to His disciples before departing. Of all the things He could have said, Jesus made a point to talk about peace.

Notice that Jesus said He wanted to give them His peace. But achieving peace is not all that easy. Peace takes more than “wishing.” It’s easy to think, “I wish I didn’t get upset so easily,” or “I wish I didn’t have such a fiery personality,” or “I wish my circumstances were different, because then I’d have more peace.” But the truth is, wishing doesn’t change anything. We have more responsibility than simply wishing. The fact is we have responsibility for our lack of peace if we want to grow and change.

If we want to find peace we have to make any changes needed in our lives. The good news is the Holy Spirit is always willing and able to help us. John 14:26 says “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

Make a decision to have peace in your life. Even if you get mad easily or worry about things all the time, you can overcome it with God’s help. You can learn how to live with the peace Jesus gives. Just ask the Holy Spirit, and He will lead you to the peace of God that surpasses our understanding.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Have you ever experienced a time when worry helped you?
  2. When you are growing in the Lord, what are some changes you have seen in your life as evidence of growth in your walk with Christ? Is peace a byproduct of those changes? 
  3. Do you know someone who has peace in their lives.  What do you think enables them to have peace? 
  4. What changes would you have to make in your life now in order to eliminate worry?

Keep The Peace

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30. 

Society makes it difficult for us to have peace in life as we live in a hectic and complex world. Everything and everyone is moving so fast. Many times we wonder, is finding peace in the midst of all this even possible? Jesus promised that each one of us can experience true peace. 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.” There is an often repeated quote: “But there is the quote that No God, no peace. Know God, know peace.” St. Augustine once said, “Our souls are restless until they find rest in God.”

Without knowing God’s peace in this frenetic, what’s next world, we will continue struggling to gain control, always finding ourselves fighting stress and anxiety within. Yet focusing on God can bring us peace, no matter what swirls around us on any given day. He’s the answer to our place of refuge. He is our safe room for peace. We can never fully escape all the mess this world may bring our way. But in the midst of what life deals us, we can remain steadfast, strong. 

Often, living a peace-filled life comes down to a choice. Choosing to rely on Him, choosing to trust Him no matter what, choosing to pray in all that we face, choosing not to be anxious, choosing to believe that He’s always with us and in control, and choosing to set our thoughts on the peace that only He can give.

God reminds us in His word that peace will not naturally just come our way. Psalm 34:14 says, “Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”  There are no shortages of ideas on how to obtain peace. There are numerous books on the subject. They includes suggestions such as –  get away for a few days, relax, be happy, take a vacation, tune out, just don’t think about stressful stuff, and search for your inner place of peace. But these are all superficial, external fixes, that are at best temporary.

The peace of God is different. It’s lasting. Confident. Real. It gives us a deep reassurance in the midst of all that we face in our past, present, and future.  Isaiah 26:3 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”

No matter what we go through in this life, or what we’re up against today, we don’t have to be shaken. We’re safe with Him. At rest. At peace. He sent His only Son, pure essence of Peace Himself, to give us lasting freedom and peace that only He can give.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Is there an area of your life where you find yourself constantly fearful of what might come or what won’t come?
  2. How can we be nearsighted, especially when it comes to finding peace?
  3. How can you speak peace into the lives of those around you?
  4. What are practical ways we can trust God for peace in our lives?

Rest In Peace

“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.” – John 14:27.

I don’t know about you, but “peace” is one of the last things I’m feeling at Christmastime. Peace is hard to find when we become hyper focused on the problems that are causing the lack of peace all around us. You have gifts to buy, people to meet with, parties to attend, cards to distribute as well as the other things you typically do all by one specific date – Dec. 25. It’s not like you can really put it off until the day after. It’s a deadline that is hard to put off.

With all the pain and violence recently in our world, these next words seem a bit ironic. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased”.  (Luke 2:14) People think that Luke 2:14 is God’s personal “anti-war statement.” My point is not to debate what God thinks of the wars throughout history. God knows humanity all too well, Jesus said in Matthew 24:6: “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.”  

From God’s point of view, we are hopeless when left to ourselves. Our pride bristles at that. But the truth is, we are incapable of redeeming ourselves, which is the whole reason God came down from Heaven to earth at Christmastime. So what did the angels mean by “peace on earth?” They meant that finally, through the birth of Jesus Christ, mankind had the opportunity to find peace with God. And only when He, the Prince of Peace, is in charge can we ever expect peace in our world.

And He did it all for each of us. So we would be at peace with Him. And also so we could finally find peace in our own life. Not a peace coming from no wars or conflicts – unfortunately, they will always be around in this sinful world.

But His peace is one found even “in the midst of the storm,” when chaos is all around. A peace that makes no sense to anyone unless they have first met the Savior of the world. The one angels sang of, shepherds bowed to, and wise men were in search of.

In closing, I want to share one of my favorite Scripture passages that gives us great insight into finding that elusive peace we so long for in our lives: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

I pray that each of us can truly find peace in the person of Jesus this Christmas season and at all times.  This passage in Philippians tells us that prayer brings peace. Don’t be overwhelmed, anxious or stressed, but instead bring it all to God. When you bring it all to God, then the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. This December, let’s make it our aim to spend more time on our knees and less time looking for peace amidst the chaos around us. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. How can we best describe God’s peace?
  2. Read Philippians 4:7: Name four aspects of God’s peace from this verse.
  3. Do you tend to worry? What about? Is there ever a time when we have legitimate fears in our lives?
  4. Do you believe God’s peace can really be obtained?
  5. Pray and ask God to help you find His peace this Christmas season.

What, Me Worry?

“[That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]! Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]– To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it).” – Ephesians 3:19-31 (AMP)

Alfred E. Neuman is the fictitious mascot and cover boy of Mad, an American humor magazine. The catch phrase on every one of the Mad magazines is “What, me worry?” The point being that while we don’t want to worry we do so anyway. We all have to admit that worry is a common temptation in life—for many, it is a favorite pastime. America, the most affluent society in the world is also the most worry-filled society in the world. But why do we worry? Jesus said, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”(Luke 12:25). Then, in the following verse (Vs. 26) Jesus pointed something else out: “Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”

If we sat down and really thought about it, I believe we would come to the conclusion that worry doesn’t do or accomplish anything. Worry never works. Worry never solves problems, and it wastes energy and time. It never extends life. Worry never hurries answers. It falsely gives one a feeling of “doing” something, yet it does nothing. It is unreasonable, unnatural, unhelpful and unnecessary. It is hard to argue with that, yet, how many of us would say yes to what, me worry?

The antidote to worry is trusting God. Instead of denying the fact that you’re worrying, face it with God’s Word. God never leads us wrong. James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above…” Jesus says in Matthew 7:11, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Stop worrying. Instead, start trusting God.

Most of us have read the story of Jesus walking on the water, found in Matthew Chapter 14. When the disciples saw Jesus in the middle of their stormy night, they called him a ghost. (Matthew 14:26) To them, it was anything but God. When we see ghosts on the horizon in our lives we have the same reaction. We see difficulties, trials and pain as anything but from God, so we worry. We fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” (vs. 27) When Jesus is part of our lives, all the difficulties, the storms of life, will disappear. Life will be grand, almost perfect. Our questions will be answered. We will worry less. We know that is not the case. Life will not be perfect, and we will still worry and have questions. We must learn to trust God no matter the circumstances, whether in rough or calm seas because He can be trusted in all circumstances. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Proverbs 3:5-6. This passage instructs us to fully trust in God, not on our own understanding. How do we know if God is trustworthy? What are some specific ways we can trust in Him?
  2. What is the difference between loving and trusting God in your opinion?
  3. Does trusting God mean that we will do whatever God says in the Bible, even if we don’t agree with it. Why do you think it’s hard to trust Him with everything?
  4. Sometimes God allows things in our lives that we would never choose on our own. Have you, or someone you know, found specific ways to continue to trust Him when life is really hard?
  5. What can you do to take your hands off your life, and simply let go? What is one thing you can completely give to God now?