How Should a Christian Learn to Rely on God When Facing Difficulties

By Li Lin

The Bible says, “he that believes on him shall not be confounded” (1 Peter 2:6). A Christian’s greatest wisdom is relying on God for all things. Only by doing this will we obtain God’s guidance and leadership. However, when we encounter difficulties in our lives, frequently, we rely on our own ability or rely on the people around us for help. Even though sometimes, we pray to God and seek Him, when we do not get His response, we lose faith and simply rely on our own plans to tackle our difficulties. The result is that frequently, we are unable to obtain the Lord’s guidance, we do not have a true understanding of God and our faith is unable to grow. I have sought recently in regard to this aspect and I have gained a bit of an understanding that I want to share with everybody.

The Bible says: rely on God is the greatest wisdom

One Must First Have Faith in God If One Is to Rely on God

God says, “People’s faith is required for when something cannot be seen by the naked eye, and your faith is required for when you cannot let go of your own notions. … If you don’t have faith, you cannot be perfected and you will be unable to see God’s actions, much less see His omnipotence. When you have faith and you can touch His actions in your practical experience, God will appear to you, and He will enlighten and guide you from within. Without that faith, God will be unable to do that.” The most important thing if someone believes in God is that he must have true faith in God. Regardless of how difficult the situations we encounter are, as long as we rely on God by faith, we will be able to see God’s deeds. However, frequently, we only say that the situations we encounter every day are allowed by God and that we are willing to rely on God. When we encounter difficulties, we no longer have faith in God. For example, when we encounter obstacles while searching for work, we frequently say that whether we find work is whether or not God allows it. However, in our hearts, we mutter, “Will God help me? What should I do if He does not help me?” Sometimes, when we encounter difficulties in our family lives or face something not in accordance with our perspective, our hearts complain and we ask why isn’t God watching over us and protecting us. When we encounter difficulties in church that we cannot resolve, we say with our lips that we are willing to entrust these difficulties to the Lord and let God guide us but, in our hearts, we have completely lost momentum and we live in negativity. … All these examples indicate that we do not have real faith in God and that we do not have an understanding of God’s almightiness and sovereignty. Our lips say we rely on God but our hearts do not really believe in God. That is why it is very hard for us to see God’s deeds.

I remember that in the Bible, it was written that in the beginning, God told Noah to build an ark. Noah had never even seen an ark so he did not know what an ark looked like. However, Noah believed in God and had no doubts about God. In the end, he relied on God and under God’s guidance, he built the ark piece by piece. There was Moses who led the Israelites out of Egypt. When they got to the Red Sea, they were caught between the Red Sea in front of them and the Egyptian army behind them. It looked like they were finished. However, Moses had true faith in God. He prayed to God and relied on God. He used his staff to strike the waters and the Red Sea split in half. Thus, the Israelites were able to cross without any problems. We should emulate Moses and Noah. When we encounter difficulties, we must have true faith in God and patiently wait. We must believe that God will guide us so that we can overcome our difficulties. If we persevere in this way until the end, we will surely be able to see God’s deeds.

Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane praying, Matthew 26-39

With a Heart That Submits to God, One Can Truly Rely on God

To rely on God, there is one more important point which is submission. When we faithfully rely on God, regardless if the situation takes a turn for the better, we must have an attitude of submission. We must not compel God to do things in accordance with our desires because God’s thoughts are eternally higher than our thoughts. Whatever God does contains His wisdom within. We must not rely on our individual successes and failures to weigh God’s deeds. However, when we encounter difficulties, quite often we do not truly submit. Even though we say that we pray to and rely on God, our hearts are filled with resistance and our individual demands. We want God to do things in accordance with our own ideas. For example, if things are not going well with our work, we pray to God and ask that our projects will go smoothly. If things are not going well at home, we will pray to God and ask Him to look after our family. When we become sick, our hearts urgently want God to heal us, etc. Regardless of what difficulties we face, we are always putting ourselves first instead of maintaining a heart that submits and seeks the Lord.

At the time, Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane praying, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39). Before Jesus was to be nailed to the cross, He did not have any individual demands. He was willing to give His life and submit to the heavenly Father’s will. Isn’t this an example that we as creations should follow? Therefore, even if we pray to God and the situation does not turn out the way we want it to, we must still maintain a heart of submission and we must submit to God’s arrangements without our own desires and decisions. If we have a heart that submits to God while experiencing all the situations that God has arranged for us, we will have a lot less complaints and misunderstandings, we will obtain faith and power from God and we will be able to see God’s deeds.

Have a Heart That Honors God as Great, Rely on God Do Not Rely on Man

If you want to really rely on God, there is one more extremely important point that you must remember. Your heart must honor God as great. When you encounter difficulties, you must first come before God and seek God’s guidance. Yet, we are not like this at all. Most of the time, we want to simplify the situation and allow those around us to help us figure things out. For example, when we encounter difficulties in our lives, when we do not know how to do church work, etc. Frequently, we will turn to our pastors or elders for help. During this period, even though we pray to God, we are just going through a formality. Our heart has already decided that we will do things in accordance with the ideas of our pastors or elders.

If we have these manifestations, it is because in our hearts, we do not have a place for God, we do not have an understanding of God’s almightiness and sovereignty, our faith in God is too small, we do not believe that God is able to resolve all our problems and our hearts have a place for man which causes us to worship man and look up to man. While we say that we rely on God, in reality, in all matters, we rely on man. This leads to a situation where when we encounter difficulties, we are not able to obtain God’s enlightenment and we have even less of a genuine understanding of God. Therefore, as Christians, regardless of the difficulties we encounter, we must honor God as great in our hearts. We must not blindly obey man and look up to man. Instead, we should come before God and pray to God more. In all matters, we must obey God’s word and seek God’s intentions. This is what it means to truly rely on God.

This is some of the understanding that I have acquired in regard to this topic. I hope that it has helped everybody. Thank the Lord!

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