Trust God in the new year

By Joan Clayton: PNT Religion Columnist

Do you dread a trip?  Do you imagine the worst, creating a scenario of all kinds of mishaps? When the phone rings in the middle of the night, do you think the worst before you even pick up the receiver?
How about this one … envisioning all sorts of physical maladies while waiting for the doctor’s test results? If the answer to any of these is “Yes,” then you are rehearsing calamity, essentially robbing yourself of peace!
God, in his wisdom, gives us one day at a time. Instead of rejoicing in that day and being glad in it we rehearse calamity. (Psalm 118:24) Gloom spreads over the only day that is completely ours. “Today” is the only day we can live. We cannot live yesterday, nor can we live tomorrow. Packing around all the woes of the past and expecting the worst in the future is an offense to a loving God.
Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matthew 6:23) God knows our frame.. He knows our weaknesses. He is well aware that we are only capable of meeting life’s demands one day at a time. Looking to him and living each day by faith brings peace to our souls.
Trusting in God is essential. To do otherwise is living a miserable life. Allowing the cares of this life to dominate our thoughts soon leads to a breakdown in physical health. Yes, all of us have stress. The trick is in dealing with it. As my grownup handsome grandson says, “You’re only as stressed as you allow yourself to be.” What wisdom for Jody’s young adult years. David had many dangerous experiences, but his trust and guidance in his God brought victory. Being pursued by King Saul he had every reason to be fearful. Yet, he said, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” (Psalm 56:3)
Perhaps you have guessed by now “rehearsing calamity” is just another name for anxiety. The remedy is in Philippians 4:6-7: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God, and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
With three active little boys growing up I had quite a challenge in trusting God. Illnesses, accidents and everyday issues plagued me. The tendency to worry became a fight of faith, especially in their teen years. I placed them in God’s hand, trusting their lives to him.
Looking back I can see how God brought them to where they are today, wonderful sons who love and serve him. They are living testimonies of God’s faithfulness.I think the death of a loved one is life’s hardest challenge.
A godly friend shared that after his beloved wife died he and his family came to the conclusion that they could no longer afford to waste valuable time reviewing all the details of her death. Time was too short … too precious. They felt they could be more productive if they spent time together giving mutual support and reaffirming their love and faith for each other.God gives us grace and strength for every stage of our lives. When hard times come he is there to carry us through, even in death he is there to guide and receive us.
“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15).
Why should we allow the enemy to rob the peace and joy of today by rehearsing some disaster? Why subject ourselves to heart-wrenching experiences? Why suffer all that emotional pain and misery? “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Trust God in this New Year!