Do you trust me?

Well, we are now just a few short days away from 2018.  I’M NOT READY!!!  🙂  Every year I say this and every year it feels more true than the last year, but this year just flew by.  And now, it’s time to look to next year already.  Even though I’ve been talking about closing out 2017 and looking to 2018 for more than a month,  I still don’t have a clear picture for 2018.  This is pretty unusual for me.  For the last several years I’ve asked the Lord to give me a word for the next year, and He has been faithful in that and the word has been a sort of beacon.  In 2017 the word was reduce.  I don’t feel done with that word, so much more to reduce in my life, but I don’t feel like that is the word for 2018 either.  So I’m sitting here starting at this screen.

As I look to next year I know I want some things to look different.  I have learned this year that overwhelm is a dangerous state of mind for myself, and I need to guard against it with everything possible.  I’m learning how to have adult children and I’m going to have my first grandchild in 2018.  This comes with both excitement and anxiety.   I do feel like there is a level of spiritual attack on my family right now that is causing division, and that will be my main focus prayer as we begin 2018.  I am seeing the difference in my level of anxiety when I try to do things under my own strength and when I go to the Lord in prayer.  I feel that He still has intense plans for my life, but I need to depend on Him to accomplish these plans because they will overwhelm me if I try to do it on my own.  The end of this year has brought death to a lot of my close friends loved ones, and it has been both hard and a privilege to walk with them as they begin their grief journey.  As death has been surrounding my circle of influence, I’ve been intentionally praying for my friends.  As I knew one of my friends’ husband was dying I was praying as fervently as I could for her.  I know from my own grief experience how much those prayers mean and how they carried us.  Even still, I know the devil is using fear as a tool to disarm me.

an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.

When I think of what a problem overwhelm is for me, I have to look to what gets me to the place of overwhelm. It’s always fear. Fear of missing out. Fear of not being loved. Fear of not being good enough, Fear of loss, etc….  One of the things on my Reduce page in my bullet journal is fear.  I can look back on previous years and see where God has led me from one word to another, and can clearly see the journey in looking back.  As I talk with you this morning I’m beginning to feel like my journey at this point is to counter the fear in my life.  So, my word for 2018 must be the opposite of, or the answer to fear. gives 312 antonyms to fear.  Here are four that stick out to me:

trust, confidence, hope, faith…

  1. firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.
  1. the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.
noun: hope; plural noun: hopes
  1. a feeling of trust.
noun: faith
  1. complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

As I look over these definitions, my word is for 2018 is becoming clear:

The Google Dictionary defines trust as a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something.  When I go to my fearful anxiety filled place, I lose sight of my trust in God.  Do I really trust Him?  Do I trust Him in the good times and the bad times?  The devil would have me think that if I let this be my word for 2018 that my trust will be tested.  I have seen in previous years that the word is there to guide me through the different hills and valleys of the year.  So, yes, just having the word trust for 2018 does give me a little fear and anxiety.  But I know this is the area that the Lord really wants me to focus on.

How do I get to a place of trust?  This year, I will have a sub-word so to speak:  Prayer.

noun: prayer; plural noun: prayers
  1. a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.

I know that the way to trust is intentional prayer. I have seen the power of prayer in my life many times and in many ways.  But still, I have to admit that it isn’t always my first response to adversity or fear.  I always come around to it.  It is always the final answer.  But it isn’t always the first answer.  That is where I need to change.  My first answer to fear should always be prayer.

But my trust is in you, O Lord; you are my God. (Psalm 31:14)

Trust in the LORD. Have faith, do not despair. Trust in the LORD. (Psalm 27:14)

I wait eagerly for the LORD’s help, and in his word I trust. (Psalm 130:5)

Several years ago my former pastor gave a sermon entitled, “Do you love me?”.  He talked about this scene in Fiddler on the Roof:

He said to take that scene as if God were asking, “Do you love me?”  And imagine you are Golde- “For 25 years I’ve cleaned your church, baked your bread….etc”…..  “Yes, but do you LOVE Me?”

Well, I feel the Lord saying to me, “Do you trust me?”

But I will bless the person who puts his trust in me. (Jeremiah 17:7)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Don’t you love how scriptures you’ve heard all your life suddenly can take new life?  I was thinking and talking the other day about whether I trust God, and my fair-weather ability to trust at times.  Sometimes we can’t see the sun because all we see are the clouds, but still, the sun is there.  The SON is there.  Never rely on what you think you know…….

Selfishness only causes trouble. You are much better off to trust the Lord. (Proverbs 28:25)

And this one- when I try to rely on my own strength instead of the Lord’s, it presents as selfishness.  This only causes division.  “Do you trust me….?.”

You, Lord, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you. (Isaiah 26:3)

I wait eagerly for the LORD’s help, and in his word I trust. (Psalm 130:5)

Then you will always trust in God and find that he is the source of your joy. (Job 22:26)

What about you?  Do you have a word for 2018?  Please tell me in the comments below!  Let’s encourage each other in our walk this year.

Love, Semalee

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