Trust God to Turn Ugliness into Beauty in Your Life
- 2009 19 Dec
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Sheila Walsh's book, Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God, (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2009).
You'll experience all kinds of ugly situations in this fallen world. But the more you learn to trust that God is in ultimate control of what you're going through, the more you'll see beauty emerge from the ugliness.
Here are some beautiful gifts that God will give you if you trust Him to transform ugly circumstances into something beautiful in your life:
The beauty of courage. You can always count on Jesus to help you overcome your fears. He doesn't come to get you out of the pain of life; He comes to live in you through it. Trust Jesus to empower you to handle even the worst situations well. Be confident that He is with you and you can rely on His strength to help you.
The beauty of brokenness. You can actually serve God in more powerful ways by being open with others about the brokenness in your life than you can by striving for perfection. Admit your weaknesses and mistakes, and ask God to use them to help others recognize Him at work as He helps you grow.
The beauty of transparency. Face the reality of what's true about yourself - including all the sin you're tempted to try to hide - and be honest with others about who you really are. Remember that God already knows everything about you, and He chooses to love you deeply. As you share your pain with others, bonds will develop between you that will draw you all closer to each other and God. As you trust that God truly loves you as you are, you'll be able to follow Him to amazing adventures.
The beauty of waiting and being present. When you're waiting for God to answer your prayers about something but don't see anything happening to encourage you, choose to trust that He is at work behind the scenes. Don't put your life on hold while you wait. Instead, live each day to the fullest, with the bold confidence that God still has good purposes for you to fulfill while you're waiting. Trust that God will answer your prayers in the right way at the right time.
The beauty of crying out to Jesus. When you feel as if God has abandoned you because He hasn't answered your prayers in the way you'd expected, don't despair. Choose to believe, no matter how your situation appears. Believe that God is poised to do what only He can do, and that He will help you do what you can do, to improve the situation according to what's best. Remember that God has designed you to live by faith and not by sight. Be honest with God about your pain and expect to do what's best from His perspective.
The beauty of seeing. Realize that there is absolutely nothing you can do to make God love you any more or less. Right now, just as you are, God loves you completely and unconditionally. Trust that God's love - expressed through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross for you - is all you need to face any situation.
The beauty of a quiet trust. Nothing done in Jesus' name is ever wasted. When you do acts of kindness and mercy that other people don't notice, God sees and treasures what you're doing. Trust that all God wants is your heart - a heart that truly loves Him and expresses it by living faithfully.
The beauty of taking a step forward. Don't worry about trying to do something well on your own. Instead, for each challenge you face, rely on God's unlimited power rather than on your own limited abilities. Trust that God will empower you to do anything that He calls you to do.
The beauty of forgiving. If you're harboring bitterness in your soul toward God because He has not made your dreams come true yet, choose to trust God's plans. Ask God to show you whether or not your dreams reflect His dreams for your life, which are sometimes greater than you can imagine. Decide to pursue God's dreams for you rather than just your own agenda. Trust God to make His dreams for you come true in just the right timing. When you let go of your grudges against God and pursue forgiveness, you'll discover the freedom you need to pursue His dreams for your life.
The beauty of a last chance. No matter how many mistakes you've already made, God will meet you where you are with forgiveness and the grace to grow when you turn to Him. It's never too late to place your trust in Him, as long as you're alive.
The beauty of giving your all. Trusting God is risky and costs a lot sometimes. But it's always worth it. Ask God to give you the strength you need to follow wherever He leads. The spiritual rewards you'll gain will far outweigh the sacrifices God asks you to make.
The beauty of a pilgrim. When God calls you to let go of what's familiar and move on to a new place or situation, be willing to trust Him enough to do so. Shift your focus from where you've been or where you're going on your journey of faith, to who you're becoming as a person in the process. Remember that what matters most isn't what assignments God gives you or how well you complete them, but what your heart is like in the midst of them. At the end of your journey on Earth, you'll have to give an account to Jesus of how you lived your life, why you made the choices you made, and what you held in your heart that only He could see. Trust Him fully in each day that He gives you, since that's what He cares about most.
Adapted from Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God, copyright 2009 by Sheila Walsh. Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Tn., www.thomasnelson.com.
Sheila Walsh, a successful speaker for Women of Faith, is author of the award-winning Gigi, God's Little Princess series, The Heartache No One Sees, Get off Your Knees & Pray, and Let Go. Her books number more than 3.5 million in print. Sheila lives in Frisco, Texas, with her husband, Barry, and son, Christian.