There is so much to do when ministry is what you do. The list of those ”dos” is staggering and overwhelming, yet in John 6:28 Jesus was asked by the crowd at Capernaum, “What can we do to perform the works of God?” In verse 29 Jesus answered, “This is the work of God – that you believe in the one He has sent.” Think of all the works Jesus could have listed: prayer, acts of mercy, giving, Bible study, visiting the sick, and a multitude of others. Yet He challenges them to consider one work:
He challenged the crowd to trust God continually in an ongoing, moment-by-moment, day–by-day kind of way and not just a one-and-done type of believing.
In the book of John alone, Jesus issues an invitation to believe more than 95 times. Do you really believe you can trust Jesus in your current season and situation? In a world of increasing stress, anxiety, and desire for happiness, are you daily learning to rest and relax in Christ with the confidence and deep sense that He is in control?
When you have done all you can do, there is nothing else to do but rest and relax in Jesus.
Jesus functioned daily by following His Father’s strategy. He began His day alone with God, and everything He did was initiated by the Father. Jesus said clearly, “I must do the works of Him who sent me.”
Jesus was not driven by popularity, success, or being seen as the greatest teacher of all time. He was driven to trust the Father, obey the Father, and complete the tasks His Father had sent Him to accomplish:
Jesus embraced suffering and failure.
Jesus was content with His Father being in charge of the mission He had been sent to fulfill.
Jesus modeled for us a steady contentment in doing God’s will God’s way on God’s timetable. Jesus believed and knew for a fact that the Father could be trusted.
Adrian Rogers said, “It is one thing to have faith to escape, another thing to have faith to endure.”
Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 to put on the armor of God. Because of constant and intense spiritual warfare, three essential pieces of that equipment are to remain on our bodies at all times: the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, and sandals of the gospel of peace. When Roman soldiers were engaged in battle, they never took these off, not even during rest periods or lulls in battle. They are the foundation for our readiness when the enemy attacks.
When we live with this perspective and spiritual attitude we are “strong in the Lord and the power of His might.”
As the battle intensifies and fiery arrows from the enemy increase, we are told to “take up” the shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and sword of the Spirit with a sense of immediacy and seriousness associated with “taking up” arms when the battle is raging and the conflict is furious. As you step into the heat of battle, pick up the shield of faith (the small-door-sized protection for a kneeling soldier) to protect your heart and mind, trusting God and believing in the plan for His glory and for your good.
Strengthening your faith begins on your knees.
In Mark 9:24 after Jesus declared all things are possible to those who believe, the father of a demon-possessed son says, “I do believe! Help my unbelief.” This is how faith operates when the enemy fires doubt and unanswerable questions into our minds. Our faith – our belief – is what quenches those demonic suggestions and lies. The shield of faith is especially important these days where truth and absolutes grow progressively dimmer and dimmer.
Believing and trusting God is not getting everything you want but accepting from God what he gives.
Jesus prayed, “Not my will but thine be done” and died the next day on a cross.
The enemy attacks by saying, “Your church ought to be bigger and what are all the other preachers going to think?”
Faith says, “One person plants, one person waters, but God gives the increase. I will trust God to bless my faithfulness as He sees fit.”
The enemy attacks by saying, “Nobody even knows what you’re doing or that your ministry even exists. No one ever mentions or recognizes you.”
Faith says, “I will trust God to reward me as He sees fit. It is far more important what He thinks.”
The enemy says, “Retaliate! Get even with the person who hurt you!”
Faith says, “I will trust the Lord to retaliate on my behalf.”
Faith trusts God for everything in every situation and in every circumstance. You say, “Easier said than done.”
Faith says, “Lord, I believe! Help me overcome my unbelief.”
The stronger your faith becomes as it grows and expands, the more you will trust God to deal with challenges and obstacles according to His timing and His way. Trust Him to deliver, defend, vindicate, provide for, and in the end reward you for your faithfulness. Remember that “All things are possible with God.” There is hope, and there is a reason to believe and have faith. Relax in Jesus. You can trust Him!