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SERMON: First, Not Finally

Far too often I hear variations of this statement: “I’ve tried everything I know to do, and nothing is working, so now I’ll give it to God (or now I just have to trust God).”

When bad news comes, we are presented with a choice. We can give it to God first, with a heart full of trust; or we can give it everything we have in our own strength first and eventually, after multiple failed efforts, give it to God.

This important choice to trust doesn’t mean everything suddenly turns to sunshine and roses.

Circumstances do not instantly resolve themselves and fall perfectly into place. That’s not how it works. Instead, we find that our choice to trust God will bring a presence of peace we didn’t have before. This is the kind of peace we read about in Isaiah 26:3:

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”

When I follow the pattern of first instead of finally, I am comforted. I know God is in control, and trusting Him allows me to approach every difficulty or stress with a much calmer state of mind. When I fall into the pattern of finally instead of first, I ultimately regret that I didn’t give it to God in the first place.

When will we learn to take everything to God, which is what we need to do first instead of finally?

Let’s take our challenges to Him in prayer…

“Lord, we give these situations to you; they are in your hands. You have the answers. We know you are with us, and we trust you with our life challenges. Please lead and guide us, and grant us wisdom. We know these circumstances are not ours to handle alone. Amen.”

Proverbs 3:5

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding. “

By Kathy Cheek

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