No “If”s By Joel Osteen
It’s easy to trust God when things are going our way, our business is blessed, and our children are healthy. But what about when our prayers aren’t being answered, the problem isn’t turning around, and we’re not seeing favor? Too often we get discouraged and think, “God, why aren’t You doing something?” We think that when it changes, we’ll be happy. That’s conditional trust. We’re saying, “God, if You meet my demands, if You answer my prayers in the way I want and according to my timetable, I’ll be my best.”
The problem with conditional trust is that there will always be something that doesn’t work out the way we want, something that’s not happening fast enough. Are you mature enough to accept God’s answers even though they’re not what you were hoping for? God is a sovereign God. We’re not going to understand everything that happens. Faith is trusting God when life doesn’t make sense. There will always be unanswered questions. “Why didn’t my loved one make it?” “Why am I not getting better?” “Why did this person leave?” But God knows what He’s doing. He has your best interest at heart. It’s a part of His plan. Dare to trust Him.
The apostle Paul had what he called “a thorn in the flesh” that he asked God to take away three times. But God said, “My grace is sufficient for you,” and He did not take it away (2 Corinthians 12:9). Paul had to learn how to be content in his weakness. He made the decision: “I’m not going to live sour because God hasn’t removed this thorn. When He wants to remove it, He’ll remove it. Until then, I’m going to be happy where I am, thorn and all.” The truth is, we all have some thorns, things that God is not changing even though we keep asking. He could if He wanted to; He’s God. But since He’s not done it yet, would you do as Paul did and be happy where you are, thorn and all? Trouble and all? Loneliness and all?
We can get so consumed with what we want that it can become like an idol to us. It’s all we think about, all we pray about, always on the forefront of our minds. Turn it over to God. Pray, believe, and then leave it in God’s hands. Everything may not be perfect, but God has given you the grace to be happy today. It’s very freeing when you can say, “God, it’s in Your hands. I trust You unconditionally whether it works out my way or not. I trust You unconditionally even when I don’t understand it.”