(Originally published 8/1/13)
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from pursuing a career as a writer, it’s that it takes a lot of faith. I’m not talking faith in myself or my abilities, because I often times don’t have much of that. I’m talking about faith in God, that He has called me to pursue this career and that He will bless it and prosper it if and when He sees fit.
Whenever I send out a proposal to a literary agent or do research that reveals testimonies of people who have been waiting eight-plus years, I get a little nervous. Heck, sometimes I’m downright terrified! God, what if these people say the book is garbage? What if I can’t sell it to (literally) save my life? What if the only things people read that I’ve written are cardboard signs outside Wal-mart?! And so the downward spiral continues as my mind keeps spinning from one worst case scenario to the next.
Whenever I begin to get consumed by doubt, one of the obvious things that it affects is my mood. I start to feel hopeless and depressed and I walk around looking like I can’t wait for the world to end. Then, the Holy Spirit convicts me.
A few years ago I had this dream… and let me stop there and assure you fine people that I am not about to launch into a speech about the power of dreams and all the prophetic visions I’ve had. Because this was a onetime deal for me. It was just a dream of me in church, sitting through a sermon on trusting God. My pastor looked out at the congregation and asked if we were all trusting God, really trusting Him. Then he said, “I don’t think you are. Because if you were all trusting God, then you wouldn’t be able to keep from smiling.” And that’s where the conviction hits me.
I love God. And I believe that He loves me. In fact, I believe that He loves me so much that He sent is only Son to die on the cross for me to save me from my sins and that He rose on the third day. I believe the Lord knows what’s best for me, wants what’s best for me, and is able and willing to do what’s best for me. So why don’t I act like it? Why am I not walking around with a big goofy grin on my face 24/7?
Answer; because this world is distracting and terrifying and the people in it are so important to me that I forget that God is God and He will have His way and since I love and serve Him, His way is exactly what I want. It can be so easy to lose sight of God’s goodness, of His grace and mercy towards us. The world is so noisy and not all that encouraging at times. But we can take heart, because God has overcome the world.
So I stop the spinning right there, tell the world to hush up for a sec, and focus on God. I remember all that He has done for me and I look at all the promises He has for me in the Scriptures. And when I do that, when I stop looking at the world and look to God instead, I get this big goofy grin on my face and I know I can trust Him to work all things out for my good. And yours too, if you love Him. So keep trusting Him and keep smiling =)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.