Prayerfully Speaking

Hope from the Truths of God's Word

Strong in the Lord: Giving Thanks and Learning to Trust

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After writing and publishing, Hope for Your Marriage, I’ve been craving some down time with our Lord. There’s a significant spiritual battle at work in my midst. The Holy Spirit is strengthening and refreshing me while I walk through this new season of personal transformation, waiting, and praying. Below, I’m sharing with you two of the soul strengthening resources God is using to help me remain strong in Him.

One of the participants of the Webcast: 9 Battle Plans for War Room Wives, shared this very rich, biblical teaching by Derek Prince on thanksgiving with me and a few of the other speakers. I’ve listened to the first 30 minutes of it several times and will continue to work through it to make sure it becomes part of the very fabric of my soul. I trust God can/will use it to encourage and strengthen you too.

To drive home this message of thanksgiving and praise in the midst of imperfect and undesirable circumstances, God blessed me with this view during an early morning walk. Barren land with evidence of residency, an outhouse, and the artistry of God in the clouds.

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I felt the Holy Spirit whisper to me, “Just keep looking up. Adjust your focus and you will see the glory of God.” Isn’t this what David, the young shepherd boy, did when faced with taunting Goliath? He looked beyond his circumstances to the One who had proven to be his strength against the lion and the bear. (1 Samuel 17:37)

Ruthless Trust! This is the title of a book by Brennan Manning whom you may know as the author of the Ragamuffin Gospel. The Holy Spirit, knowing my deepest needs, led me to this book. I’m eager to share a few quotes and prayers from within it that resonated with me. Everything below is directly excerpted from the book.

Unwavering trust is a rare and precious thing because it often demands a degree of courage that borders on the heroic. When the shadow of Jesus’ cross falls across our lives in the form of failure, rejection, abandonment, betrayal, unemployment, loneliness, depression, the loss of a loved one; when we are deaf to everything but the shriek of our own pain; when the world around us suddenly seems a hostile, menacing place — at those times we may cry out in anguish, “How could a loving God permit this to happen?” At such moments the seeds of distrust are sown. It requires heroic courage to trust in the love of God no matter what happens to us.

The story of salvation-history indicates that without exception trust must be purified in the crucible of trial.

A Daily Prayer: Abba, into your hands I entrust my body, mind, and spirit and this entire day – morning, afternoon, evening and night. Whatever you want of me, I want of me, falling into you and trusting in you in the midst of my life. Into your heart I entrust my heart, feeble, distracted, insecure, uncertain. Abba, unto you I abandon myself in Jesus our Lord. Amen

The reality of naked trust is the life of a pilgrim who leaves what is nailed down, obvious, and secure and walks into the unknown without any rational explanation to justify the decision or guarantee the future. Why? Because God has signaled the movement and offered it his presence and promise.

In order to grow in trust, we must allow God to see us and love us precisely as we are. The best way to do that is through prayer. As we pray, the unrestricted love of God gradually transforms us. … The Spirit opens our eyes to see what really is, to pierce through illusions so that we can discover we are seen by God with a gaze of love.

The foremost quality of a trusting disciple is gratefulness. Gratitude arises from the lived perception, evaluation, and acceptance of all of life as grace – as an undeserved and unearned gift from the Father’s hand.

Jesus’ words “I have come so that you may have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10) sparkle with the sense that life is to be cherished infinitely.

Uncontaminated trust in the revelation of Jesus allows us to breathe more freely, to dance more joyfully, and to sing more gratefully about the gift of salvation.

To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives — the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections — that requires hard spiritual work.  ~ Henri Nouwen

There are only two choices: integration and acceptance of our whole life-story, or despair. ~ Eric Erikson

The root of joy is gratefulness … It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful. ~ Brother David Steindl-Rast

The antithesis of giving thanks is grumbling. The grumblers live in a state of self-induced stress.

To be grateful for an unanswered prayer, to give thanks in a state of interior desolation, to trust in the love of God in the face of the marvels, cruel circumstances, obscenities, and commonplaces of life is to whisper a doxology in darkness.

About Jennifer O. White

I'm a simple wife who has discovered God's amazing gift of prayer. Here at Prayerfully Speaking I share my journey of unwrapping this gift. God invites us to ask Him, but His enemy works diligently to keep that from happening. I hope to offer you encouragement to believe God is ready to pour more into your life than you've ever imaged.

3 Replies

  1. Laurel-Lee McGee States

    This was so Divinely timed. I am really going through a rough time, which I shouldn’t be, but I brought it on myself. I was doing amazing things and then taken back to the beginning and quite frankly very frustrating. Me time became knee time yesterday and my prayer is to go above and beyond what I have already seen. Somewhere I let myself get in the way and I should have known better! Thank you Jennifer for beautiful words from the Lord!!

  2. Debbie Perez

    This is the next thing I have been worki g on and everything I read just this morning and or heard has to do with Trust I do t Trust my husband but in my conviction from God I hear Him say then you don’t trust in me and those words pierced my heart. We must live like Jesus want’s us to live with unconditional love…I swear Jennifer White I was the one who wrote your book hope in marriage word for word it touched me to the core of my soul.Thank You I thank God my path has come across yours.

  3. Ryan Dewan Crawford