Do you remember what you thought your adult life would look like when you were a kid? Perhaps you dreamt of the day you would start your own company or make it to the corner office. Most of us grow up having expectations of what our lives will look like one day. But if your life is anything like mine, there is a vast difference between what you thought it would look like and what actually played out.
I recently went through one of the most unexpected seasons of my life: a layoff. Perhaps you can relate — you got passed up for a promotion or maybe you received an unexpected health diagnosis. Whatever the case may be for you, I can tell you this: that very unexpected season in my career turned out to be one of the most blessed and fruitful seasons of my life! Not because it wasn’t challenging or because I had all the answers, but because what the enemy meant for evil, GOD used for good!
When I first heard the news, my flesh wanted to go into despair and hopelessness, but instead my spirit rose up in faith. It was only by God’s grace that I was able to respond in that way (and don’t get me wrong, there were days when I couldn’t), and it led me through that season and strengthened my faith like never before!
Sometimes, as believers, we forget that we are called into a life of WALKING BY FAITH. Hebrews 11:1 tells us that “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” This is where TRUST comes in: are we going to believe what our circumstances are trying to convince us is reality or will we believe God’s Word is the higher reality?
If you’re struggling to trust God in any area of your life at work or in your personal life, let me encourage you with the things that helped me deal with unexpected circumstances:
1) Submit your life under the LORDSHIP of Jesus.
Ask yourself, am I making decisions in my life based on my own knowledge and experience, or do I take every decision to God asking Him for His wisdom and guidance first?
2) Position your thoughts and emotions under the AUTHORITY of God’s Word.
Romans 12:2 reminds us that the way we align our thoughts to His thoughts is through the renewal of our minds. Spend time daily in God’s Word and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the heart and thoughts of the Father to you as His words speak truth into your life (including your work).
3) Ask God to increase your faith through PRAYER.
If you feel like your faith isn’t strong, that’s okay. Even the disciples needed their faith to increase (and they walked side-by-side with Jesus!). That’s why we have the Holy Spirit and we can ask Him to increase our faith through prayer.
4) Align your actions by choosing to WALK BY FAITH.
Finally, choose to walk by faith every time you are tempted to give in to hopelessness or despair. In doing this, your trust in the Lord will increase and you will find greater intimacy with the Lord by depending on Him in every unexpected situation.
Whether the unexpected in your life right now is a jolting circumstance at work that’s left you wondering where your career is headed, or simply the feeling that you are stuck, TRUST God by seeking Him and talking to Him about what He wants to teach you and accomplish in you through that situation. If you’ll allow God, He can turn any setback into a catalyst for your life and use every unexpected event to refine you and strengthen your walk with Him.