A few days ago I was cruising down the road when suddenly I saw smoke billowing out of the hood. And then a rattling noise. Ugh. Looked and sounded expensive.

And then my beloved 1997 Toyota 4runner decided she didn’t want to go any further. There I was in the middle of a busy intersection. Stalled and stranded. Discouraged and disappointed. I was reminded of the Southwest Airlines commercial, “Wanna get away?”

Sometimes life feels this way. We set out on a mission with a dream and an exciting destination. And then something happens. Our plans screech to a halt. What we wanted to happen just didn’t happen.

So what do we do when God doesn’t do what we want Him to do? When His plans aren’t our plans and His timing isn’t our timing?

Maybe it’s a loss of a job or a relationship. Maybe it’s a health diagnosis. Maybe that dream opportunity just didn’t work out. A few years ago Lyndsay and I suffered through numerous miscarriages. It was brutal. We were hurting and lost and confused and struggled with our faith.

When life doesn’t turn out the way we planned, our true colors are revealed: Is our faith based on who God is or what He does or doesn’t do? Is our faith in God contingent on our changing circumstances or is it grounded in His unchanging character?

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Authentic faith is trusting in God even when we don’t understand His plan. If you’re like me though, I lean way too heavily on my ability to understand things. I gotta have all the whys and whats and whens and wheres and hows answered first and then I’ll trust in the Lord.

I think that’s why God wants us to trust in Him not with all our mind, but with all our heart. Yes, we should think. Yes, we should reason. But ultimately God wants our hearts. He wants us “in all our ways to submit to him.”

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen me, but have believed” (John 20:29).

God counts those blessed who believe in Him despite life not going their way. There’s a joy, a peace, and a confidence knowing God is who He says He is. 

When life doesn’t do want we want it to do, God is always who we need Him to be.

Prayer: God, forgive me for placing my trust in circumstances rather than in who you are. Help me in my unbelief. Strengthen my faith in you. Show me how I can be an example to others of authentic faith. Amen.

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