Over and over we are faced with the decision to rely on God or to rely on ourselves.
How can we surrender to the Lord and fully rely on God – even when we don’t understand or see how things will work out?
My own life has been a constant testimony of God’s faithfulness as I’ve learned to surrender to Him and lean on Him for understanding. And throughout Scripture we see the same.
Unsure about what step to take next and yet God provides a way.
Broken hearts and broken relationships and yet God provides comfort.
Health struggles and physical weakness and yet God provides strength.
Anxiety and fear consuming me and yet God provides peace.
Sadness and grief and yet God provides hope.
Our God is faithful and as we rely on Him, even when we don’t understand, He will provide all that we need.
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What does it mean to rely on God?
You recognize God’s authority over all.
God is the creator of the ends of the earth. He is a trustworthy God. He has done great things all throughout Scripture. Our Heavenly Father is above all and yet He cares for us with loving compassion and a willingness to lay His life down so that we could be His.
If we even begin to recognize God’s authority and sovereignty over everything, we would want nothing else than to rely on Him.
I know that my understanding is limited and my sense of direction is often faulty when I am trying to discern some of the harder things in life.
“How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you!” -2 Samuel 7:22
What a powerful blessing that we have to be able to rely on a sovereign and faithful God who loves us and knows what is best for us!
You seek the Lord for His will and plan.
Some of my favorite Bible verses over the years have become the ones that show us of God’s will for our lives.
Every day we must make decisions and step forward in areas that are either within the will of God or outside of it.
I find I’m most joyful, hopeful and at peace when I am seeking the will of God for my life every morning before the day begins.
One of the best way to do this is to just pray a prayer of complete surrender. Give your desires and hearts to the Lord and ask Him to reveal His will to you.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. -Romans 8:28
God’s plan is good and as we trust and rely on this truth and seek out His will, we will find peace and abundance.
You stand firm on Scripture for hope, not your own feelings, emotions, or understanding.
It is so easy to let our feelings dictate our peace and our direction. As a very deeply feeling person, I can get caught up in my emotions that are based on my own understanding and feel hopeless or make rash decisions in light of it.
One thing I’ve learned as I’ve grown in leaning on God is to bring everything to the truth of Scripture.
When I’m feeling sad, what does Scripture say? When I’m angry, hurt or feeling unloved, what does Scripture say? When I’m confused or looking for direction, what does Scripture say?
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! -Isaiah 26:3
As we fix our eyes on truth, on Scripture, on the Lord, He will keep us in perfect peace. Perfect peace.
Let us bring everything to Him and find that perfect peace today.
Examples of Relying on God in the Bible
Joseph – Relying on God through Hard Circumstances
Joseph relied on God through many trials and much heartbreak. He was sold into slavery by his brothers. He was wrongfully imprisoned. Over and over there were times of trouble where he could have shook his fist at God and turned away.
And yet, he remained faithful. He continued to trust God was at work in the difficulty. He continued to trust that God was doing a good thing.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. -Genesis 50:20
You and I both know that it probably was not easy to trust God and continue to rely on God in the midst of such trauma and heartbreak.
When we work hard at something, we assume we will reap a harvest then and there.
If you are feeling like God is not at work in your right now circumstance, take a moment to reflect on Joseph’s story in Genesis and watch how God worked, not in the course of hours or days, but over the course of years, to save many lives through one faithful man.
Hannah – Relying on God through Unanswered Prayers
Hannah chose to rely on God in the midst of despair and unanswered prayers. She desperately wanted a son and yet her womb was closed.
Pouring out her heart to the Lord. Presenting her requests before Him, humbly. Worshipping Him despite her unanswered prayers.
Even Eli, the priest, thought that she was drunk on wine when she prayed in the temple. But she did not turn away from the Lord or turn to other measures of comfort and fulfillment.
“Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord.” -1 Samuel 1:15
If you feel as though you have unanswered prayers, turn your heart to the Lord. Pour out your heart and your desires to Him. Trust in God’s timing and the goodness of the Lord. And worship Him while you wait.
Paul – Relying on God through Weakness
The Apostle Paul was not afraid of his weakness. He knew that in his weakness, God’s strength would cover him.
This was not to say that it was easy or that his weakness went away. In fact, over and over he was faced with trails.
We read in 2 Corinthians 12 about the “thorn in his side” that he pleaded with the Lord to take away.
He was not without trial and temptation and yet even in that, he relied on God for strength and endurance.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. -2 Corinthians 12:9
Paul was content, knowing that in this life we will have weaknesses and trials but that God’s power will rest on us as we cling to Him and press on.
What weaknesses are you struggling with? Can you pray 2 Corinthians 12:7-11 over them as you rely on God in the midst of your struggle?
Bible Verses About Leaning on God
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber.
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
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.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
2 Corinthians 4:17
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
How to Rely on God in Hard Times
Seek the Lord and surrender to His will.
When we are struggling, we must cling to this command:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. -Proverbs 3:5-6
This is true when we are on the mountaintops and when God has revealed to us the steps to take and things seem to be flourishing. But this is also true when we are in the valley and feel lost and alone.
We are not alone. We are being led to green pastures and led to quiet waters.
Did you know that sheep will only drink from waters that are still? God knows this and as a shepherd, he leads them there.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. -Psalm 23:1-3
Lean on Him for understanding, the One who knows all we need and will lead us there.
We will face trials in this world, but nothing will compare to the glory God has for us as we cling to Him and follow Him.
Follow where God leads, even when you don’t see the way.
We must trust that God is sovereign and God is faithful. We can cling to these truths all throughout Scripture.
When you are struggling, search for Scripture that speaks truth into your specific situation.
I love to just google “bible verses on anxiety” or “bible verses on grief” and see what God says to me in my exact situation.
God calls us to follow Him. He knows we will face trials. He knows our understanding is limited, but still, He calls us.
Continue stepping forward in where God is leading. If you’re unsure of where that is, I would encourage you to open your Bible daily and ask God to show you.
As you follow Him, He will lead you to peace and joy and hope. This is promised.
Each step of obedience will strengthen our faith and grow our intimacy with the Lord.
Renew your mind with Biblical truth.
In the same way, we are called to renew our minds with Scripture. We are called to allow this renewal to transform us as we seek to live differently than the world around us.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. -Romans 12:2
If you are struggling, lean into God and allow Him to renew your heart and mind through the work of the Holy Spirit. As we do this, we will be transformed. Our eyes will be opened to the work that God is doing and we will find strength and peace and joy.
Keep a prayer journal of your hardship and reflect on God’s faithfulness.
A prayer journal is a powerful way to find healing as you pour out your heart in prayer and reflect on God’s faithfulness.
If you don’t know where to start, search for prayers to write down. There are so many online and then the Bible is also filled with prayers.
Psalm 77 is a beautiful prayer of both struggle and yet reflecting on God’s faithfulness.
All throughout Scripture, we see reflections on how God has been faithful when God’s people are struggling. This is how they stand firm in faith, remembering and reflecting on God’s faithfulness.
God is faithful all throughout time but He is also faithful in your life. As you begin to journal through this time, you will see the ways that He is present and answering prayers and faithful.
When you’re wrestling with the troubles of this life, rely on God to supply you with strength and comfort you through this season.
Remember, “and after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10
God, the Everlasting Rock, will be your refuge and you can rest in His perfect peace. Let the Word of the Lord be your guide as you rely on God in all seasons of life. He is with you.