Whether or not you are a man of faith, you are probably familiar with the most well-known verse in the Bible. “John 3:16” signs appear in the end zones of NFL football games. One could argue that the second most well-known verse is Proverbs 3:5-6:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will make your paths straight.”

I made the decision to “trust in the Lord” to forgive me of my sins and receive His gift of eternal life while in a hospital, recovering from a grand mal seizure. I was nine. That was 57 years ago.

I recently discovered that I am a slow learner. I have had to trust God at different points through the last 57 years. The tests of our faith come when we face various hardships—the loss of a job, a cross-country move, financial struggles, a life-changing or life-threatening illness, the loss of a spouse, or facing an uncertain future. I have been tested to “trust in the Lord” in all these areas. My biggest test was my wife Jasmine’s battle with COVID-19, which eventually took her life. Even though the outcome was not what I had gone to war with God over, my faith was strengthened. I thought I had “arrived,” but I was wrong. There is still room to grow.

I learned in 57 years that we cannot battle against God and win. We try . . . oh we try . . . but we will never win that one! The only way to win is to surrender to the Winner’s side, regardless of the consequences. Do you find yourself battling against God when things seem to be going in the “wrong” direction?

I was recently in a new relationship. It started wonderfully, opening a new capacity to live and love again. But then, I felt it moving in the “wrong” direction, creating inner turmoil—fear, anxiety, confusion, and the feeling of a weight pressing on my chest. It drove me to talk to God about it. We had a really intense conversation! He revealed that my fear, anxiety, and confusion were not due to the circumstances but a flaw in my inner being—a lack of total trust in Him. It may not have been a fatal flaw, but if “fatal” means death, it felt like I was dying inside.

He then took my focus off the circumstances and onto His goodness and love. While not being able to “lean on my own understanding,” He reminded me that He was and continues working to give me His best and always has my best interest at heart. Embracing those truths about Him freed my soul to “trust Him with all my heart,” and the burden was lifted immediately.

My soul has been free like never before, not from pain or adversity but from the bondage of fear. Life’s challenges can come upon us at any time, and they don’t always move toward our favored outcome, but trusting in God’s goodness and love “with all our heart” transforms inner turmoil into inner freedom!

By the way, the relationship did not go as I had hoped, and we mutually agreed to part. I was saddened by the breakup, but I am at peace, trusting in God’s goodness. He has my back, and that’s good enough!

Trust Him and move forward.