Zhenya is a pastor in Southern Russia in a very small town. Below he writes a personal account of growing in everyday trust in God’s help and sovereignty.
I thank God for your prayers and intercessions for me. I notice the effect of God’s grace in my life through the prayers of the saints. I have noticed, in the last month, particular weakness in my own life that has pushed me to trust the Lord in new and noticeable ways. I have no doubt this is not a result of my own devotion, but rather God being pleased to answer your prayers on my behalf. Even before writing my previous letter to you, I experienced a sharp sense of anxiety and pressure. The stress was so strong that I can only compare it with the state when I was an unbeliever. When I began to understand where it came from, I realized that I was under pressure from unfinished obligations: this Sunday’s upcoming sermon (the meaning of which I can not understand), the writing of this report, which I postponed, the translation of Greek texts for my seminary courses, and various other everyday issues. Through all of this, I realized that I do not regularly trust God, and my life is burdened with the sin of arrogance and pride. Intellectually, I understood that it was necessary to trust in Christ, but still, I tried to do a lot on my own. I repented of my pride and distrust of God and put my trust, once again, in Christ. I don’t think that this ongoing trust has reached perfection in me. This is something that needs to grow constantly, and, nevertheless, I want to tell you what fruits God produces in my life despite my unbelief.
Not so long ago, I needed to go to an organization where I could spend, at minimum, a few hours. Knowing this, I took a moment to consciously place my trust in Him with faith. All the way, I meditated on God’s attributes, His sovereign will and glory, praising Him in my heart, recognizing my weakness, and continually seeking to place my trust in Him again and again. I was trying, with God’s help through meditation on the truth, to take every thought captive to the word of Christ. When I came to the entrance of the organization, I saw 10-12 people standing in line I thought, “It’s about a four-hour wait!” Nevertheless, I waited my turn and was helped to not fixate on the many tasks I had to complete after this long wait. A few days later, in the morning, I had to make two important calls. I made the calls but the individuals did not answer even though they had requested my call at a certain time. A thought flashed through my head: “You’re trying to do everything on your own again, you wanted to learn to trust God.” I prayed to God and called again a few minutes later, everyone was in place and the issues were resolved. Praise the Lord! God continually teaches me to trust Him.
My closeness to Christ and abiding in Him also influenced my practical righteousness. I noticed truths from the Sermon on the Mount, which previously plunged me into deep despondency, brought an unusual deep satisfaction to my soul. Please pray for me that I would continue to abide in and rest in Christ. Pray for us as a church as we continue through the Sermon on the Mount. Pray lastly for our evangelistic efforts in our community. The need is great as so many are blinded in their unbelief.
In Christ, Pastor Zhenya