Leaving My Comfort Zone: Another Lesson in Trust and Faith

Like most of us, I like my comfort zone. All my strengths are there with not too many weaknesses. I know what I’m getting into. There are little doubts, confusion, anxiety. But outside my comfort zone is the land of unknowns, doubts, skepticism, anxiety. I don’t like this place, but it seems to be a place that I go often when I’m following the Lord. This summer is another instance where I’m being pulled outside my comfort zone; another instance where I’m being stretched even farther in my faith and my trust in Jesus Christ. 

Faith. Trust. Two things that are vital to our walk with Jesus Christ. And it is a walk. A lot of times we don’t know where we are going or why we are going there, but we are asked to go, trust. Examples of this in my life: Leaving Gilligans to work at Target, going to Nicaragua, going back to school, leaving to go to North Greenville University. These are examples of being pulled out of my comfort zone and the Lord being sovereign over my life, which He constantly is. 
Being pulled out of your comfort zone is scary. Walking with the Lord is a challenge. It is a challenge because we no longer have the reigns in our hands. We are surrendering our authority, our control, to someone we can’t even see and we are trusting that He (The Lord) knows what’s best for our lives. But we can rest assured that He does. 
A verse that really has given me comfort over the last few years is Proverbs 3:5-6 which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”

This is an encouraging verse because it takes all the pressure off of me. It gets rid of the pressure of having to direct my own life and figure out all my needs, let alone how to love and meet the needs of others around me. This burden being lifted allows me to trust. Trust so fully that I give my life in surrender because I know that “while I was still a sinner, Christ died for me.” (Romans 5:8). 
I know that whatever comes my way, nothing can take me from His hands. Nothing can separate us from the power of God. Not angels. Not demons. Not principalities. Not Death. Not life. Not things present or things to come. Not height, or depth, or any other created thing. Nothing can separate me from the love of Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:38-39).
So when I’m asked to leave my comfort zone, which I often am, I go. I go not necessarily without fears, doubts, anxiety, but I go. And I am able to go because one, I’m not directing these paths, He is. Two, Jesus has proved Himself worthy of not only complete trust in Him, but glory and honor as well. Three, I go because nothing can stop what God has planned in our lives. He is sovereign and protective of us. 
Many times obstacles lay in our wake as we step out to new places and our comfort zone is stretched. Many times this is our emotions such as fear, laziness, apathy, worries, and anxiety, just to name a few. But what does God’s Word say about these? “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). 

Worried about stepping out? Pray to God about it. God knows what you are feeling. Jesus sweat blood before He died on the cross. He crossed a threshold of stepping out of His comfort zone. 
What happens because of prayer? The peace of God guards our hearts! Guards our hearts from any doubts, anxieties, and other emotional states we may be in. Prayer allows us to have peace even in difficult situations!
For me, this camp thing scares me to death. But if I focus on the fears that I have, then I will miss out on God’s power wanting to break through those fears and work. If I focus on my inadequacies and doubts, then I will miss out on God’s healing hand wanting to work through me. But I can trust and have faith that God has me here for a reason. I don’t know what that reason is, but I trust in His sovereignty, that He is working everything out for the “good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.” (Romans 8:28). 

So my message to you and me today is to step boldly out of your comfort zone. Whether that be a new job, a new relationship or marriage, a different path, trust in the Lord’s sovereignty and goodness. Trust and have faith that He has you here for a reason, one that would blow your mind if you could look down the road and see the huge implications and results of your respective ministries or decisions. Know that the Lord is good, loving, trustworthy. 
Well, this will probably be the last blog post for me this summer. I will put up a new post after the summer, to give you the run down on camp and what the Lord taught me. Please keep me in your prayers. Ask the Lord to give me endurance and contentment this summer. Ask the Lord to allow me to be a servant in ways I can’t even imagine. I know this summer is going to be full of new adventures, loving on kids, and more lessons in trusting and walking with Him. 
Have a blessed summer,
Joseph. 

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