Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.” [1 John 3:21-22]
I think that it's mind blowing that God likes to give good gifts to us. Here in 1 John, John brings up Jesus’ teaching that God gives “good gifts to those who ask Him” (from Matthew 7). This is true, but does that mean that we can just pray that we get the career we want? Or, more relevant to finals week, can we just pray for an A on a test and assume we will ace the exam without studying?
As with most things in life, I think there needs to be a healthy balance between trust and action. In John 21, Jesus appears to the disciples as they were fishing. They did not catch anything. Jesus told them, “cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch.” The disciples did as instructed and caught tons of fish! They wanted fish, but unless they were to cast their nets in obedience, they would not have caught anything. When it comes to taking a test (or anything else, really) you should do your best by studying and preparing. But also trust God that He has a plan for you. God calls us to be good stewards of what we have, so we should steward our time, energy, and ability well by doing our best in everything. In other words, be dependent upon God, but do what you gotta do. God honors our efforts and wants us to give this life our all. He created us and knows us. He does not expect us to do the impossible. That’s His job.
We are able to trust God with our future, but this does not mean we get a pass to be lazy. Colossians 3:23 says “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men”. Also, 1 Thessalonians 3:10 says, “If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” These verses clearly show that God does not want us to do nothing. We were made to work. So what does this mean for you and me? Let’s focus on committing to do our best in everything, and if you don’t get what you originally wanted, know that your identity is not found in what you were working for, but your identity is found in God. God loves you and has a plan for you, but let's give our lives to Him by doing our very best in everything!
Father, thank You for being trustworthy. Help me to trust You more. Please show me ways I can combine trusting You and also doing my part. Thank You for loving me. Amen.