Your Utmost Is Not Enough

Learning to trust God even when life doesn't make sense.


If you've ever been disillusioned with life or disappointed with God, no doubt the emotion was born from a mismatch of expectation and reality.

You expected a long and prosperous life, not one shortened by cancer. You expected to be in your dream job forever, not to be laid off because of hard economic times. You anticipated your children growing up to follow the Lord, but they have turned away from the faith.

These unrealized futures send a shock to our systems, and God, being the omnipotent, omniscient being he is sometimes bears the brunt of our rage and bitterness. As natural as these responses seem amidst the throes of tragedy, in the end, we're only hurting ourselves.

But where do these expectations come from? Who says we're guaranteed a long life of prosperity or an existence free from conflict?

Well, the Bible does.

Check out Proverbs 3:1-2:

My son, do not forget my teaching,

    but let your heart keep my commandments,

for length of days and years of life

    and peace they will add to you.

Or how about Proverbs 22:4?

The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life.

Yes, these are individual passages plucked out of Scripture, but it's hard to take them any other way isn't it?

So we strive to live upright, generous, humble, obedient, and hard-working lives. We're leaning on these sage aphorisms as we envision the future. But then things fall apart around us. Medical bills pile up, zapping that so-called prosperity. Conflict with the spouse sucks the peace from our day-to-day. The untimely death of a loved one robs us of joy.

You get the point.

Maybe the above Proverbs should come with an asterisk. *Most of the time. If you give your utmost, you'll have peace and prosperity.*

*Most of the time.

Because as you know, we live in a fallen, messed up world full of messed up people (like me). The earth is rotting, wearing out like an old garment.[1] And the introduction of sin brought with it all kinds of evils.

So what's the answer? Should we give up hope?

If the story ended at Malachi, you might have my permission to do so. But with the arrival of the Messiah, Jesus, we can be assured our hope will never be fully dashed. Jesus is the bridge spanning the chasm of sorrow we often find lying between expectation and realization.

This is only possible due to the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross and his subsequent resurrection. Jesus suffered more than we ever will, and he did it willingly. And because of the resurrection we have hope of a resurrection of our own.

It is there, in the great beyond, that those who embrace Jesus will enter his everlasting peace and obscene levels of prosperity. We might enjoy some measure of these things here on earth as a result of wise choices and by the grace of God, but no matter how hard we strive, our utmost is not enough.

Not enough to stave off tragedy and heartache and definitely not enough to earn salvation. But where we fail or where this fallen world fails to live up to our expectations, Jesus makes up the difference.

In my new book, Your Utmost Is Not Enough: Trusting God Even When Life Doesn't Make Sense, I explore this idea on a grander and deeper level and offer advice as far as my experiences will take me and confirm, fortify and fill in the gaps with the Word of God.

In reading the book you will discover:

  • How to grow closer to God by developing habits that short-circuit the primitive side of your brain.
  • How to avoid common pitfalls of the Christian life like pride and self-justification.
  • A practical guide to receiving God's blessings.
  • What the Bible really says about prosperity.
  • How to reconcile suffering with belief in a benevolent God.
  • Advice for coping with adversity.
  • A deeper understanding of the significance of Jesus's life, death, and resurrection.
  • The secrets of effective Christians.

If you're at all interested, you can find out more information at one of your favorite retailers:


Barnes & Noble
Books a Million



And for a limited time during the book launch window, you can get your own ebook copy for only $0.99. Don't wait; the price will go up soon.

If you do read the book, I'd love to know your thoughts. Leave a comment or send me an email: andrew[at]


1. See Isaiah 51:6.
2. The links to above are affiliate links.


  1. Why did you use the word "utmost" in the title? It immediately brings to mind Oswald Chambers in a rather negative way.

    1. Because no matter how much we try, or how much effort we give, we will face adversity in our Christian walk.