As I’ve shared in the past, I’m always trying to listen to the world for clues. Many times the same idea will bubble up 3-4 times in 3-4 distinct conversations over a week or two. The more “random” those moments seem to be, the higher the likelihood I should be paying attention to them. There are no coincidences. And so, when the intersection between hustle and faith came up multiple times in the last few weeks, I listened and pondered. How do I balance my faith that God is in control with the knowledge that I am responsible for hustling and doing my part?
If I’m being completely transparent, faith has been something I’ve dodged talking about in this blog. I thought it might be safer to hint at where faith fits in my life than to come right out and say it. The last few weeks, I’ve felt pulled to be more bold.
My story is this… I’m a man who has vividly and clearly experienced God working in my life over and over again. He’s protected me, provided for me, and placed me perfectly where I’m at right now with the hope of an amazing life when this one ends through my faith in Jesus. In the meantime, as I am wandering and working my way through life today, God has graced me with the gift of a personal relationship and access to the creator of the universe, all completely undeserved.
That’s my story. Yours may be very different, and that’s OK. Wherever your faith lies, the question I’ve been pondering is this…
Where do faith and hustle connect?
I’m a firm believer that ANYTHING is possible, and that if you hustle and you’re crazy passionate about something, you can accomplish whatever you focus on. It starts with taking small first steps. For many people, the first thing that keeps them from making what’s possible a reality is that they never start. They never take that first leap. Then, if they do actually start, they quit when things get tough. Being willing to take those first risks, and then grinding when things get challenging, is the key to most things in life.
For a long time, I thought that was the end of the story. Hustle and grind, and that’s enough. That’s all you need to do to accomplish anything or walk through this life. Make your dreams happen and crush all the obstacles. That worked for me for a while. But behind that, I wondered, what if there was something more?
Digging a bit deeper, I realized that for me, this belief in anything being possible was based on much more than just hustle and hard work. Yes, hard work is a must-have, but at its core, faith is the real driver. First, faith that the outcomes I couldn’t see today, as I was working toward them, are really possible. But second, and even more important, faith in the fact that alongside my hard work, there’s something else at play that is bigger than me, God. That faith in God opens doors greater than I can imagine and breaks down barriers I can’t on my own.
Here are three areas that I see the intersection between faith and hustle…
- God sees us as His children and loves us. Years ago, a pastor introduced me to the concept of sonship. Or, daughtership. We are God’s children. Looking at my own kids, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for them as long as it’s right for them. I love them, want to provide for them, protect them, and help them create a fantastic life. God’s the same. When we get humble (aka I can’t do this on my own,) and we pray and ask for help, God hears us. He sees where we’re at, and answers as our dad. He wants us to reach out to Him no matter how small our ask may be, and He wants to help, like the perfect father.
- God has access to power we can’t imagine or access without Him. Combine God’s love and power with our hard work and hustle, and we become unstoppable. Our hard work can certainly get us far, and we are very capable on our own, but submitting to God extends our potential beyond what we can accomplish alone. Don’t misread this. Unstoppable does not mean unchallenged. A true faith life does not guarantee smooth paths and undeterred efforts. Pain, struggles, and washed out bridges will show up along the way. But, when those challenges do come, faith provides another level of power for us to access. Our potential with God alongside us is infinitely greater than our potential alone.
- God knows what I don’t. Throughout life, our outcomes are always unknown. We can work hard and hustle, but nothing is promised, not even tomorrow. So, how do we stay focused on the outcome when there are no guarantees that our hustle will ever amount to anything? The Bible shares in Hebrews 11:1 that faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” When we submit to the spirit of God within us, we release the very power of God in our lives to accomplish the purposes He has for us. (Eph 2:10). Combine that with our own hard work on the part we’re responsible for, and we can have confidence in the outcome no matter what. God’s timing, His love and provision, and His ability to see our future when we can’t are enough. Our future is in His hands.
All those things said, God expects us to have faith, but He also expects that we’ll dig in and do our part. We’ll lean into our faith, but we’ll also hustle and grind. Too many times, we want to lean into one, leaving the other on the sideline. I am notorious for this. I’ll hustle and try to do things on my own, shutting God out when I should be asking for His help, guidance, and provision. The other side of this is leaning into our faith 100%, and thinking we don’t have to carry our part of the load. Neither works.
Faith and hustle work hand in hand.
The two don’t live in separate boxes – they coexist in one, but only if we submit and allow them to. Separating them only diminishes the power of God in our lives.
As an entrepreneur, and someone who has navigated significant challenges, my personal experiences are the reason I’m so passionate about this combination. I’ve seen time and again that I needed to do the hard work to accomplish things or navigate my challenges. Sometimes that hard work has felt like more than I could handle. In those moments, as I’ve been grinding things out, God has stepped in and helped carry my burdens. When I submit my will to Him, He’s given me wisdom, opened doors, and helped strengthen me. That’s my hope for you, and my reason for sharing this.
In closing, let me add some clarity to one piece. The hustle I’m referring to here is merely the energy God expects us to use in our work, and the expectation He has on us to do our part in this life – to not be lazy. That said, our salvation is a free gift from God based on our belief in Christ, not on our works or anything we can do to earn it. The two are very different, and I want to be sure there is no confusion between the two. I am saved because of God’s grace, nothing else. I don’t deserve it, and I haven’t done anything to earn it. Jesus accomplished for me what I could not.
Have faith and hustle. Let God handle the rest.