Monday, February 16, 2009

Here we go, again

Recently, I entered into what might turn out to be a significant period of personal trial. For the time being, it wouldn’t be wise to talk about it too much (especially over the Internet) but, suffice it to say, this trial is not health-related or marital or in any way scandalous.

But, it is a significant personal trial for me and my family. We stand in great need of prayer. In fact, about the only thing we can do is pray and trust God.

That sounds strange to say, but isn’t it often the case that we Christians would rather do something—anything!—rather than just trust God? Of course, we say we trust God. We’re supposed to—we’re Christians, after all. But, the reality is, most of us prefer to do something about our situation, whatever it is. Trusting God seems so impractical, like doing nothing at all.

I think this is why God must, sometimes, put us in the place where there simply is nothing we can do but trust Him. He puts us between the proverbial rock and hard place, trapped with no way of escape and no clue what to do. In such a situation, the mind is filled with questions, but we have absolutely no answers.

That’s where I am right now, along with my wife. From past experience, I know that God is getting ready to teach us something about trusting Him. In about three months, I hope to let you in on what God is doing with us.

Today, I was feeling sad and depressed, thinking about our situation. It was really getting me down. After lunch, I shut myself up alone to pray, read the Bible and think. In the course of reading, I came across these verses:

“Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD” (Psalm 4:4-5).

I believe this was the word I needed to hear. This Scripture certainly spoke to what I was feeling today. In a time of trial and testing like this, the temptation is strong to be anxious and lash out at somebody—anybody—in anger. Perhaps, we have good cause to be angry, but the Scripture says “be angry, and do not sin”. What is usually the best way to not sin when angry? Keep your mouth shut! The Scripture says, “ponder in your own hearts”—think it over, process it—“and be silent.”

Then, the Scripture says, “Offer right sacrifices”. Immediately, I thought of Psalm 51:17: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” When times get tough, it is not the time for us to react; it is the time for us to humble ourselves before God and offer right worship to Him.

“Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD.” I’m ashamed to say, there have been times in the past when God has come to my rescue, and I was surprised! I didn’t think He would do it. I didn’t trust Him, yet God was merciful and rescued my fool self, anyway. “How could I have doubted you?” I said afterwards. I don’t want to repeat that mistake. I have the written record—the Scriptures—and that record is clear: God is faithful. He is true to His character. The Lord will not forsake His own. Then, there is the record of God’s past dealings with me. Since even before I was born, God has been faithful. His grace has brought me “through many dangers, toils and snares”. There is no logical reason to not trust Him, so the Scripture commands, “put your trust in the LORD.”

And so I shall. Like I said, I’ll let you know in about three months exactly what is going on. Right now, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m just trusting the Lord. And He is trustworthy.


Ray Ortlund said...

Exodus 14:13-14.

God be with you.

R.K. said...

This is why I fight against Christianity. When I was a Christian I trusted in God for many important life decisions as well to the point where I would do nothing except trust when I should have been taking action. Christianity is all fine and good until you really start trusting and depending. When that happens many sincere Christians like yourself will eventually get screwed over (and read Philip Yancey).

I would encourage you to use your wits and take action on your problem even if there isn't a clear solution. Doing nothing and trusting the Christian God will only lead to disappointment

wwdunc said...

Oh, R.K., what you say is absolutely not true. What you're talking about sounds like presumption, not true faith or trust.

First of all, I never said do nothing. By all lawful means, do all you can, but realize there will be times when you won't be able to do a thing or all viable options will be severely limited. In those situations there are two alternatives: despair or trust in God. I choose to trust God.

Secondly, trusting God--truly trusting Him--has never ultimately led to disappointment. God has made a way for me many times. If God had not come through, I wouldn't be where I am today: alive, physically well, mentally sane, with a family and home. I don't exaggerate: everything I have I owe to God. Though I don't deserve a thing but His wrath, He has never failed to provide for me. And, above and beyond all that, I have eternal life. One day I will see Christ Jesus face-to-face and will be free from sin and disappointment, pain and sorrow, grief and loss. The joy I have because I trust in and rely upon Christ Jesus, gives me the strength I need right now to get through any temporal hardship I may have to experience.

I would encourage you to commit yourself anew to Christ Jesus. Give up all trust and reliance upon yourself and cast yourself fully upon the Lord. Again, I'm not saying don't "use your wits" or "take action". But, obviously, the way you've taken has only led to bitterness and resentment. It is sin which leads to disappointment. God never fails those who truly and savingly trust in His Son.

sewpax said...

I think you are correct wwdunc, when you say that there are things you can do. It is hard to trust God sometimes, but I know that we must. We'll just have to keep praying.