Lately, it seems, that a lot of people around me are going through some really tough life issues.
One of the ladies I work with just found out she has cancer. I have a close friend who is going through a truly tough time in her marriage, and there is a strong chance it will end in divorce. My best friend is working through some deep emotional issues, that have haunted her since she was a child.
These are not light issues. These are the kinds of things that shape and form us as an individual. Where we go from here will define the rest of lives.
So What Do We Do?
When life is tough, and all around us the world seems to be falling apart there is only one thing we can do, we give it to God.
“But how do I give it to God?” you might ask. “How do I trust Him when I’m so scared, and I keep finding myself worrying about it, long after I “gave it to Him”?”
This is how. We read our Bibles, we pray, and then we have to trust Him. If I’m honest, there have been times that I really haven’t believed God, and I don’t mean that in a loose or flippant way. I mean I have sat and cried until I couldn’t breathe and my eyes burn, telling God that I don’t know how to trust Him. I’m afraid that if I do, He’ll allow something that hurts more than what I’m going through now.
It’s not always easy for us to trust God. This isn’t because God isn’t trustworthy. If anyone was ever reliable, it is God. He has shown Himself faithful to His word and to His people countless times. We are the reason we don’t trust God.
Why We Don’t Trust God
In some way, we all have this sinful feeling that we know better. We know what we deserve, and it’s not “this.” We deserve to be healthy, happy and loved. We don’t want to go through pain because we don’t deserve to. We are good people, who do good things. Why are we being punished? That’s what we all think at some time in our lives.
Can I remind you of something, my dear, struggling, Christian friend? There is only one thing we deserve, and that is the unbridled wrath of God. Thankfully, we don’t have to face that because of what Christ did on the cross. That doesn’t change the fact though that we don’t deserve any of the blessings God gives us.
He gives us the good things in our lives out of mercy. And, believe it or not, even the bad things in our lives are mercy compared to what we deserve. He shows us His love for us even when we don’t understand. When we don’t trust Him, love Him, or serve Him, the way He deserves, He is working for our good!
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28 ESV
These sweet promises of God, that He will take care of us and that all He does works for our good and His glory are what gives us strength through troubled times. God is giving us these trials to drive us to Him. He is growing us to be more like our Saviour. He is using our trials to build His Kingdom. And He is showing how glorious He really is.
To trust this God, who is doing what is best for us, no matter what, we need to know this God. That is why Bible reading is so essential. It isn’t just some tedious thing that Pastors want you to do for some arbitrary reason. The lifeblood of our relationship with God flows through the Bible.
How did you get saved? Was it apart from the Word of God? Impossible. The only way to truly be saved is through the method prescribed in Scripture. But our interaction with Scripture doesn’t stop on the day of our conversion. It goes on for the rest of our lives.
The first time we hear the voice of God is through the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit breathes life into our dead hearts through the words of Scripture. From that point forward, when we open our Bibles, the Spirit is speaking to us.
The Holy Spirit tells us who God is. He helps us know God in a personal way. How could we ever trust someone we don’t know? God wants us to know Him and trust Him because He is trustworthy.
The Study Of God
These kinds of things are why I’ve chosen to focus on the study of theology with you. Theology isn’t some academic pursuit with no real bearing on our lives. Theology is the study of God. It’s how we know who He is. It should drive us to love Him more and grow in our faith. When the tough trials of life raise their ugly head, we have a foundation to stand on.
I often have the image of a woman standing on a rock, in the middle of a storm in the ocean. The skies are dark and cloudy. The winds blow the waves crash into her. She is pushed by the wind from side to side, but she stays on the rock. As the storms rage harder against her, she kneels down on the rock, clinging to it. She knows that as long as she stays on the rock, she will not be destroyed by the storm.
Jesus is our rock, and the more we know him, the more we will trust Him, and we will not be moved by the storms of life. No matter what is thrown our way. No matter the pain, the disappointment, and the fear, we will stay on the Rock of Christ, our feet firmly planted by the Word of God.
When life is tough when our world seems to crumble, stay on the Rock. Read the Word. Pray often. Trust God.
“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” – Job 1:20-21