It’s easy to trust in something when you can foresee an end result.
I trust in your diet because I’ve seen great weight loss results.
I trust in your teaching because people have passed your class.
But sometimes…it’s hard to trust in God.
To outsiders looking in, we are crazy – how can we place our lives into the hands of a Being that is seemingly non-existent in a hopeless world?
Where is God in the midst of such rampant Evil?
Where is He in situations filled with single mothers and absent fathers, poverty and homelessness, anxiety and depression?
My Teaching Social Studies class was recently given an Autobiography assignment. Each of us were asked to write a 2 – 5 page paper about events in our lives that have shaped our personalities, faith, and world views. On Tuesday night, we presented our papers along with Powerpoint slides and baby pictures.
Some of us had happy childhoods, others did not. Some grew up believing in God from an early age, while others were self-proclaimed “Baby Christians.” It was such an eye-opening experience to hear each and every story, and I understand my classmates a little bit better because of it.
Despite our differences, there was something that rang true in every story; whatever trials we have gone through, God always had a greater plan.
As I finished reading through Genesis a few days ago, Joseph is reunited with his brothers, and demonstrates such forgiveness towards the men that had so selfishly betrayed him.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20)
It’s easy to place blame on God for things like unexpected death, financial struggle, and social ridicule, when in reality, He is intending our hardships for our good, but more importantly … for the good of others. It is of course not His desire or ultimate plan for us to suffer, but to demonstrate that through it all, He is there.
And because of this, we will overcome.
Difficulties have a way of bringing isolation; you become engulfed in a problem so deeply that it is often hard to see an end. Days seem like weeks, weeks as months. Every passing moment is a struggle, and it is easier to become a Netflix-Binging Hermit than to face the outside world and pretend that everything is okay.
No one understands, so I must walk through this alone.
How wrong this is.
What was intended to harm, many times becomes the most powerful testimony of God’s grace and strength.
My dad took off during my Sophomore Year of college, and we didn’t know if we would ever see him again…but God…
I remember not wanting to share my story with anyone. I was an RA that year, and I struggled with discipling the girls on my floor, and dealing with this issue that proved too great for me to fix.
But if I had reached out to other girls, and became transparent to those around me, maybe my semester would have been different.
Maybe I wouldn’t have felt so alone, and maybe, just maybe, I could have encouraged someone else through my situation.
– share in one another’s sufferings
– embrace the truth that transparency does not equate to weakness
– believe that trials are not God’s way of punishing us for past sin, and walk in the freedom and hope that we have received eternal life and sanctification through Him
Most of all, we must trust that through it all, God is sovereign, and has greater things in store than what meets our human (and very limited) eyes.
I suppose it all comes back to that important detail of complete obedience in His word, and trusting that because God loved us so much and sent His son to die for our wretched sin, He will also be faithful to bring us through to the end of whatever we might be facing.