Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Trusting in God Whatever the Circumstances

Many people are facing trouble. If you are not now you can be sure that someday you will be facing it. Jesus said that in this world we would have trouble. So the question is not "will I face trouble?" rather it's "how will I face trouble?" Will I flounder or flourish when trouble comes? Will I dive or thrive?

God spoke through the prophet Jeremiah to the people of Judah who were trusting in themselves. They thought that because of the Davidic covenant and because of the Temple, that God would protect them. They began to worship idols and disobeyed God. So these words come as a strong warning and a challenge to us as we face trouble.

This is what the Lord says: “Cursed are those who trust in mortals, who depend on flesh for their strength and whose hearts turn away from the Lord. They will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. Jeremiah 17:5-6 (TNIV)

Here is a picture of a person who is trusting in themselves. They are depending on their own strength and in doing so they turn their hearts away from the Lord. This can happen in difficult circumstances when people pray. Instead of trusting in the God who is trustworthy, people begin to trust in outcomes rather than God and what can happen is that if God doesn't answer their prayer the way they trusted he would they get angry or upset with God. 

"God I trust in you, no matter what" is how the prayer begins, but then as trouble hits the prayer changes subtly to "God is trust that you will heal me." Now there is nothing wrong in asking for healing or for a miracle but when we trust in that instead of God, we can be in danger of trusting in outcomes rather than trusting in the God who can be trusted regardless of the outcome. God may sovereignly choose not to heal me but instead to draw me closer to him through the suffering. If so he knows what he's doing and we should keep trusting him whatever the circumstances and however he chooses to answer our prayer.

So pray to God, ask for healing, ask for a miracle, but always pray trusting in God, and that he knows best, and is trustworthy whether he answers us how we want him to or not.

We have a God who can be trusted!

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