|Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5,6|
One of the first few passages I was told to memorize when I first became a Christian is the one above from Proverbs 3. But it wasnít until I fully understood what it teaches did following its advice begin to give me peace and hope when I go through difficult times.
When hardship comes our way, we do tend to lean on our own understanding, donít we? We try desperately to figure out why it is happening to us. We want to find out what we might have done wrong or how others might have wronged us. We rack our brains analyzing the situation. More often than not, though, we just end up in a state of regret, remorse, or even resentment.
Of course, we should learn from our trials why God is disciplining us. Are we suffering the consequence of our own sins? Is the Lord calling to our attention areas of disobedience in our life that we have overlooked? But as the story of Job teaches us so powerfully, the real reason for many of our trials can be far beyond our human understanding.
And thatís where trusting in the Lord with all our heart comes in. I used to think that to trust in the Lord means to believe that He will sooner or later deliver us from our trials. In a sense, of course, that is true. God has promised that He will not test us beyond what we can bear. But such a narrow understanding can still leave us in much anxiety while we are waiting for His deliverance.
To have inner peace in the very midst of our trials, we need to so trust Christ as to know deep in our heart that He is the sovereign Lord of our life. Because He is in total control of our life, everything that happens to ?3 must have been ordained by Him. That includes the sicknesses, the loneliness, the financial problems, the broken relationships and all the other unpleasantness that we experience. For some reason, God wants these things to come into our lives. We may not know that reason, but we can be certain that He, who gave His Son up for us, will never hurt us on purpose.
In this regard, God assures us in Hebrews 12:11, ěNo discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.î
Once we are convinced that what we are going through is precisely what our loving God wants us to go through at this moment, then we can stop sulking or wondering whom or what to blame. Instead, we just wait patiently for Him to work things out for our good at His perfect timing.
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