Encouragement for Today - May 19, 2009
May 19, 2009
Trusting God During Difficult Times
“For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100:5 (NIV)
Horrified, I placed the phone back in its charger. My mind reeled. What could I say to one of my dearest friends after this new tragedy had struck? First, she experienced the loss of a fourteen-year-old son to brain cancer. Now her eldest son, only eighteen, had been discovered mugged and murdered. Incomprehensible.
She asked, “Why?” I had no answer other than, “I don’t know, but I cling to the factual knowledge that God is good, regardless. Tragedies in this life are beyond our understanding this side of heaven.”
I believe Jesus is good, and that knowledge sings from the depths of my soul. This nugget of truth is more precious than life itself to me. We have been taught and recognize that faith is not something we can necessarily see, hear, feel, taste, or touch. It is stepping out of our comfort zones and trusting God—regardless of how we feel emotionally. The Bible explains, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1, NIV).
The true story of Horatio G. Spafford demonstrates this type of faith in God’s goodness. Spafford wrote the familiar hymn, “It is Well with My Soul” in 1872 after his four daughters drowned, soon after his own financial bankruptcy. He, somehow, held onto the fact that despite the outward circumstances, God was good. He wrote, “And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight.” He knew that his faith was not in vain, and that someday he would see the meaning and purpose of all the tragedy surrounding his life at that moment.
For myself I think my greatest lesson of faith has been in the acknowledgement that God is good—all the time. Oswald Chambers wrote, “Faith by its very nature must be tested and tried. And the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God’s character must be proven trustworthy in our own minds.”
There will always be moments of uncertainty. I find comfort in the words written by David Jeremiah in My Heart’s Desire:
You may sometimes feel awkward and uncomfortable, and find yourself saying, “Is this really true? I don’t see anything in it. I don’t hear God’s voice. I don’t feel His presence.” There are days like that for all of us. The pursuit of God has no shortcuts. You simply must keep walking, keep seeking, and keep yearning. Keep at it, and you won’t be disappointed.
God is good, even as I mourn with my friend. I have witnessed her grief, anger, and doubt. But throughout the passing months, I have watched her cling to Jesus with hands wet with tears. My friend believes God is good all the time even when she can’t feel it with her emotions. Her faith rests in the fact, “The Lord is good and his love endures forever.”
Dear Lord, grant me the faith to know that You are good all the time, even during the most difficult circumstances of this life. When I am weak, lift me up. Enable me to accept the love and comfort from others who love me, but let me rely on Your everlasting love for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Birds in My Mustard Tree by Susanne Scheppmann
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Memorize one of the Power Verses below to repeat and remind yourself of God’s goodness during difficult times in your life.
What situations in my life do I feel are out of my faith-comfort zone?
Do I believe that God is good all the time?
Psalms 91:2, “I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”(NIV)
Deuteronomy 31:8, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (NIV)
Psalms 27:5, “For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.” (NIV)
© 2009 by Susanne Scheppmann. All rights reserved.
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