2 Thessalonians 3:3 – But the Lord is faithful; He will strengthen and guard you from the evil one. (HCSB)
2 Corinthians. 5:7 – For we walk by faith, not by sight, (HCSB)
As followers of Christ, we have faith in His power but so often we lack trust in His actions. I grew up in church singing words that told me trusting was the way to be happy in Jesus, that it’s sweet to trust in Jesus, and that His faithfulness is great. I have the history to prove the value of trusting Him and also some history that includes the consequences of when I chose to trust myself instead! Woodrow Kroll said, “If God was faithful to you yesterday, you have reason to trust Him for tomorrow.” God has been so very faithful to me through my yesterdays. He has brought people into my life to give me encouragement, to give me laughter, to give me direction, sometimes even to give me food and clothing. He has been faithful to comfort me in times of trouble and faithful to guide me in times of confusion. He has faithfully waited for me to return when I wandered and faithfully nudged me when I didn’t want to leave my chosen path. Martin Luther King Jr said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” There have been times when I chose to take that step and times when I chose instead to have the adult version of a two-year-old’s tantrum because it wasn’t the staircase that I had decided I needed to climb. I know that sometimes God just shakes His head at my stubbornness, but He is always faithful. Joni Erickson Tada said, “Faith isn’t the ability to believe long and far into the misty future. Its simply taking God at His word and taking the next step.” God’s word says that I am to walk by faith not sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) and that when I walk by faith, walls will fall (Hebrews 11:30) and that great things happen when people walk in faith (Hebrews 11). Much of our understanding and behavior is based on prior knowledge so how can we doubt the goodness of God when we have abundant prior knowledge of Him strengthening and guarding us? I may not understand what is happening or why something isn’t happening, but I have learned to trust God. How can I not agree with Corrie ten Boom when she said, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” Ernest Hemingway said, “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” If that statement is true of men, how wonderfully true it will prove to be with the Lord. I cannot see into the future, but God knows what the future holds. I cannot see the entire staircase, but God knows where the staircase leads. I don’t need to see the journey’s outcome, I just need to take the next step and to put my trust in a faithful God.
2Thessalonians 3:3:But the Lord is faithful; He will strengthen and guard you from the evil one. (HCSB)
Isaiah 41:10:Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.
My nephew and I were recently chatting over coffee about church songs and how the words are sometimes misunderstood. When he was about three years old, he went through a period when getting him to church involved much force and many tears. After extensive investigation by his parents, it was discovered that he had seriously misunderstood what one of the hymns suggested he needed to do to have Christ in his life! In his case, since he was too young to read, he misunderstood because of the way the words were being pronounced. Sometimes we misunderstand because of pronunciation – we’ve all heard of Glad Lee, the cross-eyed bear and of course heard people sing “Andy walks with me; Andy talks with me”. Sometimes we misunderstand because we just don’t listen to the words. I have been in worship services and seen people raise their hands and sometimes even close their eyes in worship while singing “test me and try me”. Come on, really? You really want to be tested and tried? NOT ME!! I wonder what You must think, Lord. We sing with all our might asking to go through trials and be tested but whine, pout, and throw tantrums when the smallest obstacle comes our way. We sing “don’t move the mountain” but complain when our path brings us to a hill or even a small bump in the road. We sing about falling and getting back up when in reality we scream “why me, Lord?” with all our might when we stub our toe on obstacles WE created! I would rather sing about being wrapped tight and covered in Your hand until the storm is over! I would vote for singing “protect me” over “test me” any day! But I know that no matter what happens in my life, I can sing with confidence about your faithfulness. Trouble will come into our lives – sometimes through other people’s bad decisions, sometimes through our own bad decisions. Thomas S. Monson is quoted as saying “The principles of living greatly include the capacity to face trouble with courage, disappointment with cheerfulness, trial with humility”. I thank You for the promise in Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Lord, I still like the idea of a smooth journey over being tested and tried, but I know I don’t need to fear the troubles ahead because You will help me, You will give me strength, and You will always hold my hand.