Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Trust in God May Not Solve But it Does Help

I once heard someone make the comment that, when their pastor preaches on how God can minister to our anxieties, they let that preaching go right over their head because the pastor doesn’t understand their anxiety. I’m sure the pastor does not fully understand their specific struggle with anxiety, but God does. No doubt that's the pastor's point! 

The confidence found in Psalm 88:7a is this: “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.” We are not to interpret this as “I am cured; problem solved; no more worries!” The verse does not say that. It says when our heart trusts in God we are helped, in whatever form of help that may be, but especially in the form of His comfort

I am convinced that even in the case of physical and mental disability, to put our trust in the Lord is help, i.e. comfort, for whatever we go through, chronic or temporary. It does not mean we shun doctors, exercise or healthy eating to help us recover. It does not mean we refrain from seeking friends for support. It means we don’t remove our trust in God based on our thinking that, because we are suffering, God can no longer be trusted. Our trust in God doesn’t mean we will never suffer. It means we will never suffer without His provision of grace, comfort and mercy to endure. That's what we miss out on if we turn away from Him.

Psalm 88 ends with an assurance that “The LORD is the strength of his people” (v. 8a) and a prayer that He “be their shepherd and carry them forever” (v. 9b). Sometimes we take pride in our daily struggles to the point that, maybe without even realizing it, we’ve come to have an attitude of “my issue is bigger than God.” And the nature of tragedy and crisis can, from a worldly perspective, seem insurmountable. But to think anything is ever out of the purvey of God is, in my mind, an even darker place to go. 

Do we not require perseverance to endure? Has trusting in the world or our own selves provided steady unshakeable perseverance? How has going it alone worked out for us? Why would we ever think that what we have deemed too big for God is manageable for us

We will experience every kind of hardship under the sun, regardless of whether or not we have placed ourselves under the loving Lordship of our Savior Jesus Christ. So we can go it alone without Him, and see how comforting that is, or we can endure with Him, without fear, “though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging” (Psalm 46: 2-3).

“Why are you so downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:11; Psalm 43:5

No comments: