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  • Writer's pictureRevShirleyMurphy

Trusting God


Life is not predictable. There are ups and downs along the way. Many of us want to trust God. When times are good, it can feel easier. But when times feel difficult, it is even more important to trust God. God’s unchanging character can give us a firm foundation when things feel unsteady and uncertain.


Life can be going along smoothly for a season. Your job is satisfying. Your friends and family are enjoyable. Your goals, finances, health, and outlook seem bright. Then, all of a sudden, life throws a curveball. Someone you know gets sick. You lose your job. A friend or family member betrays you. The things you felt secure all of a sudden feel shaky and uncertain. During these incredible hardships, it can be difficult to trust in the Lord's plan for you. But it's during these darker moments that trusting God is the most crucial.


Many times, I ask myself: do I trust Jesus with my failings, my impurities, my daily dying’s, my lack of faith? . Am I afraid to “interrupt” him thinking my problems are too small to bother him with? How can I grow in confidence and trust in this God who says he will deliver whoever clings to him. I will call upon him and he will answer. He will be with me in distress. Its is in these moments I give more importance and truly understand the verse “In you, O God, I place my trust”.


Genesis 28:10-22a tells the well-known story of Jacob’s ladder. Fittingly, Jacob is on a journey, a setting so appropriate for what develops. He lies down, his head on a stone for a pillow, and dreams of the ladder that stretches to heaven populated with God’s messengers (angels?) going up and down on it. The Lord stands beside Jacob and makes him the treasured promise. Actually, there are several promises. Not only will the Lord give Jacob and his descendants the land, but Jacob and his descendants will be a blessing to all the nations on earth. Then follows the promise that so many Israelites have clung to through persecutions upon persecutions: Know that I am with you. I will protect you wherever you go and bring you back to this land. I will never leave you until I have done what I promised you.” Then Jacob makes a rather conditional vow. If God remains with me (his trust and belief in God’s promise seem a bit shaky) to protect me on this journey….AND to give me enough bread. AND clothing. AND I come back safe…the Lord shall be my God. God’s promise was definitive, Jacob’s response not so much.


Psalm 91:1-2, 3-4, 14-15 leads us further into trust, saying : In you, my God, I place my trust.” No doubts. God replies with his loving protection in this beautiful psalm said at the monastic hour before bed, so reassuring and comforting, like a tender mother tucking you in at night.


Matthew 9:18-26 wraps it all up with two stories, both of trust, both ending in God’s loving healing. An official actually interrupted Jesus while he was speaking to say his daughter had just died but if Jesus would come and lay his hand on her she would live. What trust, that his interruption would not be rebuffed, and that Jesus could and would raise his dead daughter. Meanwhile, as Jesus proceeds to do just that, the woman who had suffered hemorrhages for twelve years (thus making her ritually impure and a social outcast) says to herself “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.” Her trust is giant. Her confidence is a force. She dares to touch him – an act forbidden to someone who is ritually impure – and trusts that alone will heal her. You know the end of both stories of trust and confidence – the daughter rises from her deathbed and the woman is healed.


Trusting God is more than a feeling; it’s a choice to have faith in what He says even when your feelings or circumstances would have you believe something different. Your feelings and circumstances matter and are very much worth paying attention to. God cares about them both. But those things alone are not reliable enough to base your life on. They can change at any moment, even in an instant. God, on the other hand, does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and therefore is worthy of your trust.


Trusting God is not about ignoring your feelings or reality. It is not pretending that everything is OK when it isn’t. Trusting God is living a life of belief in and obedience to God even when it’s difficult.


Sources

1. God Will Use This for Good - Max Lucado

2. Trusting God in All the Things: 90 Devotions for Finding Peace in Your Every Day - Karen Ehman, Ruth Schwenk

5. Embracing Trust - Joanna Weaver

6. Trusting God Day by Day:365 Daily Devotions - Joyce Meyer

7. Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering - Timothy Keller

8. Making Sense of God - Timothy Keller

9. Trusting God - Jerry Bridges

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