Friday, February 17, 2006

Trusting for the impossible

I've recently been touting the very unpopular belief of trusting in God, come what may. So far it's most popular with those NOT going through a hard time. But I've got several friends that have trusted for healing for a long time and not received it. What to tell them? Let me tell you, not all of them want to hear "keep trusting".

The exciting part is that God's word becomes more clear and open to you as you labor for His Kingdom. Because in my general reading today (reading through the bible in a year, today's selection is Numbers 14 & 15) I noticed two men that were having a much more difficult time than I am.

By Numbers 14 Joshua and Caleb were the only ones coming back from a land that seemed foolish to attack saying "We can take them because God is with us." All the other guys that looked at the land came back saying, "Yes, it's great over there, milk, honey, and just look at these grapes! But we're like ants in their eyes! There is NO way we'd win."

So, obviously, there's a lot of bitter discussion over it, the Israelites are complaining that they're going to die again and Joshua and Caleb get their attention by making this statement:
Numbers 14:6,7,8 &9
6 Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes 7 and said to the entire Israelite assembly, "The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. 8 If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. 9 Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them."
Faith filled words I'd say. Next verse? With all the worldly wisdom in the world the Israelites discuss their next move:
Numbers 14:10
10 But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the LORD appeared at the Tent of Meeting to all the Israelites.
All that story is just to say, trusting God isn't always easy. But getting others to trust in God is very very very very very very hard. It may not come out with the results you wanted. Do you want to know how the story ended though?
In the end, God says:
Numbers 14:28,29,30
28 So tell them, 'As surely as I live, declares the LORD, I will do to you the very things I heard you say: 29 In this desert your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. 30 Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.
These scriptures meant a lot to me today. And even if you get nothing specific about trusting God from these scriptures, I urge you wholeheartedly, READ HIS WORD. You will receive something. Maybe not every time, the moment you read it. But it will enter into your heart, and God promised it won't return void. Use His word. Read and delight in it. It is a light to your path. And trust me, this is a dark world and you need all the illumination you can get.


J. W. Poteet II said...

As one who recently had quite a bit of trouble and got the whole "Just trust God" speech, let me say no I really didn't want to hear it. James said to weep with those who mourn. Just because someone is moaning about their troubles doesn't mean they don't trust God. It just means that life is hard and it hurts. You wouldn't tell someone yelling and crying in pain because their arm had just been sheered off in an accident to "Just trust God." It wouldn't be the appropriate time. The last thing someone going through that wants is a christian cliche, however true it may be. I think sharing stories of how God brought YOU through trouble helps, but bludgeoning them with things that sound like all their problems would be fixed if they just (fill in the blank) just causes more pain.

flyawaynet said...

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed these scriptures this morning. I love it when a regular old story turns into a lesson for me. I usually don't get those on my own (it was God of course, but I mean without a pastor/teacher).
The main thing the scriptures showed me was the Israelites got exactly what they said they'd get. And God even specifically said "I"m giving you what you say you'll get". So if someone keeps saying I'm going to die (and the reality of the situation looked like they would!) or I'm going to face financial ruin, or I'll lose my job, or etc. etc. It looks like if you irritate God badly enough, He'll agree with you. ;)
I remember in your hard times you kept scriptures posted around your house saying how if you were faithful or if you proved God He would bless you. By trusting in God, in the middle of it all, I think we need to be doing just that. Not telling myself, the world, or God Himself, that He won't do anything. But that I expect now - of ALL times - that He will do something. For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. 2 Chronicles 16:9 (the first half)
Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
1 Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
His eyes are watching us, and we're NOT alone.
I know I'm getting long-winded but I just wanted to add this one last thing "In closing. "
His eyes are watching me... He sees my actions. While I don't want to sit around and do nothing when a problem needs to be fixed, I also don't want to make it look to HIS eyes that the solution to this problem will come through me. You were looking for cars awhile back, and the thing that impressed me the most was every time you looked at a car, your wife kept saying "I've got a funny feeling about this car" until we looked at that one car that seemed like the WORST option to choose. It isn't our wisdom/knowledge/abilities that solve our problems. Often they only make things worse! But waiting, even though it doesn't make sense to not buy a car because of a funny feeling, could be the difference between God's Will, and our own. And only one way works out to the absolute BEST that God has in store for us.

***With a sermon this long, Should I feel free to take up an offering? :) ***
You are dismissed.