God’s Word is truth and it makes us free. One way the truth helps us is in the practical, everyday outworking of our faith in Christ even amidst suffering, crises, and hard times.
When we trust Christ, we do not always understand what He is doing, especially when we experience some pain in suffering while trusting Him. God never says we have to understand everything going on around us but that we simply need to trust Him.
It’s not a blind trust of God but an informed trust of Him because we know His character. Anyone who would send His only begotten Son to die on the Cross for wicked sinners in order that His just wrath would righteously be appeased is a Person worthy of our trust and praise. In sending His Son to die, He does not “wink” at our sin meaning that He overlooks or minimizes it. Instead, God deals with the awfulness of sin in a justly, righteous manner in that Someone paid for our sins with His very own life. That Someone is Jesus who informs us of God the Father’s character which can be trusted.
Proverbs 3:5-8 is a command that we follow joyfully because of the trustworthy, faithful character of the Father:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
So we experience suffering not with our own understanding of the feelings of pain and wanting to give up but in the truth of God’s character and how He brings good from those trials to change our character into Christ-likeness. We do not suffer needlessly but purposefully. God never wastes our pain in that He redeems it for our good (Christ-likeness) and for His glory. When these goals are our goals, then we have a better understanding of what God is doing and are in a better place to trust Him.
Let me encourage you today in this: God can be known through His Word and by a personal relationship with His Son. God’s purpose can be known, too, as we study the Scriptures and adopt His goals as our own. In other words, when we pray, “not my will but Thy will be done” as Jesus prayed in Luke 22:42. If Jesus prayed this way, then we must do so, too, assured that Jesus knew God’s character better than we ever will in this life. Jesus modeled trusting God for us.
-Pastor Mark Shaw (striving to trust God even when I fail to understand the purpose of my trying circumstances)