It's a cold and snowy January day here, quite a switch from the record-setting 70s earlier in the week. God is good to give us those little reprieves though; it reminds me of one of the things I like about winter...spring is next!
Our pastor gave a very good sermon today on trusting God. Timely, of course, with all that's going on in the world and our country. He laid the familiar foundation about why we can trust God--"assured reliance" on His character, ability, strength, truth, faithfulness, and so on. A wonderful reminder of Who it is we love and follow.
But what really struck me was the second part of the sermon, "Can God trust me?" He asked, Can God trust your opinion of Him? This touches so deeply on an issue we all struggle with, I think. What do we really think about God when someone we love suffers or our prayers don't get answered or tragedy strikes? A right conception of God is crucial to life and without it we're destined for doubt and unbelief, bitterness, or the shipwreck of our faith.
A precious friend of mine has lived this out before me in a profound way. She and her husband lost their middle son, in his mid-20s, engaged to be married, to cancer a bit over a year ago. Their prayers for his healing were not answered, at least not in the earthly sense. But all I have heard from her is their praise and love for the Lord. They have not gotten off in the ditch of bitterness and railing against God. Instead, their Christmas letter said their desire was to "make His Name glorious." They are pressing on to seek His will for what's next and are not lost in a sea of grief.
Wow. A right conception of God? An unshakeable foundation? I guess. I didn't do so well in my own hour of testing a few years ago, but eventually I saw that if I did not choose to trust God with all the unknowns and seeming contradictions--based on what He has revealed of Himself in the Word--then I would go from one bitterness to another until I lost Him completely. An unthinkable course.
I'm glad to have had this reminder early in the year, to set my course and goals by this truth. And to be reminded that this is one of the most important things I can impart to my daughter, that God is good, all the time, and that He is completely faithful and worthy of our trust.