by Jennie Smith
Assistant Secondary Principal
It exploded! At 10:00 pm, last Tuesday, my Facebook news feed exploded! I have never seen anything like it! It was rapid fire. I watched as second by second a new post popped up. My friends were reacting to the results of the election. Some were rejoicing. Some were angry. Some were peaceful. But my favorite post was this Scripture from Isaiah 14:24-27:
“The Lord Almighty has sworn ‘Surely as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand…’ This is the plan determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all nations. For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?”
It reminded me that in any uncertain time – financial challenges, family hardships, illnesses, marriage unrest, hurricanes, political strife – God is still on the throne. He is sovereign. He is aware. He is the author, creator, and He is at work.
While I was in college, my grandma and I together studied the book Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges. It has long impacted my life and my walk with God. It helped me to see the real character of God, taught me why He is worthy of my trust, and encouraged me to live a life fully confident in the Sovereign God. Let me share my three favorite ideas from the book with you…
First, trusting God becomes easy when you know how much He loves you. “Psalm 145 speaks of His ‘abundant goodness,’ of His being ‘rich in love’ and ‘good to all,’ of having ‘compassion on all he has made,’ and of being ‘loving toward all he has made’ (verses 7-9, 17)” (Bridges, 136). When you know that someone loves you and has nothing but the best in mind for you, it is easy to trust them.
|My grandma’s favorite visual image of Isaiah 40|
My grandma ‘s favorite image of God’s love for us comes from Isaiah 40:10-11. “See the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and his arm rules for him…He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” What a tender image of how much the Lord truly loves us!
Secondly, I will never forget that both the good and the difficult circumstances in my life occur for two reasons: for my good and His glory. Jerry Bridges writes “These two objectives are never antithetical; they are always in harmony with each other. God never pursues His glory at the expense of the good of His people, nor does He ever seek our good at the expense of His glory” (p. 25-26). What confidence I can have! No matter the situation “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
The third idea that has stuck with me for years is that worship is the most appropriate response to both joyful occasions and adversity. Bridges points out that as soon as Job received the news of his tremendous losses “He fell to the ground in worship…” (Job 1:20). This act of worship and thankfulness is an outward demonstration of our inward trust in God. Later, the song “I Will Praise You in the Storm” by Casting Crowns dramatically emphasized this idea in my heart. “I will lift my hands/for you are who you are/no matter where I am.”
This book is not only an excellent read, it makes a wonderful study book. There is also a discussion guide that can be purchased that encourages a group or an individual to wrestle with the Scriptures in the book, and also asks the hard questions and challenges one to really lean on the Author and Perfecter of our faith.(As a P.S., there is a fantastic chapter that is titled “God’s Rule Over the Nations.” A great encouragement if there is uncertainty about our great nation).
We can have complete, total dependence and trust in the One who loves us unconditionally, knows what is best for us, and in his sovereignty has the power to bring it about (Bridges, p. 18 ). Let’s explode the news feed on Facebook with that joyous confidence!
Bridges, Jerry. Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts. Colorado Spring, Colorado: Navpress, 1988.