When do you find it easiest to place your trust in God and to remember his promises? Wouldn’t you agree that it’s easiest to place your trust in God’s care and providence and to remember his gracious promises when things are going well? When your job, your family income, and your health are good? Then it is easy for us to trust in God and his promises.
It gets a little tougher when things aren’t going as well. Your employer informs you that your position at work has been eliminated due to a downturn in the economy. The doctor says to you, “I have some bad news.” The stock market tanks, and suddenly your retirement nest egg is only a fraction of what it was. The world is changed overnight by a nasty virus, affecting how we live, where we go, and how we worship. We see our nation torn apart by ugly politics, unrest and violence in our streets, and a culture that seems to have abandoned every value that used to bind us together. It’s during times like these that maintaining trust in God and his promises gets a little tougher.
But that’s when trusting in God and his promises is most important.
Job discovered that. Satan asserted that Job was faithful to God only because things were going so well for him. He claimed that if Job were to experience suffering and loss, it would be a different story. If God were to allow Job to lose everything he had and everyone he loved, Satan argued, Job would curse God.
You know the story. Job did lose everything—his wealth, his family, his health. All that he had was gone. He struggled to understand why, even to the point of demanding an answer from God. But in the end, he confessed his faith and trust in God, saying, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21 English Standard Version). Not only was Job’s trust in God most important during those difficult times; it was those very trials and tragedies in Job’s life that drove him to the Lord’s great promises in his troubles.
The year 2020 has been one of the most chaotic years we can remember: presidential impeachment, COVID-19, lockdowns, and a robust economy stopped dead in its tracks. Soaring unemployment that rivaled the Great Depression, protests for racial justice, rioting, looting, and destruction. Even calls to defund or dismantle police departments have found their place during this year’s events. This all took place in an election year, and it’s only September.
As we find ourselves confronted by chaos and uncertainty, as we wonder when and how this will end and what our lives will be like in the future, we realize that it is especially in times like these that we are compelled and invited to look to our gracious God with a solid trust in him and in his gracious promises. These are times when faith and trust in our Savior cannot waver or give way to fear or despair. These are times when God promises to hold us in his gracious hands and to cause all things to work together for the good of those who love him. The deeper the trouble, the darker the days, the more important it is to trust.
Author: Mark Schroeder
Volume 107, Number 09
Issue: September 2020
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- President’s message: A field ripe for harvest - 2021/08/28
- President’s message: Thoughts about the new hymnal - 2021/07/27