"But this I call to mind..."
The past month has been a heavy one for us emotionally in light of what various friends and family are going through. Though we haven’t personally been the ones going through the various trials and cannot really understand them apart from personal experience, which in at least one case we have gone through, we have felt the weight of them.
A lot of feelings, thoughts, and questions naturally arise when we hear about these things, especially the closer the news is to home.
- How should we respond to those we love in these circumstances?
- How would I/we personally be doing in going through these situations?
- Why did this happen?
- Where is God in all this?
We see this well illustrated in the exchange between Job and his wife.
“Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.’ But he said to her, ‘You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?’ In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” Job 2:9-10
Life experience has taught us that the theology we espouse in times of peace and blessing is revealed and refined in times of trial and suffering.
- Do we truly know and believe the love God has for us? (1 John 4:16)
- Do we really believe in His sovereign love and goodness? (Romans 8:28-30)
- Are we truly convinced that God is always for us who trust in Him? (Romans 8:31)
- Can we really trust God to provide for all our needs? (Philippians 4:19)
The attributes and promises of God are our only sure anchor in the midst of the storms of life. Not our will or resolve. Not our personality or ability. Not our track record or experience. Not temporary reprieves or pleasures. Not even well meaning and deeply caring family and friends.
The author of Lamentations drew encouragement in the midst of his own affliction and suffering with these truths:
“But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul,
'therefore I will hope in him.'”
After many years of walking with God and leading Israel, at the end of his life Joshua exhorted the people in various ways, including the following words.
“And now I am about to go the way of all the earth, and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one word has failed of all the good things that the Lord your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed.” Joshua 23:14
Please pray that our family and friends, along with those you know, who are going through a season of trial and suffering would be delivered from the lies and deceit of the flesh, the world, and the devil and, by the grace of God, would cling in hope to His character and promises and worship and glorify Him even in the midst of their confusion and heartache. Pray we will do the same in the midst of our trials and suffering.