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Trusting God


 Israel at the mountain where Moses received the law
on two stone tablets from God Almighty.

By Benjamin H. Liles

Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. ~ Isaiah 26:4, ESV

I want to consider for a moment how hard things are for us all. Some of the time we can get things done, our needs are met. Other times it seems we can't get ahead no matter how hard we try? Is it God's fault in those times? Or do we some how fall short when we need to endure? I know many of us, myself included, get so discouraged and downhearted when things don't go our way. Israel had this same problem shortly after they witnessed what God did on their behalf in coming out of Egypt. "For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LordNow the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt" (Exodus 12:12, 13).

Here's the thing: God wants for us to be content, joyful even knowing He can handle things on our behalf far better than we. Isaiah says it plainly, "Trust in God, He is everlasting [and a ] rock." I can hear at least one objection, and it's well founded: "But, where was God when I went through..." You came through it, right? Even though the weight felt crushing in that moment, you some how came through it? I know it doesn't always seem God is with us. I get it. I have those moments too. Stick with me, I plan on showing you something amazing. 

I can be amazingly cheerful at times, almost to the point of annoying. There's a strong "However" here. However...I get extremely depressed at times. In those moments, they are the darkest of dark days. Guess what? I may have the case of the blues, but I also have faith. Why? God uses those moments of my desperation to show me how strong He is in sustaining me. "Impossible! No way! I can't believe it." You can.

Isaiah starts off with those words in this verse: "Trust in the Lord." When our hope fails, we can rest in the knowledge God can and does watch us. I remember a famous story told about the Burpo family. Todd Burpo is a Christian man and Pastor, in his words, "of Crossroads Wesleyan Church in Imperial, Nebraska (Population: 1,762) where his sermons are broadcast locally every Sunday via the local radio station" (About the Burpos). Todd Burpo went through a healh scare, before his son had an experience that changed the family and how they saw and did things. Shortly after Todd recovered well enough, their son Colton became enormously sick; death-sick. What happened to Colton is that whatever made him sick, it was enough to not physically die, but he might as well been dead.

Colton saw and heard things his parents said and did that not only made them pale. He told them things he couldn't even possibly have known; having a sister with no name, a grandfather he had never met (a younger version of the man). This family was "radically" changed due to Colton's child-like faith that God was showing him "great and mighty things, which you do not know" (Jeremiah 33:3, NKJV). "Wait!? What the? How'd we get from the subject of my lack of faith to talking about the faith of a child who practically died?" It's to tell you this: you can believe. In your heart of hearts, if you were around people who talked about having first hand experiences with the Creator, even though it irritates you, you wouldn't be the least bit interested in knowing for yourself?

Wouldn't you want to know, experience and walk hand in hand knowing for yourself that "the Lord God is an everlasting rock?" This whole post is about those experiences. Not just the Burpos. I've had my share. I had one last night. It wasn't some epiphany. It wasn't like God shouted in my face. He didn't even slap me. I have been reading a great deal about end-time events; namely Matthew 24, Daniel 9, Revelation--biblical "wrath of God" things. I came away changed. Yes, there are images that are scary, confusing, and mishandled by even the most learned scholar of the Bible. I'm not that kind of man. I'm not that well educated. I don't hold a degree in Bible Theology. I don't even have any paperwork proving I can effectively pastor a church.

"WHAT!?"

I got your attention, then. Great. Biggest and fundamental thing to tell you: those disciples who became apostles for the church? They were fishermen. Jesus chose men who would bring radical, life-changing, earth quaking transformation to and through. Jesus works in those who have humbled themselves. They realize their sinfulness and they abhor what they see in themselves. They trade everything they have on them, and it includes all the heavy sin-laden baggage. Jesus took those things from them when He put Himself on the cross. And we finally have hit the core: the gospel.

You see, when you finally have had enough of this world, the crap therein, and want to be better, do better, to encourage, lift others spirits up, and to simply "be a light" you absolutely can. It means having a change of heart. You lose the very thing/s that have held you back. Will you still sin? Of course. I know I do. However. If you want to be free from sin and its siblings, death and destruction, you can. If you want a changed life and help others to have the same thing you can do it too. You see, those disciples who took the message of the cross to the ends of the world, they had one thing in common: they couldn't get enough of the fact that Christ will return. He may come back in a way that's scary for some people. But for those of us who are His, we are like a bride who waits for her groom to come get her: "Come quickly Lord Jesus," Paul says in 1 Corinthians 16:22. It's this level of trust in God that waits expectantly upon Him. Any day now. Come Jesus, just come.