Trust in the valley
We say we trust God. We say we have faith and we praise God when all is well. We give God the glory when things take a turn for the best. We thank God when we are deeply blessed and we are filled with joy when God answers our prayers, but what is the first thing we do when things go really bad? When we are really faced with serious trails and we get nothing but silence from God?
We get impatient and we worry, we get stressed out and we are swarmed by negative thoughts and we start thinking: why is God not helping me, why is He doing this to me? Soon enough we find ourselves in a pit of emotions, depressed, hopeless, tired and disappointed. We sit there feeling defeated and confused while satan just keeps feeding us all the despair we are willing to take. We say we trust God, but do we really understand what it means to trust Him?
First we need to understand that it is a total misconception that being a follower of Christ means it will all be smooth sailing ahead. Many people think leading this life means you are automatically spared from difficult situations and you won’t ever have to face another challenge in your life. This is not at all true, in fact Jesus Himself pointed it out on multiple occasions. In John 16:33 Jesus says: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” and in Matthew 10:34 He says: “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth…”
In these verses Jesus clearly states that we will still face difficulties in this life and yes He did bring us peace, but it is peace between us and God. He has paid the price so that sin can no longer cut us off from God. If we repent and dedicate our lives to Christ we are indeed freed from the condemnation this world offers and in that Christ has overcome this world. In John 17:16 Jesus spoke to God and prayed for His disciples right before He was crucified, in which He said the following: “They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.” As true believers and followers of Christ we too are part of a family that does not belong to this world, however although we are not part of this world, we are still living IN this world and will still face the things in this world.
So we understand that trails and tribulation will come, but what can we do to get through them? The answer is simple: nothing. In John 15:5 Jesus says “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” There is no good thing that could sprout from us if we are not anchored in Jesus and He is not anchored in us. This does not guarantee us peaceful circumstances, but it guarantees us peace is our circumstances. (Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”)
So that’s really why we end up in that pit where satan feeds us despair, it’s because mostly we are confused as to why we get into situations we don’t like to be in and then it’s because we are not prepared because we are not anchored.
So that brings us to trust. Let’s look at what God tells us in His word:
Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
1 Peter 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time. Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.”
Isaiah 41:13-14 “’For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, for I myself will help you,’ declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”
Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
God assures us that we will never be alone. He tells us that He will be there when things get rough and that we don’t ever have to be afraid. All we need to do is trust Him. Even if it looks like there is no way out, like there is nothing that could save you now, be still and trust God, because for you it may be impossible, but you are heavenly defended by the almighty God and nothing is out of His reach. In Isaiah 58:11 it reads: “The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” So even if you are running on empty in a sun scorched land, where there seems to be no hope, you are cared for and need only to trust God.
God never said we will understand everything we go through; but He did say we can trust Him. Proverbs 3:5-6 reads: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. The Word teaches us that trying to understand won’t get us anywhere and that all we have to do is trust and submit to the Lord.
Going back to the history of Joseph, I bet he was pretty confused as to why God would let his brothers beat and betray him like that and why God would let him go to jail for something he did not do, but God never left his side, not once and in all that, God had a greater dream for his life than any dream he could ever have.
So trust God in every and all circumstances. Instead of worrying and climbing into the pit of despair, get up with confidence because you know where you are anchored. Ask God what you can do to glorify Him in your circumstances and know that you are defended by the most High.
Paul wrote the following in 2 Corinthians 12:9 about what Jesus said to him:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
So let us all take on the confidence Paul had because when we go through deep water, that’s when the power of God can be revealed in our lives and let us engrave Psalm 23:4 in our hearts: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that we know we are never alone. Thank You that we know You are our defender. Lord our lives is in Your hand and we give ourselves to You. Lord let Your will be done and glorify Yourself through our circumstances. Jesus thank You for the peace and joy You give us which this world cannot offer. All the praise and all the glory is rightfully Yours Lord and even though we don’t always understand everything we have to face, we know that You are who You say You are. In Jesus name, Amen.
Miryna van As