A friend posted this on Facebook just a moment ago… “Our greatest test may be that we must trust Gods goodness even though we don’t understand why our lives are going a certain way. We must learn to trust God, who is good, and not in the goodness of life.”
It is easy to trust that God is good and faithful when (to quote Matt Redman) “the sun is shining down on me, and the world is all as it should be” but much harder when “I’m found in the desert place, when I walk through the wilderness… On the road marked with suffering, though there is pain in the offering”.
We live in a broken and fallen world, and yet despite the worlds mess, broken-ness and grot Jesus is still King, and he’s still on the throne.
Sometimes what is true, and what feels true, are not the same thing…
Although we may feel abandon, God tells us “he will never leave us or forsake us”…
Although our sin may leave us feeling guilty and condemned, God says “as far as the East is from the West so far have I removed your transgressions from you”…
Although some days we feel worthless, scripture says our value is beyond rubies.
Sometimes when we look at messy and difficult situations we forget that God can work all things for the good of those who love him.
I don’t believe that this means he sends bad things, but rather he is able to hijack and redeem the bad to bring good from bad.
There is no person or problem that is beyond the redemptive love of God in Christ Jesus. That’s true, but sometimes knowing its true in our heads and feeling it is true in our hearts are not the same thing.
Satan distorts our vision at times, plays with our emotions, messes with our heads, anything he can to drive a wedge between us and our heavenly Father, because Satan is ‘the Father of lies’.
Sometimes we do feel tested, sometimes things are a struggle, sometimes God feels silent, and yet despite this the book of Job reminds us that God never lets us go, never stops loving us, never encounters a problem that is too big for him.
One of the greatest poems of faith was etched on the wall of Auschwitz:
“I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining.
“I believe in love, even though I don’t feel it.
“I believe in God, even when he is silent.”
Which reminds me of the verses from Habakkuk 3.
17Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.…Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.…
Whether we are on top of the world, or feel the bottom has dropped out of our world, God’s faithfulness to us won’t alter at all.
In the midst of even the toughest storms he is there for us.
When I take a funeral I find that the poem about the footsteps often helpful, and I reminded that at first the person on seeing one set of footsteps at the toughest and hardest cry initially shouts out to God, “God why did you leave me when I needed you the most”… and then hears the whisper of the Lord telling him that he is loved and he realises that actually in those moments that is where God carried him.
Hugged with invisible arms… anonymously loving even at the darkest times.
So, in the darkness, in pain, in confusion… lets remember that our God does not abandon us, his arm is not too short to save, or his ear deaf to our call.
He is faithful and true.
He will uphold us with his righteous right hand.