Sunday, December 13, 2015

Why Not Trust Gid Again?

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." Lamentations 3:21-24

For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Psalm 108:4

In times of hardship we have often wondered why God does not seem to be faithful to His promises. Why doesn't He come to our rescue? Why does God let bad things happen? Why didn't we get that job? Can God even be trusted? Was David a liar? Did God really deliver him multiple times? Is the gospel gospel of Jesus Christ a big sham?

 I know for certain that there have been times in my own life (when I really wanted God to turn somethings around and let the outcome be different) when my prayers did not seem to "avail much." As a child, my mother's passing in her mid-thirties was definitely a life changing and faith shaking period. I prayed for her healing and yet she died. As an adult, I also encountered some defining and faith shaking moments. A few years ago after I prayed a while, I got rid of my place, quit a job of 15 years. Said good bye to family, friends, my church along with all my church responsibilities. I secured a new job. I packed up my truck and I moved to my dream city some seven hundred miles away (you would agree it is one of the nicest cities to live). I was on a waiting list for a gorgeous apartment in Buckhead  (my favorite part of town: close enough to downtown for activities but away enough to have a quiet home life) and I possibly was the happiest woman on earth. I loved everything about that city. Even the aggressive traffic was pleasing to me, but the move unleashed an incredible chain of regrettable events that lasted years and left me homeless, jobless, and spiritually and emotionally broken.

On the day that I received the key to my new sensational place, I learned that the job offer was retracted; an issue that made it impossible to hold on to the apartment. I found myself alone in a big city. I was anxious but most agonizing was the thought of having to face a possible return home. After I exhausted all resources to my last dime, there was nothing left to do. I felt defeated, I was ashamed and heartbroken. I did not want to face my family, my church and my friends. It was a challenging time to say the least. During that period I did little else other than prayed, cried, pleaded and begged God to open a door, to do something, anything that would keep me from going home. Returning home was simply not an option but my prayers seem vain. Few months later, bitter and defeated I was living in my father's tool shed back in Florida. I made him promise not to tell my eight siblings or anyone for that matter that I was back. The days, weeks, months and yes YEARS that followed were emotionally, physically and spiritually draining. I struggled with the thoughts that perhaps God was not listening and that He really did not care about me (but even then, I knew God existed. I only wondered if He cared). Why should I pray anymore? Where was the God of Abraham, Elijah, and Daniel? Certainly you have struggled with similar questions in your own life.

The truth is you and I never have to beg our heavenly Father for anything. God willingly gave us His best: His son Jesus Christ. What else wouldn't He give us? There are times when you and I won't understand what God is doing, but trust me when I tell you He is working it all in our favor that is why the word of God says "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. Isaiah 55:8. You and I must trust God. See, my destiny was in the city I left behind. The man I was meant to marry was still there. My dream job, educational goal, as well as my ministry were still there. God could have easily opened a door and allowed me to stay Buckhead but He loves me too much to let me have it my way. He followed through with His plan without my cooperation. He placed me in a position where I had no choice but to return home. The more I resisted returning, the more He squeezed, the more I suffered, and eventually I had no choice but to come home. Now I am grateful that I was forced to return or I never would have started my ministry, completed my degrees and I never would have met my husband and apart from my salvation Peter is my greatest blessing.

Believe it or not, sometimes even our pain, sufferings and trials are expression of God's love. I was brought up a Christian and my life revolves around church activities. I had a strong Bible believing teacher as a pastor.  I had a praying mother and a deacon father. I led the youth choir, became a Sunday school teacher,  youth minister while I was still a teenager but it was in my father' s  tool shed that I experienced the miracle working power of God and it was in that shed that my trust in God was forever sealed (Read "My Fathers' Shed" for more on that time period). In spite of what you feel and despite what you see, you can still trust God. He has an exceptional track record. He is faithful. He is a trust worthy God. Shout about it somebody!

During my lengthy stay in the tool shed I read read the book of lamentations thoroughly and often.  If you ever read the book of Lamentations, you are familiar with Jeremiah. This is what he had to say in Lamentations 3:1-8: "He has made my skin and my flesh grow old and has broken my bones. He has besieged me and surrounded me with bitterness and hardship. He has made me dwell in darkness like those long dead. He has walled me in so I cannot escape; he has weighed me down with chains. Even when I call out or cry for help, he shuts out my prayer." and verse 14 says "I became the laughingstock of all my people; they mock me in song all day long."  I know exactly what Jeremiah was feeling. I was also the laughingstock when it became public knowledge that I was back in Florida. Surely you have experienced moments of despair as well. The beauty of Jeremiah's heart is that he knew who God was even in the middle of the trying times. Lamentation 3:20-23 expresses it best "I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,for his compassion never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

My dear friend, the same way Jeremiah remembers God' immovable and immutable love, you and I must trust in that love. He reveals is great love for you and I by sending Jesus Christ. Parents abandon children. Spouses leave. Friends are not always faithful, oh yes, family betray but our God can be trusted. He promised to never forsake us. He has a good tract record even though we don't always understand how He works. God is sovereign. We can and Should trust Him. I certainly still trust God.

He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Psalm 91:4

Praise the Lord!