Pain, suffering, wounds, betrayal, anguish…all part and parcel of the life we live in our mortal form. Jesus Christ, (Messiah, Son of God, the Name above all Names, the Word made Flesh, the Rose of Sharon, the Bright and Morning Star, the Alpha, the Omega, the Light of the World-Jesus) suffered. He suffered pain, He was wounded, He was shunned, betrayed, humiliated….yet we feel indignant when God, who did not spare Himself, in His supreme wisdom, allows seasons of suffering in our lives.
I thought about this and remembered Jesus in the garden, praying, “Let this cup pass me by” and then the surrender…”Your will be done”. How was He able to surrender so fully? I realized that if I could discover the secret, I would find the key to negotiate my own seasons of suffering well. I believe the secret lies in trust.
One online dictionary defines trust as “A firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something” and Merriam-Webster defines it as
- Assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something
- Dependence on something future or contingent: HOPE
- CARE, CUSTODY as in “the child is committed to his trust”.
Some synonyms are: confidence, belief, faith, certainty, assurance, conviction, credence and reliance.
Jesus knew exactly Who to place His trust in. We, on the other hand, are often quite deceived. The prophet Jeremiah tells us that our “”heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick” and nowhere does the evidence become clearer than during seasons of hardship and suffering. When we are betrayed by people we are in relationship with, we leave the relationship, regardless of the consequence to ourselves or others. Marriages, friendships, professional relationships, even family ties are severed because we cannot trust people. When we are ill, we place our trust in science, doctors, medicine and when we are in need, we trust in our riches, our investments, our employers and even our governments (sometimes made up of the most ungodly, self-serving humans alive) to save us. Grossly misplaced trust, if you ask me, yet trust/faith/hope nevertheless.
God has always known this and He filled the Word with direction, instruction and promises regarding trusting in Him alone. Everyone has faith, we were simply made that way. Humanists put their faith in people, atheists put their trust science and/or themselves, Hindus, Buddhists etc. put their faith in demon gods – everyone trust someone or something.
In 2 Samuel 7 we see God’s response to David’s greatest dream, or ambition, expressed. David wants to build God a house, which would also be David’s legacy, something left standing after he was gone. God’s response? A resounding “”no!”. I love David’s response in v. 28. He says: “And now, O Lord God, You are God, and Your words are truth, and You have promised this good thing to Your servant.” (AMP) Even when God dashes David’s hopes and dreams, he puts his trust in God’s promises.
In the Psalms we also read David’s response to injustice, pain, suffering and seasons of fear:
And those who know Your name [who have experienced Your precious mercy] will put their confident trust in You, For You, O Lord, have not abandoned those who seek You. (Psalm 9:10 AMP)
But I have trusted and relied on and been confident in Your loving-kindness and faithfulness; My heart shall rejoice and delight in Your salvation. (Psalm 13:5 AMP)
When I am afraid, I will put my trust and faith in You. (Psalm 56:3 AMP)
How do we read these scriptures and say “Amen” without trials? How do we discover that God is faithful and does not abandon us, if we never encounter suffering? I know from experience that it is impossible to discover certain aspects of God’s character outside of dark seasons, yet He wants us to know Him intimately, as we are known intimately.
God, through the Word, warns us that we are in imminent danger of trusting in many things; money, human wisdom, ourselves, science, education…among many things, rather than placing implicit trust in Him alone. Let me remind you of some scriptures:
Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way]. (Proverbs 3:5,6 AMP)
He who leans on and trusts in and is confident in his riches will fall, but the righteous [who trust in God’s provision] will flourish like a green leaf. (Proverbs 11:28 AMP)
People will always disappoint us, betray us, wound us…as we will them…but God is always good, always faithful, all-sufficient and more than enough for every need that we have. Let us examine our hearts today and ask Holy Spirit to discern the deepest, darkest parts thereof. Are we guilty of misplaced trust? Have we forgotten what Jesus said? “Do not let your heart be troubled (afraid, cowardly). Believe [confidently] in God and trust in Him, [have faith, hold on to it, rely on it, keep going and] believe also in Me.” (John 14:1 AMP)
Let us pray and bless one another with the words of Paul: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises.” (Romans 15:13 AMP) and as you do, allow me to encourage you, as I encourage myself, with these words: “5 And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true [they are accurate, incorruptible, and trustworthy].” 6 And He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the one who thirsts I will give [water] from the fountain of the water of life without cost. 7 He who overcomes [the world by adhering faithfully to Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior] will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.” (Revelation 21:5 – & AMP)