Not long ago, I had dinner with a friend who is acquainted with brokenness. Broken marriage. Broken relationships. Broken finances. Broken health. Unable to find employment, she exists on the kindness of friends and what meager assistance she qualifies for through state and federal agencies. Despite her faith in God, her life is hard.
Seeing the pain in her eyes, I wanted to wave a wand and have all of her problems disappear, but I don’t have such powers. I told her to keep the faith, to know that people were praying for her, to press on and believe that things would turn around.
Perhaps my words came across as hollow and simplistic, but I happen to believe them. Bad things happen to good people. It’s a cold fact of life. And it's perfectly okay to be angry with God (been there, done that), and it's okay to question why He allows things to happen. But here's where trust comes in. We either trust God or we don’t, and if we can end all of our questions with, “Nevertheless, God, I trust you,” we will be okay.
When I don't understand why, God, I trust you.
When other people's choices force me down paths I didn’t want to travel, I trust you.
When people I love abandon me, I trust you.
When I’m lied on and cheated on, I trust you.
When I’m left alone, fighting for my life, I trust you.
Whatever I go through, Lord, I trust you to be there with me, somehow bringing good out of it all.”
To possess this kind of trust is empowering and comforting. There have been times in my own life, when I wanted to look the enemy square in the eye and say, "Go ahead, buster. Hit me with your best shot. You'll never shake my faith and trust in God."
Has life left you broken? Have people knocked you down and turned their backs on you? Remember this: No matter what you're going through, God sees and knows every detail. He knows who did what to whom. Proverbs 15:3 reminds us that “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”
God always has our best interests at heart, but it isn’t always easy to believe this. We are human, after all. It’s difficult to believe God has our best interests at heart when it appears that those who trespassed against us are going scot-free, living their fairytale life. It’s hard to believe God has our best interests at heart when we watch evil people prospering like kings.
But take heart. The guilty will not go unpunished. Galatians 6:7-9 says: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”
That doesn’t mean we can’t be forgiven for sins (Oh, hallelujah!). But, speaking from experience, there are always consequences resulting from our behavior, and how or when those consequences occur is not up to us. God will take care of it, in His time, in His way.
Dear friends, if trials have made you bitter instead of better, if they have made you hard instead of tender, I encourage you to read the Book of Job. Job is the perfect example of bad things happening to good people. His story reads like an unending nightmare.
Job discovered that life will sometimes leave you broken, even abandoned by the ones you love. But, like Job, if we remain faithful to God, praise Him in the midst of grave circumstances, and, most importantly, forgive those who wronged us, then we will come out of our trials victorious, blessed abundantly, and with a clean heart.
Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,
And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave,
and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.