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G od is never at a loss to know what He’s going to do in our situations. He knows perfectly well what is best for us. Our problem is, we don’t know.

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T here is no impossible

situation that God cannot handle. He won’t handle it necessarily your way, but He’ll handle it.

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Give Me a Heart to Trust

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I

can’t think of anyone more suitable to inspire our trust in God than the psalmist David. He was hunted, haunted, and hounded by his enemies

even though God had promised him a future of leadership. He was the anointed king-elect, but Saul was still on the throne. David inspires us because we read of his trust in God during those years of relentless adversity. In Psalm 4:3 he said, “Know that the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself; the Lord hears when I call to Him.” He was so sure of God that he later added, “In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety” (v. 8). When the Philistines seized David in Gath, he said, “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.

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In God, whose word I praise, in God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?” (Psalm 56:3–4). When he fled from Saul into a cave, David cried out to God: “Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge until destruction passes by” (Psalm 57:1). Many, many years ago, Felix of Nola was escaping his enemies, and he, too, took temporary refuge in a cave. He had scarcely entered the opening of the cave before a spider began to weave its web across the small opening. With remarkable speed, the insect completely sealed off the mouth of the cave with an intricate web, giving the appearance that the cave had not been entered for many weeks. As Felix’s pursuers passed by, they saw the web and didn’t even bother to look inside. Later, as the godly fugitive stepped out into the sunlight, he uttered 15

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these insightful words: “Where God is, a spider’s web is a wall; where He is not, a wall is but a spider’s web.” Along the path of life, we also find ourselves in cave-like struggles. Sometimes the things we go through are our own fault. We deserve judgment instead of relief. At other times we are caught in a dark place because of what others have done or as a result of circumstances beyond our control. Regardless of the cause of our “cave,” we can pray with David, “Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; for I trust in You; teach me the way in which I should walk; for to You I lift up my soul” (Psalm 143:8). David wanted God’s will to be accomplished in his life. He trusted God to show him the way through the difficulties—up and over the rugged rocks to a smooth highway.

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Strength

B

ut what about those times when we trust in God yet disaster strikes? We are tempted to doubt and question, “Why?”

We ask, “God, if You are my safety, why am I in this situation?” Helen Roseveare was a British medical mission-

ary in the Congo years ago during an uprising. Her faith was strong and her trust was confident, yet she was raped and assaulted and treated brutally. Commenting later, she said, “I must ask myself a question as if it came directly from the Lord: ‘Can you thank Me for trusting you with this experience even if I never tell you why?’”

Worry drains our energy and makes us tired, because prior to the actual battle, we fight the Enemy 17

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a hundred times in our minds . . . Relax. Untie those knots of anxiety with the settled assurance that the Holy Spirit will be there in your moment of need. What a profound thought. God has trusted each of us with our own set of unfair circumstances and unexplained experiences to deal with. Can we still trust Him even if He never tells us why? The secret to responsible trust is acceptance. Acceptance is taking from God’s hand absolutely anything He gives, looking into His face in trust and thanksgiving, knowing that the confinement of the hedge we’re in is good and for His glory. Even though what we’re enduring may be painful, it’s good simply because God Himself has allowed it. Acceptance is resting in God’s goodness, believing that He has all things under His

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control—even people who are doing what is wrong. Yes, even wrongdoers. Christianity is trusting Christ, not self. Most people are trying to reach God, find God, and please God through their own efforts. But perfect trust is resting all of one’s weight on something else, not on self. It’s like resting on crutches to hold you up when you twist an ankle. You lean on them as your strength. Proverbs 3:5–6 teaches us to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” In other words, strength comes from proper perspective. Elton Trueblood put it this way: “Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation.” Strength comes from choosing to fully trust, pray, and praise. Our circumstances may not change, but in the process, we change. This is how Andrew Murray stated it: 19

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First, He brought me here, it is by His will I am in this straight place: in that fact I will rest. Next, He will keep me here in His love, and give me the grace to behave as His child. Then, He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me lessons He intends for me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow. Last, in His good time, He can bring me out again—how and when, He knows.2

Serenity

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erenity is another word for peace, something we all long to have. But this peace isn’t a nirvana hypnotic trance or something

encountered by repeating a mantra a thousand times.

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It isn’t acquired through yoga exercises or crystals or channeling or counsel from a guru in Tibet. Where do we find this peace? Peace comes from trusting in God. “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3). It comes from dwelling in the shelter and finding refuge in the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1–2). In his letter to the Roman Christians, Paul recounted a litany of the effects of God’s goodness toward us: we are forgiven, strengthened by His Spirit, and granted wisdom, sonship, and hope. We are promised the prayers of Christ for our needs and the certainty of an eternal destiny and purpose. Following all this, Paul paused and asked, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:31–32). 21

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We continually encounter hardships. People disappoint us. We disappoint ourselves. But God is constant and compassionate. We are not alone. He cares. Against all reason, the transcendent God loves us so much that He has committed Himself to us. That’s why Paul could proclaim, “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37–39). God has entrusted a great deal to us. He knows that we can do all things by His grace, so He’s trusting in us to trust in Him. Yet He knows our fears as well. Otherwise He wouldn’t assure us so often of His purposes and His presence.

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The secret to responsible trust is acceptance. 22

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• We feel hurt and alone—God assures us He cares. • We feel angry and resentful—God provides wisdom and strength. • We feel ashamed—God promises to supply all our needs. May He give us ears to hear, hearts to trust, and minds to rest in Him. Our God is uniquely and ultimately trustworthy!

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