But the devotional then went on to say that my assignment was to trust God absolutely (which I already knew of course), and this I could embrace, though I must admit some things were a little more difficult than others to hand over (as if they really were in my hands in the first place). I’m sure that just as my days are sometimes a mixed bag of joys and struggles, so are many others. In fact, in a morning sermon today I heard a statistic that most people experience two crises a year (or at least I think (hope) he said ‘year’). Then he asked the congregation if we had met our quota yet. As I looked around me, I felt it safe to say that many (like myself) had done so, with several being right in the middle of one (or more). That verse in the Bible that says in this world we will have troubles really isn’t one that would be difficult for us to prove correct.
BUT GOD, He is absolutely in control of the entirety of our lives and every circumstance that He allows into them. He is good and He is faithful. While we may not be ‘happy’ about the struggles, we can find joy in knowing that God is busy at work and that He does not fail. We can trust Him absolutely even when things don’t make sense or match up with our plans, knowing that His plans for us are perfect and they include perfecting us through our various troubles.
James tells us, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2–4, ESV)
And the apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4, NASB95)
The joy that we are to consider a reality is the same Greek word as the rejoicing that we are to do, and the certainty that God is working for our perfect maturity is the same certainty in which we can come to Him rejoicing. In Philippians 4 the verses that follow Paul’s instruction to rejoice deal with our tendency to be anxious and they give instructions as to what we are to do when we are anxious, which is to come before God in thankful prayer with the confidence that He will work what is His absolute best even if it really hurts in the process. While we don’t see everything clearly, He clearly does and in this we can trust Him, know joy, and rejoice.
“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. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.” (Proverbs 3:5–8, NASB95)
Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (9/8)
Accept each day exactly as it comes to you. By that, I mean not only the circumstances of your day but also the condition of your body. Your assignment is to trust me absolutely, resting in My sovereignty and faithfulness.
On some days, your circumstances and your physical condition feel out of balance: The demands on you seem far greater than your strength. Days like that present a choice between two alternatives—giving up or relying on Me. Even if you wrongly choose the first alternative, I will not reject you. You can turn to Me at any point, and I will help you crawl out of the mire of discouragement. I will infuse My strength into you moment by moment, giving you all that you need for this day. Trust Me, by relying on My empowering Presence.
“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence.” (Psalm 42:5, NASB95)
“For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you.” (2 Corinthians 13:4, NASB95)
“For I satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes.” (Jeremiah 31:25, NASB95)