Learning to Trust Again
"Then Jesus said, 'Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?'" John 11:40 (NIV)
After my husband died, I felt unloved and forgotten by God. I'd trusted Him and believed as His child nothing bad would happen to me. Yet when something tragic did happen, I bought the lie. "I knew it, God. I knew You really didn't love me!" He had promised never to leave or desert me, but there I was, alone. How could God betray me? I wondered.
Mary, Martha, and their brother Lazarus, were in Jesus' inner circle of friends. As part of the "in" crowd, Mary and Martha felt certain Jesus would come to them when Lazarus got ill. They had seen Jesus heal and minister to complete strangers. Surely, He'd rush to those whom He loved. However, we see in John 11:4-6 that was not the case.
Jesus indeed loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Yet, even after He heard Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was two more days.
Let's pause here for a moment. It can be confusing. If Jesus loved His friends why did He wait to go to their side? These verses appear to validate a fear of rejection. "If Jesus ignored His friend Lazarus, then He can ignore me too."
Do you know that hollow, helpless feeling that accompanies the pain of rejection, loss and loneliness? It may be the loss of your home or of a pregnancy, too many weekends spent alone, or perhaps a loved one rejected you. That pain warns that trusting again is too risky.
The truth is, when we experience emotional or physical trauma, and God doesn't respond like we think He should, we have two choices. Either turn to God, trusting Him with the result; or run from God and feed on bitterness. It is possible for us to take the second choice out all together. We can learn to trust again.
Perspective is often limited by circumstances. God knows exactly what He's doing and it's always based on love. As a young widow, when I was overcome with fear, I wasn't really looking for answers. I needed the assurance that God was near, in control, and that He cared about my circumstances and me.
While others may reject us, you and I need not fear rejection from God. In the weeks and months after my husband's death, I began to understand God had not left me, but was in the pit with me. I started to see a deeper truth. Bad things are going to happen to me while on earth.
Sickness, abuse and death are part of life in a fallen world that God will someday restore. Until then, God may allow me to go through these things. It's not to cause me any undue pain, but rather He allows them and then uses them to accomplish spiritual growth. Charles Stanley explains, "Some things are so important to God that they are worth interrupting the happiness and health of His children in order to accomplish them."
This was true with Mary and Martha. Jesus told Martha that she would see the glory of God if she believed. If you and I choose faith over fear, we will see the glory of God turn our pain into life and blessings. Over the years, as I've turned to the Lord and away from my fears, I've seen His glory in the gifts of my new husband and three children.
As Mary and Martha believed, they witnessed the glory of God when He raised their brother from the dead. Their fears vanished and their faith was restored. If you and I want to exchange our fear for faith, we must believe that what Christ has in store for us is worth our present pain.
Dear Lord, even when I don't understand Your actions, help me trust that You have my best at heart. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Jesus told them to remove the stone covering Lazarus' grave. The stone can represent our hurt, anger or pride. In order to see your miracle, you may need to remove the stone that has hardened your heart against trusting Christ.
Can looking at my circumstances from God's perspective lessen my anxieties?
Will I chose to trust God (again) today? Why or why not?
Isaiah 54:10, "'Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,' says the Lord, who has compassion on you." (NIV)
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