The Most Important Question To Ask Ourselves In Hard Times

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 straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. Proverbs 3:5-8

All of us who believe in Jesus will go through hard and challenging times. We live in a fallen world. We suffer ourselves at times. At times we suffer because our children or grandchildren are suffering or not walking with the Lord. I recently talked with a couple whose daughter is living with her boyfriend, not following Jesus and seems to want little to do with her parents. Another parent I know grieves on a regular basis because her son has chosen to live a homosexual lifestyle. I know another believer whose business is struggling. And I know several believers who are going through serious health problems. In all these kinds of struggles we can be tempted to fear or wonder if the Lord will help us.

The big question in every one of these painful and challenging situations is this: Who am I going to trust?

Am I going to trust God and his Word or my own heart and assessment of the situation. Am I going to trust God’s promises or my own understanding?

God tells us we have 2 options: To trust in the Lord with all our heart and to acknowledge him in all our ways or to lean on our own understanding and be wise in our own eyes. 

First of all, we should trust in the Lord with all our heart.

This means we should trust God’s word wholeheartedly. Without doubt. Not partially. We must not think, “Well, maybe God’s word doesn’t apply to this situation. Maybe it applies to most situations, but not this one.”

We must believe that if God has made a promise he will fulfill it somehow. Some way. In his timing. I think this is especially hard with his promises for our children. He has made numerous promises to save them and to answer our prayers for them. I know many parents who did all they could to teach their kids about the Lord and bring them up in the knowledge of him. They took their children to church every week. Sent them to youth camps, etc. And now their children are not following the Lord. It is grieving to the parents. It is so hard to understand. After all God’s word promises that he will “establish” our children (Psalm 102:28), fill them with his Word and Spirit (Isaiah 59:21), and personally teach all our children (Isaiah 54:19). Yet they aren’t following as adults. So hard to understand.

So who will we trust? God and his promises or our feeble, limited understanding?

We need to trust the Lord and not lean on our own understanding in all kinds of other situations. When we are tempted to lust. Tempted to get involved in sexual sin. Satan will lie to us, just like he lied to Eve in the garden. “You will not surely die. Nothing is going to happen to you. No one will ever know.”

We need to trust God with our finances. “I tithe, I give to the poor, yet why am I so tight? I thought God promised to bless me. Yet here we are. Financially tight. Why should I keep giving to the Lord?”

God tells us: Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. He also tells us: Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.

That’s the big question: who will we trust? The Lord or ourselves? The Lord, who is all-powerful, all-wise, all-knowing, and completely good and loving, or our own understanding? Our own “eyes” or our own limited view of things, our own limited assessment of things.

We must cling to God’s promises and trust his word, even when we don’t see the answers. When we trust his word, we are really trusting his character.

When we trust a friend, or any human, we are trusting their character. Trust is always necessary when someone makes a promise. And trust is always necessary when we are waiting for something. If it’s in our hands we don’t need to trust that someone will give it to us.

We trust God as we wait for him to fulfill his promises. Psalm 27 tells us:

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD! Psalm 27:13-14

In this Psalm David is trusting the Lord for things in the future – in the land of the living. He “believes” or trusts, that he shall look upon the goodness of the LORD. But he hasn’t gotten it yet. He tells us we need to “Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage. Wait for the LORD.”

That’s not easy. It’s not easy to be strong. It’s not easy to let our heart take courage. But God will help us. Cling to this promise. Memorize it. I have, and I remind myself often that God has promised that I will see his goodness. In this life! In the land of the living. But especially in heaven. I know I will see how he has answered all my prayers.

When I was a young Christian, an older believer would say, “God said it, I believe it, that settles it.” I have never forgotten that. I remind myself of that as I fight to believe God’s word and not my own assessment of things.

God said it. And God is not a liar. God always tells the truth. We can trust his character. Another verse I use to fight my doubts is Numbers 23:19:

God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? Numbers 23:19

God never lies nor changes his mind. He will fulfill his every promise. Keep believing his Word. Keep trusting him.

I have written a few simple Scripture memory songs and made YouTube videos of them to help me memorize his promises. Here are a few if you’d like to check them out.

‘Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you. Jeremiah 32.17  http://bit.ly/2HDy2WU

All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13 bit.ly/323FwMm

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:13-14 http://bit.ly/37ETt4K

I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I enjoy songwriting, oil painting and coffee, not necessarily in that order.

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