Monday, December 24, 2012

Trust and Love Go Hand in Hand

Read Isaiah 55:3-5; see also Psalm 28:7; 18:1, 2; Isaiah 55:9

I thought I loved You, Lord, but I'm feeling threatened by the upheavals where I work and the loss of family members I leaned on for support. When I committed my life to You, I felt such joy in serving You. I had faith in Your goodness and mercy. So I can't understand why all these bad things are happening to me now. How can I trust You, much less praise You, when my world is falling apart? I feel surrounded by bad news from every quarter. Who will be laid off tomorrow? What loved one will succumb to illness?

I try to keep busy so that I won't have time to think, but I'm tired and I can't seem to find the peace You promise in Your Word. Maybe it's because I use "activity," not just as a shield against discouragement, but as a way to hide from You. I have to admit, I do flee from the discipline of spending time alone with You each day. I'm afraid to face You when I feel so out of sync with Your will for me.
-- Dane

I am your Strength and your Shield. I continually work--sometimes in wondrous ways--to help and protect you. As you put your trust in Me, your heart can leap for Joy! Trusting Me and loving Me go hand in hand. When I search the hearts of My children, what I focus on most of all is the measure of love and trust within them. If you say you love Me but you do not really trust Me--to take care of you and your loved ones, providing what is best in your lives--then your words ring hollow.

To trust Me wholeheartedly, you must rest in My sovereignty: My absolute control over the universe. When circumstances seem to be spinning out of control, it's essential to believe I know what I am doing. I orchestrate every event of your life--including suffering and loss--to benefit you in this world and the next. While you are in the throes of adversity, your greatest challenge is to keep trusting that I am both sovereign and good. Do not expect to understand My ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than yours. The best response is simply to thank Me, believing I can bring much good out of the unwanted circumstances. This act of faith will encourage you and glorify Me. I rejoice when My struggling children give thanks to Me in song.

(From Jesus Lives by Sarah Young)

Christmas is a great time for singing, because so many treasured and meaningful carols have been created through the years, just for the season. Regardless of how you're feeling, take a quarter hour or so and sing some of your favorites. Let "Silent Night," or "Angels We Have Heard on High," or "O Holy Night," or any other favorite carol direct your voice and your thoughts to the God who asks you to trust Him.

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