Have you ever expected one thing, only to watch events unfold completely contrary to your expectations?
Knew you were perfect for a job, felt sure God had led you to it, yet they hired someone else?
Thought you’d found the “one,” the guy God had planned for you, only to have your heart broken?
Found yourself unable to fulfill some task or responsibility you were sure God wanted you to accomplish?
Prayed for a loved one to experience healing from a crisis of health, and then watched them die?
I think we’ve all been there—certain of one path only to find ourselves on a different road entirely. It’s rough.
Sometimes the crushing blows can be enough to rock not only our emotions, but the foundations of our faith.
The other day I felt one of these moments of defeat. It wasn’t as big as the moment I, a new mother, heard the doctor say, “Your daughter has autism.” It wasn’t as big as the phone call I received a few years back telling me, “You have cancer.” But it still hurt. I had a moment where I wondered if all my labor was in vain, if God wasn’t pleased with me somehow, because He wasn’t making things happen on my perceived time table.
Before my thoughts spun out of control, I took a breath and prayed:
“I trust You, God. I trust You in this defeat. I trust You with my future. I trust Your timing. Even though I’m confused by this, I trust You.”
Like a tornado deprived of atmosphere, my thoughts stilled. My soul became quiet. Did God need to hear me tell Him I trusted Him? No. God is almighty. He is complete. He is eternal. He is above all things. I, however, needed to say the words.
My soul needed to hear and confirm that I trusted God.
David, the ancient king of Israel who defeated the giant Goliath with nothing but a slingshot, was faced with many trials in his life. In one of his most poignant and painful moments of betrayal, David faced exile from his kingdom at the hand of his own son and one of his closest friends. David had been promised the kingship of Israel from God, yet he found himself marching away from the city while his subjects taunted and threw stones at him. (Read 2 Samuel 15-17 for the story.)
In Psalm 55 (HCSB) David pours out his pain to the Lord about this crushing betrayal and defeat.
Verse 1 begins with a plea:
“God, listen to my prayer and do not ignore my plea for help.”
Verse 5 defines his emotional state:
“Fear and trembling grip me; horror has overwhelmed me.”
Verse 22 states where strength resides:
“Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you.”
And in verse 23, despite all else, David concludes:
“But I will trust in You.”
But I will trust in you.
Despite the circumstances, David finds enough faith to reaffirm he will trust God. His last words are those of surrender. For the sake of his own heart, he repeats what he knows to be God’s desire for him — ultimate trust.
I find much wisdom in David’s Psalms. I have never faced the extremes that often defined David’s life, and yet I so often fail to respond with the courage he modeled.
The crushing blows of life will toss us about, but hope is found in saying, “God I trust You, despite the circumstances.” <– Click to tweet.
Lord, may we learn to trust in You.
Have you experienced one of these storms recently? What helps remind you to put your trust in God, no matter the circumstances?
For further study, check out Why Hope Matters.