I picked up a book a few weeks ago called Trusting God Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges. I thought might be helpful as I deal with adolescent girls living at the children's home. Although it was first published 20 years ago, I have never read it. What a treasure!
I am only about 30 pages in largely due to time constraints, but also because it is A LOT to chew on. One of the points I have been pondering quite a bit is that it is much easier for most of us to OBEY God than it is for us to TRUST Him. I think this is what puts many in such danger of becoming Pharisees.
As much as we want all want freedom and 'room to run,' clear lines certainly seem to make us all a bit more comfortable. Bridges asserts that obeying God makes sense to us because His laws generally appear reasonable and wise. We can generally admit God's laws are good for us--even though our flesh may not want to obey them.
Our circumstances, on the other hand, are much murkier. "When unexpected situations arise that appear unjust, irrational, or even dreadful," Bridges writes, "we feel confused and frustrated. And before long, we begin to doubt God's concern for us or His control over our lives."
There are many challenging thoughts throughout the book about what it really means to fully trust God and His sovereignty. I am taken back to a thought from Crazy Love: Can you trust a God you cannot fully understand?
Are you struggling with following God because He defies your logic? We are told throughout Scripture we will not understand Him. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:89
This leaves us with two options, reject him or follow him by faith (not sight).
I love this passage from John 6, when Jesus' own disciples are called out on their doubts:
"From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
'You do not want to leave too, do you?' Jesus asked the Twelve.
Simon Peter answered him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." John 6:66-69 (NIV)
Summer has only begun and I already find myself drifting ever so slightly. I am having a hard time carving out time to focus on Him. There is much to distract me from having an eternal perspective. Circumstances happen that cause me to question how my God operates, but I cannot imagine going anywhere else. There is no doubt in my mind, heart or soul that HE holds the words of life.