June 16, 2022

How To Keep Moving Forward

Because of the LORD’S great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

The most difficult time of your Christian experience is when the sky seems to fall in and your world comes apart.  No, you don’t deserve it.  No, you are not being punished.  No, God hasn’t closed the door on you and shut off phone service, and certainly He hasn’t picked you out to see if you can withstand the punishment Job endured.  But just the same, when you are hurting—whether it is from the loss of a baby or when you become a victim of pain and sorrow—you feel alone and often feel estranged from God.

It is also then that Satan whispers, “Aha, this is how much good believing in God has done for you!”  No, you really don’t believe that but, nonetheless, you hear that faint voice of doubt.

OK, I’ve described the problem.  But what is the answer?  You aren’t going to like this, but I’ve got to say it.  The answer is refusing to believe what you know is untrue—regardless of how you feel, what your emotions or your body tell you—and hold on to the confidence that you have that God is still in control.

Yes, it’s OK to tell God that you don’t understand.  Did God ever promise that you would understand?  Would you really want to worship a God so small that you understood His every thought or action?  One of the first things you have to do is to look beyond the immediate pain and strive to focus on Him.

Comparative analysis will get you into trouble every time.  And what’s that?  That’s when you’ve lost a baby and you notice the moral character of the girls who demand abortions, or the individuals who cheat on their spouses and on God, yet seem to get ahead of you.  Don’t measure God’s goodness or faithfulness by the bad things that happen to you or the good things that happen to others.  Instead, measure it in relationship to the promises of God, which cannot change.  His character enforces His actions.

Peter tells us that we are to cast all our anxiety on Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).  The psalmist said that we are to cast or throw our burdens on the Lord and He will sustain us (Psalm 55:22).

Sometimes getting up in the morning, pointing your feet in the direction you know they should go, and giving yourself a “kick start,” isn’t very glamorous, but it’s what God wants you to do.  Taking the days just one at a time, sometimes just taking a single day an hour at a time or a task at a time—getting the kids off to school, checking the e-mail, dealing with the customer who stands there tapping the counter with his credit card to get your attention—is what God wants you to do, for the moment.

When Jesus reminded us that we are to take a lingering look at the birds of the air and the flowers of the field, He was saying, “Put life in perspective.  Life is going to go on, and I’ll be there to help you with it.”

No, I don’t understand why a lot of things happen.  As long as I am convinced God does, I don’t have to always understand.  Someday, perhaps.  But when that day arrives, either it won’t matter or else we will see the plan and pattern that is now obscured by disappointment and frustration.

Trusting God just for today is what He asks.  And when we get to the dawn of a new day, God’s going to be there to meet us and to lead us through the mine fields that obscure the warmth of His presence and sometimes make us forget He’s still in charge. It’s the only way.

Resource reading: Psalm 46:1-11