We often think of trusting God for things we need or want, such as financial provision, physical healing, restoration of a relationship, a promotion at work, a place to live, an opportunity or a big win in some kind of competition.
A true relationship of trust in God extends beyond trusting Him for something. We need to learn to trust Him through the process of attaining those things we desire.
There was a time in my life when I focused intensely on trusting God for things, saying, “I want this, God,” and “I need such-and-such, God.” He began to show me that getting all those things was not the most important issue in my life.
He wanted to teach me how to trust Him enough to walk through situations with stability and with a good attitude on a consistent basis. He needed me to learn that He may not always rescue us when we want out of circumstances, but He is always with us as we walk through them.
God does not always deliver us from everything when we think He should. Throughout His Word, we read about people who had to go through things.
One familiar passage to many people is Psalm 23:4, “Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me” (The Amplified Bible). Psalm 66:12 says, “You caused men to ride over our heads [when we were prostrate]; we went through fire and through water, but You brought us out into a broad, moist place [to abundance and refreshment and the open air].”
And the prophet Isaiah, speaking for God, says: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you” (Is. 43:2, emphasis added).
One of the most amazing stories of trusting God through trouble is the account of the three courageous young men named Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
The Old Testament king Nebuchadnezzar threatened to throw them into a blazing furnace where they were sure to be burned alive if they did not worship his idols. They responded to him:
“If our God Whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up!” (Dan. 3:17-18). The angry king threw the three men into the furnace—after ordering that the furnace be turned up to seven times its usual heat. The flames were so hot they incinerated the king’s men as they threw the three young men into it.
When Nebuchadnezzar looked into the furnace, he said in astonishment, “Behold, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt!” (Dan. 3:25). The king called the three men out of the furnace, and when they emerged, not one hair on their heads had been singed, their clothes were not scorched, and they didn’t even smell of smoke.
This testimony of going through difficulty with absolute trust in God has inspired generations of people. Today we can draw much encouragement from the fact that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego faced a terrifying situation, one we can assume they wanted to be delivered from. Many think it was the pre-incarnate Jesus who was the fourth man in the fiery furnace with them.
As we follow their example, we can go through trials with stable, positive attitudes, trusting God completely, even against seemingly impossible odds.
Your attitude, whether good or bad, is yours to command in every situation. But I encourage you to maintain an attitude of faith, praise, thanksgiving and positive expectation, and you will definitely come through your situation victoriously.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and one of the world’s leading practical Bible teachers. She has written more than 70 books, including the popular Beauty for Ashes and Battlefield of the Mind, and her most recent, 100 Ways to Simplify Your Life (all FaithWords). She is also the founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. and the host of Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. To read past columns in Charisma by Joyce Meyer, click here.