Have you found yourself wondering lately if the condition of this world can get any worse? Perhaps you pray as David did in Psalm 7:9, "Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the [uncompromisingly] righteous [those upright and in harmony with You]; for You, Who try the hearts and emotions and thinking powers, are a righteous God" (The Amplified Bible).
Life is filled with challenges that test our determination and our faith in God. Whether faced with the impending threat of evil or with everyday hassles, the quality of our character is sure to be tested on a regular basis.
It would be a great mistake to overlook the fact that God tests our hearts, our emotions and our minds. What does it mean to test something? It means to put pressure on it to see if it will do what it says it will do. Will it hold up under stress? Can it perform at the level its maker says it can? Is it genuine when measured against a true standard of quality? God does the same with us.
One of the tests we can expect to encounter in our journey with God is the trust test. How many times do we say to God: "What is going on in my life? What are You doing? What is happening? I don't understand."
If you are in a place right now where nothing in your life makes sense, trust God anyway. One lesson I've learned through the years is this: There is no such thing as trusting God without unanswered questions. There are always going to be things we just don't understand.
Psalm 62:8 says: "Trust in, lean on, rely on, and have confidence in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us (a fortress and a high tower). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!" Notice we are not to have faith and trust in God once in a while or from time to time, but at all times.
We must learn to live from faith to faith, trusting the Lord when things are good and when things are bad. It is easy to trust God when things are good, but when things are not going well and we determine to trust Him, anyway--that is when we develop character.
I have a feeling that in these last days we will need to be reminded of Paul's encouraging words to Timothy about being willing to sacrifice and suffer to fulfill the call of God:
"I am calling up memories of your sincere and unqualified faith (the leaning of your entire personality on God in Christ in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom and goodness), [a faith] that first lived permanently in [the heart of] your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am [fully] persuaded, [dwells] in you also.
"That is why I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you by means of the laying on of my hands [with those of the elders at your ordination].
"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control" (2 Tim. 1:5-7).
Paul was saying: "Timothy, you may feel like giving up, but you have everything you need to succeed. Don't forget that the Holy Spirit gives you peace and the power to face all life's trials and tribulations. Press on without fear!"
Regardless of whether we understand what is going on in the world around us or we feel overwhelmed by the tests we face every day, we must trust God through it all. We can pray and ask God for answers, but I have learned that when heaven is silent, I need to stay busy doing what God has told me to do and just keep trusting Him.
God will make all the pieces work together for His purpose, even when we don't see tomorrow clearly. Tomorrow's answers usually don't come until tomorrow!
For a limited time, we are extending our celebration of the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!