Friday, February 19, 2016

Trusting God

It often takes a certain situation to motivate me to read a book that's been sitting in my bookcase for a while.  As I was packing to go to the MBU, I grabbed Trusting God by Jerry Bridges from the shelf.

Since my relapse with postnatal depression, I have struggled to trust God through it all.  I have raged and wondered why does He need to use such difficult circumstances to make me more like Jesus.  It's like I know He's good in my head, yet, when it comes to the crunch, I realise I still believe that all He wants me to experience is pain.

I can't speak/write highly enough of this book!  God really used it to speak to me while I was in the darkest valley.  I could post quote after quote, but I will restrain myself.  Here are just some of the things I learned from it.

  • It is easier to obey God than trust Him.  This is definitely an issue for me.  I can see that God's way of living is good and right, yet I struggle to trust Him as my Lord and God, who is sovereign over all things.
  • I often feel so angry at God because it is MY plans that have been dashed.  I struggle to accept that my carefully-laid plans for myself are nothing compared to what He has planned for me.
  • Sometimes we say that God is in the good, but not in the bad.  To a friend with cancer we might say that God ALLOWED their cancer to happen, but He didn't CAUSE it.  This makes it sound like God is not really in control.  Scripture clearly refutes this.  God brings prosperity and creates disaster (Isaiah 45:7) and both calamities and good things come from His mouth (Lamentations 3:38).  I admit, I struggle with this.  Even Christians often think as deists today.  Many accept the concept that God is sovereign, but believe that He chooses not to exercise His sovereignty in the daily affairs of our lives (page 29).  But God is always using these things for our good, even when we cannot possibly see how.
  • We have a God who is totally powerful AND totally good (something I know, but need to keep learning over and over).
  • It is not only an irreverent act to question God's wisdom, it is also spiritually debilitating.  We not only besmirch God's glory, we also deprive ourselves  of the comfort and peace that comes by simply trusting Him without requiring an explanation (page 140).  I was so angry at God that I had relapsed that I demanded He explain to me why this was happening again.  But God owes me nothing.  I just need to trust in His love.
This is just a small taste of the riches of this book.  There are so many encouraging Scriptures quoted throughout, urging readers to trust in our loving and all-powerful, sovereign God.  While I am by no means now perfectly trusting God, this book helped redirect me back to God's Word and how He has proved once and for all at the cross that He is both loving and sovereign, and completely worthy of our trust.


Meredith said...

Dear Sarah,

I spent a great deal of yesterday praising God for you. Over the last week or so I have been rereading Trusting God and yesterday enjoyed a few chapters travelling into and out of the city on the train.

You are a brave, courageous, godly woman. When you were so low you could have quite easily lost yourself in social media, bad novels and television and so on. But no, what did you do? You did the brave, tough, great thing and read "Trusting God."

I first read this book in 2013 and then again in 2014. I said then that I was going to read it annually and yet somehow it passed me by in 2015 - a year when I should have read it! But I am reading it again, partly because one of my Bible study groups is tackling Job so I thought it would be good to get on top of it, but also because these are good words for me to hear again. This year is a bit of a rebooting year for me. And what a good way to reboot.

So I have read eight of the fourteen chapters and am encouraged, refreshed, rebuked and discipled all over again and loving it. And more so because I keep thinking of you who chose to read this extraordinarily helpful and pastoral book at such a difficult time. Good on you Sarah. What an inspiration.

I pray that you continuing to move forward, finding strength for the day and trusting God, even when life hurts.

Love Meredith xx

Sarah said...

Oh Meredith - thank you. I felt like I was going to cry when I read your comment.

I feel anything but godly and, I must say, there has been plenty of mind-numbing social media and TV in the mix, too.

I'm glad you have been encouraged yet again by Trusting God. A friend of mine reminded me when I came home from hospital that it's all about God holding onto us - don't wrestle, but nestle. Her words have greatly encouraged me during this time, when each day still feels like a hard slog.

Thank you for your kind words. xxx