|TRUST AND CONFIDENCE
by Dr. Richard G. Forde
|Our trust in G-d must be based on Who G-d is and on the Word that He has spoken. It cannot be based on our experiences, our circumstances, whether good or bad. Our trust should rest on only one thing, and that is the integrity and character of G-d and His Word. Too often we waver, depending on our momentary experiences. We trust Him on the mountain tops but in the valleys we are not too sure. We trust Him because we have sought Him concerning a matter and the answer has been readily forthcoming. But, on the other hand, if the answer is delayed, or the time protracted, or perhaps G-d answers in a way we didn't expect, our confidence wanes. Our level of trust must not be held captive to our experiences. Trust in G-d should be based on Who G-d is and on what He has promised, and on nothing else. No matter what the circumstances or experiences are, we must trust in G-d's Word and His integrity.
The prophet Habakkuk was not unlike us in many ways. He was a man with many questions, just as we often are. In his state of uncertainty and confusion, he turned to the L-rd and says, "O' L-rd how long shall I cry and Thou will not hear? Even cry unto Thee of violence and Thou will not save?" (Hab 1:2). He asks, "How long?" And you, also, are asking why and how long? In verse 3 Habakkuk inquires, "Why dost Thou show me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance, for spoiling and violence are before me, and there are that raise up strife and contention." He asks, 'L-rd why are You showing me this?' Again, he questions
G-d, "Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours a person more righteous than he?" (Hab. 1:13). In chapter 2 and verse 1, Habakkuk says, "I will stand upon my watch and set me upon the tower to see what He will say unto me and what I shall answer Him when I am reproved." The important thing concerning this prophet is not his questions, but his attitude and his final resolve.
I think sometimes we go through difficulty or puzzling situations where we have many questions. Have you been seeking G-d concerning a matter, and the answer has not been readily apparent, or it seems like G-d is slow in answering, and you, also, are asking G-d why and how long? Even though we have questions, before we are done, our attitude should be as Habakkuk's was when he proclaimed, "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold and there shall be no herd in the stalls (Even if everything that I have and all my provision and possessions are lost. If I am reduced to nothing), yet, I will rejoice in the L-RD. I will joy in the G-d of my salvation". He declares: "The L-rd G-d is my strength and He will make my feet like hinds feet and He will make me to walk upon my high places" (Hab. 3:17-19).
Just recently, I had the privilege of visiting Alaska and one of the things that I saw there was the Dall sheep that live on the tall mountain slopes. They walk and run along the steepest inclines. They are sure footed and agile. As I put my trust in G-d, He "makes my feet like the feet of a deer, and sets me upon my high places" (Psalm 18:33 NKJV). He will make my feet sure, strong, and stedfast. When I am inclined to slip, He will give grip to my feet. Habakkuk is saying that inspite of how it looks
in the natural, his confidence remains in G-d. I think of Paul on his way to Rome, when there was a terrible storm at sea that threatened to destroy the ship and those onboard, and continued for 14 days. The Bible says: "When all hope of our being
saved was finally abandoned, Paul stood up and said, I have faith - complete confidence - in G-d...." (Acts 27:20-25 AMP).
All hope was lost, but Paul believed G-d anyway. I think of Abraham, who did not consider the lifelong infertility or postmenopausal state of Sarah's womb, but trusted in the Word of G-d that they would have a son. He "Was fully persuaded that what G-d had promised, He was well able to perform" (Rom. 4:21), and so, he experienced the fulfillment of G-d's promise to him. It is easy to trust G-d when it is obvious to us how our problem could possibly be solved. When, however, we come to our "Red Sea" experiences, and we can't cross over, we can't turn back because our enemies are there to destroy us, we don't see
a way through, and there is nothing else we can do, it is in these very situations that when we cry out to G-d, and He intervenes, bringing our deliverance, He gets all the glory because we know that without His intervention we would have been totally lost. G-d delights in helping us in our desert places, where He meets us at our point of need, and supplies in ways that only He can
do. He is faithful and His Word can be trusted. The L-rd said, "For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the ground, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread
to the eater: So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth; it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I send it" (Isaiah 55:10-11).
We trust in the integrity of G-d, and in His Word. I would like to leave you with a promise from the Psalms on which I have been meditating recently: "They that trust in the L-rd shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth forever.
As the mountains are around about Jerusalem, so the L-rd is around about His people from henceforth even forever"
May G-d bless you, as you stand firm; confident in the One Who has promised never to leave you nor forsake you.