I started reading a new book today. It’s called A Voice in the Wind, and the main character of the story is a Jewish girl named Hadassah who, at the beginning of the book, is in Jerusalem where the Romans are attacking the city. There is war going on all around her. Dead bodies fill the streets, she can’t leave her home without her life being threatened, and at any point in time, a Roman may break into her home and kill her and her family simply for being Jewish. Her mother is very sick and dies. Her father is killed when he tries to preach the gospel to the city. Her brother is stabbed when Roman soldiers bust through their door to find the three of them huddled in a corner. The soldier spared Hadassah and her sister’s lives, but her sister ends up dying of starvation and malnutrition. Hadassah is having a really hard time keeping her faith because she is alone and so afraid of the horror that surrounds her. I want to share a paragraph from the book the really stuck out to me.
“In the peaceful hills of Galilee, with the blue sea stretched out before her and lilies of the field at her back, Hadassah could believe in God’s love. At home, in those hills, her faith was strong. It warmed her and made her heart sing. In Jerusalem, though, she struggled. She clung to her faith, but still found it slipping away from her. Doubt was her companion, fear was overwhelming.”
Because Hadassah was in such an uncomfortable place, she was having a really hard time believing in and trusting in God. Although she knew God was with her and was protecting her, she was leaning more on her doubt and fear. I find that to be so true in my life, and I bet I’m not alone. It’s easy to praise God and worship Him joyfully when everything in life is smooth sailing. It’s easy to remember that He’s watching over us when everything is going great. But when the road starts to get a little bumpy, we start pulling away. When things start going in ways we didn’t plan, we begin to allow doubt and fear to rule our minds. Even though we know in our hearts that God is in control, we let our minds take over which tell us that we should be afraid, that we need to take control of our situation ourselves rather than allowing God to handle things.
Later in the chapter, Hadassah asks her father, “Why can I believe at home, Father, but not here?” and her father responds, “Because the enemy knows where you are most vulnerable.” Wow. Does that not sum it all up right there? We give in to doubt and fear so easily because we’re weak and vulnerable and Satan knows it. When life is going well, it’s harder for him to break us down, but when we’re facing trials in life, we’re already halfway there. It makes his job much easier.
I’m truly typing from the heart right now. I actually got out of bed, where I was lying awake struggling with this exact issue, to write this blog. I find it a lot harder to trust that God is for me when things aren’t going my way. Is anyone with me? When life isn’t easy, and I’m not as happy as I’d like to be, believing that God loves me isn’t the simplest. A simple thing to do would be to give up. It would be simple to question God’s love and presence, or even to blame Him for our problems. But I know we all know better than that. Our hearts know better than that.
God knows every single thing we go through. He even knows about it before it happens. He sees and understands every trying situation. Trust replaces fear. When we fully trust God with all of our hearts, there is no room for even the slightest amount of fear. When we trust God, we are believing that He is going to take care of us, strengthen us, and carry us through our storm. We are also trusting that He has a specific purpose for every trial. Through every trying situation, God is teaching us something new. Be thankful for the lesson, and praise God for the work He’s doing in your life. Another thing we can’t forget, no matter where we’re at in life and no matter what we’re struggling with, God is still God. He is still worthy and deserving of only our best praise. We should never worship God less just because things aren’t going our way. That’s selfishness on our part, and He definitely doesn’t deserve that. He’s never shown selfishness to us. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and He will always be worthy of all our praise.
Think about it this way. Aren’t you glad God’s not asking you to handle your situation alone? God takes control of our situations. He irons out all the wrinkles. He leads us in the right direction and tells us where to go. All he asks in return is this: “Trust me.”
Psalm 56:3-4 “When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid…”