Will We Trust…Even If Things Get Worse?

Desperate Prayer

In whom do you place your trust when your world falls apart? When things get bad, really bad, where do you turn in faith and trust?

I have begun reading the book of Jeremiah. The trust verses I have found there have been difficult to read. Instead of choosing to be supported, nursed and nourished by their God, the nation of Israel chose to trust foreign alliances and foreign gods. They ignored the needs of the oppressed, the alien, the widow and the orphan in their land.  They listened to and believed the deceptive words and feel-good promises that were offered them and turned completely and resolutely away from their God.

Jeremiah the prophet was called to speak to the nation of Israel and call them back to relationship of trust  with their God. For trust,   Jeremiah used the Hebrew transliterated word aman  to express a dependent belief, faith and reliance in the Lord. Aman meant to be supported, nursed and nourished. When we are nurtured and provided for in such a way, we believe that our caregiver is trustworthy, faithful and loyal. Jeremiah wanted his listeners to remember that they could place their aman in their God for every single need. Yet, his words were often discounted or disapproved of by the people. In one instance, Jeremiah’s prophetic word angered the priests and prophets of the temple so much that they demanded that Jeremiah be put to death. Jeremiah’s call was a lonely, difficult and dangerous one.

In the midst of these challenges, Jeremiah sought out his God…

You are always righteous, Lord,
when I bring a case before you.
Yet I would speak with you about your justice:
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
Why do all the faithless live at ease?

 You have planted them, and they have taken root;
they grow and bear fruit.
You are always on their lips
but far from their hearts.
Yet you know me, Lord;
you see me and test my thoughts about you…

How long will the land lie parched
and the grass in every field be withered?
Because those who live in it are wicked,
the animals and birds have perished.
Moreover, the people are saying,
“He will not see what happens to us.”

Jeremiah loved his God.

Jeremiah was obedient to his God; even to the point of death.

He was tired and weary. He sought relief from his Lord.

God replied to his servant with these words:

“If you have raced with men on foot
and they have worn you out,
how can you compete with horses?
If you stumble in safe country,
how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?

Your relatives, members of your own family—
even they have betrayed you;
they have raised a loud cry against you.
Do not trust them,
though they speak well of you.
  Jeremiah 12: 1-6 NIV

Yes, the Lord acknowledged, things were not so great for Jeremiah. However, the Lord was clear in his reply. Things might be hard for you now, Jeremiah. Get ready. Things are about to become much worse.

We don’t want to hear that kind of message do we?

We don’t want to learn that…

Our cancer is stage four.

Our spouse has lost his job.

Our retirement fund has evaporated due to our company’s demise.

Our daughter is pregnant out of wedlock.

Our friend enters a mall to go shopping and is gunned down.

Our spouse has betrayed us.

Our house was burned down in the fire and is lost.

Our business cannot recover from a recent investment.

Our son is an addict.

Our desperate prayers bring no immediate relief or assurance.

Our marriage is ending.
You can add your own worst case scenario…

Our ___________________________

We don’t want to consider that our lives may become much harder than they are now; especially if we are dwelling in a safe land.

How do we respond to these words? Granted, the Lord was speaking directly to the complaint of Jeremiah. However if you reread them, aren’t we capable of laying the same complaint today?

Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
Why do all the faithless live at ease?

Doesn’t it seem like others are receiving more than we are, getting the platform they seek, earning an opportunity that we wanted, being spared of a disease that we never asked for….well, you get the picture. If we focus on others, just like Jeremiah was doing, then we fail to acknowledge the nourishment, nurture and firm support we are receiving from our God in this safe land.

No matter our circumstance, will we trust our God?

Will we be certain about His character, His unlimited power, His wisdom and His promises despite what is currently happening in our lives?

Will we continue to be faithful and loyal to our God; ignoring the deceptive and enticing promises of this world?

Will we rely upon our God no matter what does or doesn’t happen?

Will we choose to depend on our God when things do get a lot worse?

No one wants to think that way.

We want to believe that our future is bright and promising.

We want to trust that only good times are ahead.

We want to rely on God to pave a way to a better tomorrow.

There is no such promise on this earth. As followers of Christ, we may forget that this is not our home. A better life, an eternal life is coming; but it’s not here.

Our God is not about to create a utopian existence for us on earth. He wants far more for us that that. He wants us to love others and to serve others in His name. He wants us to live our lives in such a way that regardless of what we have or do not have on earth, we live to bring honor and glory to Him. He wants us to trust Him for our nurture and our nourishment…even when our world falls completely apart.

Friends, life may be hard now, but it may become harder.

Will we trust Him?

Photo by Photo Fenix.com of Flickr

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