I want to share a story with you about a friend of mine, whom I will call Laurie. I want to keep her identity guarded.
I know that many of you face real challenges. Some of you are having to trust God in serious ways.
And that is the smartest thing you can do, because he alone is our Rock. He alone can perform miracles. He alone can keep us strong by his tender love, when everything around us seems to be falling apart.
Today, I want to show you what you gain when you build a life of faith.
James 1 tells us, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
My friend, Laurie, has established a habit of trusting God. Her husband, also a believer, is from an African country. Laurie is not African. Sometime in the last year or so, changes occurred in his family’s tribe which required her husband to take over as chief/king. (This is a large tribe of many thousands of people.)
Recently, the tribe decided that, as King, he needed to take an African wife from within the tribe. This was only proper for the King. They gave him a choice…take a wife OR be exiled forever from the tribe, his relatives and his kingship.
He and Laurie also have a young child.
Though a believer, he chose to leave his non-African wife and child, and keep his kingship, power, prestige.
It meant Laurie had to leave Africa with her child, establishing a new life, a new career to support her son….while dealing with the emotional shock and pain of it all.
How does God come through in situations like this?
Laurie has built a life of trusting God, seeing God’s faithfulness, knowing his Word. Today, in response to my correspondence with her, she shared with me…
“Yes, there has been sadness, anger, grief, disbelief, which is gradually moving to a space of acceptance, peace and reassurance in the presence and goodness of Jesus who will bring redemption and hope to our future.
Although this has been grievous to our family, I have been constantly reminded of another King. I know a King who left His throne in glory and humbled Himself to dwell with me.
I know a King who became forsaken by His Father, in order to pursue a relationship with me. I know a King who loves me so much that He was willing to die a tortuous death on a cross to bring me into relationship with Himself.
This is the King whom I worship and love – a King who promises me that ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ (Hebrews 13:5).”
How would someone else react to all of this, if they didn’t know God? Seething anger, resentment, uncontrollable, inconsolable anguish. That would be my guess. Perhaps the only way to live through a day might be drinking or drug use.
But when you know the King of the universe, with whom you’ll spend eternity, who comforts you now, and let’s you know that he holds you in his hand, never to lose his grip (John 10)….then even in this there is realistic hope.
Jesus proclaimed, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;” (quoting Isaiah 61:1)
God can redeem, resurrect his purpose from ashes.
For Laurie, here’s what I picture in the future. Not now. Not while she’s hanging onto Jesus while the pain subsides. But someday, I picture this woman bringing light to others who need Jesus…to rape victims, to those whose partner cheats on them, to anyone who has been terribly disappointed by someone they thought they could trust.
While I share her pain, I also know that Laurie walks with God, and he will tenderly lead her. Because God is like that.
Build a habit of trusting God. Choose to believe what he says. Jesus said it is like a person building their house on solid rock. When the wind and rains come, nothing can destroy that house. It will stand.
Here’s a great article to help you (or others, as you minister to them):