Simple truths have a significant impact on how we do life; especially, when it gets difficult. “God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription; “The Lord knows those who are his…” (2 Timothy 3:19a) NLT. We are His. He knows Us.
When it gets down to life-and-death issues, to whom do you entrust your life? God in His Word addresses the questions about meaning and despair in the face of the most trying times of life. When things get tough, we start asking the important questions. Does life have purpose or is it pointless, is it good or is it evil, is there truth or only lies? Can mercy and justice untangle all things and free us from the oppression? God gives us a crazy and most profoundly calming answer, “You are mine.”
“But now, O Israel, the Lord who created you says: “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1).
We are the Lord’s “saints.” God is saying that we belong to Him and He knows us. The word has gotten a bad rap over the years as it has been used to describe extraordinary, individual spiritual achievements. In God’s Word sainthood is a word that is used to describe ordinary people who belong to a most extraordinary Lord, Savior, and Redeemer. Our Lord achieves all the amazing and extraordinary things. “God calls you a saint to point out who owns you, not to honor you for going above and beyond the call of duty. It’s not a Medal of Honor. It’s your enlistment papers and dog tag. When God has written his name on you, suffering qualitatively changes.” (David Powlison, God’s Grace in your Suffering, 35.
In reality the pain and suffering we experience is only a momentary affliction preparing us for glory and not the end of the world. “For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever” (2 Corinthians 4:17). Suffering and pain are the context in which our hopes awaken and strengthen. We have an imperishable inheritance our hopes will come true. Our walk of life is a path that is likened to the rise of the sun at dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until it rises fully in the sky.
God is sovereign in our pain just as He was in the Apostle Paul’s pain in 2 Corinthians 12. Paul describes a time when the Lord allowed him to be afflicted with a persistent pain in order to protect his heart from pride. He had begged the Lord to take away the affliction. The Lord replied, “My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). God’s power is best demonstrated in our need. Paul got the point; and knew he had to live to give glory to God, because God is most glorified when he was most satisfied in Him no matter what.
We like Paul must find our satisfaction in God that no matter what, Christ is strong, and we are His.
How do we wrestle our way toward trusting in God? It is important, in the midst of the hard stuff of life, that we do not get gospel amnesia and forget who God is! Seek the Lord with honesty, as you turn toward Him you are likely turning away from unbelief and sin. God is always merciful “He opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).
Do not fear to call out to the Lord and tell Him about your struggles, sins, and desires. Ask Him to give you His Holy Spirit. Remember wisdom, trust, peace, courage, love, endurance, and hope are all the fruits of His touch. What is the first step for you? Is it taking a walk in the park to still your soul? Is it extended time in the Word, to nourish your soul with His voice to quell any amnesia? Is it confessing your sin and asking for forgiveness, so you can walk before the Lord with clean hands?