When we make bad decisions, sometimes we tend to blame God. He is all powerful and certainly He can run things without a hitch, but there is this other thing called “free will.” We want to have the ability to do our own thing, but if we accept the free will and make a decision that is ill-conceived, we reap the consequences.
Today, I read this devotional “Embracing Eternity” for August 18th and felt I had to share this article on the subject. I encourage all of you to comment and use the rating graphic to let me know what you think of this article. For me, it brings back memories of my family telling me (in hard times) that it was better to be happy than to be rich. How Proverbial!
August 18: Restored Trust
Today’s Reading: Psalm 51:5-12
Restore to me again the joy of your salvation. Psalm 51:12
EVERY DAY we hear of friends who are going through tough times. We know people who have lost a great deal of money due to the downturn in the stock market. Friends have lost jobs in layoffs and corporate bankruptcies. Others are going through health problems. Just last night we prayed for the family of a man who had died from heart failure, leaving three small children for his wife to raise alone.
Often in the midst of these dark days we call out to God for help. We ask him to get us through our troubles and to restore the things we’ve lost. We plead with him to restore our fortune, our health, our business, our marriage, and our sense of peace. And we believe that God has the power to do so, yet often he remains silent.
Sometimes it is because we are asking the wrong question. Maybe what God wants to do is to restore us. To redeem our heart, not our money. To rebuild our relationship with him, not our bank accounts or portfolios.
Several years ago our family went through an extremely trying situation. Some poor investments had taken away much of our retirement money, and at the time it felt extremely unfair. We had to drastically change our plans for the future. We reminded the Lord that we had been faithful with our tithes and offerings, that we had worked hard at staying obedient to him, that the plans we had made came through a great deal of prayer and petition, and that we were certain we were in his will. We struggled to understand what God was trying to teach us and began to pray earnestly that he would restore the money we had lost. We claimed the promise of Joel 2:25, believing that God would restore to us “the years the locusts have eaten” (NIV), yet he only allowed things to get worse.
Then one day as I was praying, God spoke to my spirit saying, What I want to restore is your trust in me. Suddenly the money we had lost seemed irrelevant. I had allowed our distress to shake my faith in God as our provider. I had forgotten that he knew exactly what he was doing, even though things seemed out of control. He is now rebuilding our retirement account, but more important, he has restored our peace of mind. Our future is always secure in God’s hands; it’s our trust in that truth that needs refreshing from time to time.
How do you handle trying situations? Do you find yourself pulling away from God or drawing nearer to him? How does God want us to respond?
Embracing Eternity: Living Each Day with a Heart Toward Heaven.