Psalm 118:1,8 – Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. (NIV)
Over the past five years, my daughter and I have experienced one heartache after another, as we have been used or abused by people. Financially, we lost a large amount, due to a close relative who cheated us. I lost my profession, due to a difference of opinion by a group of people who didn't bother to check their facts or my references. We were forced into a heavy debt load when someone lied about a house we purchased. My daughter had false charges brought against her, when another person, jealous of her position, hoped to grasp that placement for herself.
These were just some of the struggles we have had to face. Amidst it all, however, we have been able to hold steadfast in faith and hope, for indeed the Lord is good!
In each of the above instances, we had spent much time, along with others, in prayer, before decisions were made which led us into said situations. Because of this fact, when things did not go according to plan, we were able — with great confidence — to take refuge in the Lord. We had not chosen simply to trust ourselves to make decisions. We had trusted God to guide and direct us. Why these bad things happened, we really don't know. We do know, however, that God has continued to use these happenings to reinforce within us that He and He alone is trustworthy and worthy of our praise.
Romans 5:3-4 – We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (NIV)
The apostle Paul is saying that we can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us — they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it, until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady. Then we are able to hold our heads high — no matter what happens. We know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us — and we feel this warm love everywhere within, because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.
Prayer: Lord God, thank You so much that though the world may use and abuse us, You are trustworthy now and forevermore, in any and every circumstance. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.