I recently heard from a woman who said that she and one of her coworkers were laid off from their jobs, because their company was having financial difficulties. She told me that her coworker, a fellow Christian, was angry and bitter about suddenly being unemployed, but that she was excited to see what wonderful things the Lord had in store for her. She went so far as to say that she was hoping and praying that God would provide her with an even better job, one that would be closer to her home, and that would earn her a larger income than ever before.
As I read this woman's letter, I marveled at the stark contrast between her response to her sudden job loss, and her coworker's. Even though both of these people were Christians, they chose to react differently when faced with disappointment and uncertainty. This woman saw her sudden unemployment as an unexpected opportunity for advancement and growth, while this man saw only hardship and defeat. Her view filled her with joy and expectation, while his view filled him with anger and resentment. She demonstrated a wholehearted trust in her Lord, while he displayed doubt and self-pity.
Some Christians are under the impression that they can respond to troubles and trials any way they want to, and it won't make a difference to God, or to their outcome. When trouble hits, they become angry, bitter, and hostile, and sometimes they even blame God. I used to be guilty of this very same thing, until I began studying the Bible in-depth. That's when I learned that if we want God's best in every area, we need to respond to trials in a Christlike way. We need to have an attitude that says--"Lord, I don't like this situation, and I wish it didn't happen. But I'm trusting You to work it out for my good, and Your glory." This mindset tells the Lord that we really do believe His promise which says, "God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them." (Romans 8:28 NLT) When that woman's coworker reacted to his sudden unemployment with hostility, he was basically telling the Lord, "I don't believe You'll work this out for my good. And I don't trust You to take care of me." We have to keep in mind that failing to trust God in a situation always robs us of His best. One of my favorite promises in the Bible says, "Those who trust in the Lord shall be given every blessing." (Psalm 37:9 TLB) Scripture makes it clear that there are special blessings reserved only for those who wholeheartedly trust in God. On the other hand, those who demonstrate a lack of faith--and are in need of an attitude adjustment--may suffer longer and more intense trials than necessary. Why? Because God may not change their situation, until their situation changes them.
The Bible says, "The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him." (Nahum 1:7 NIV) When we choose to place our trust in God, and to expect good things from Him, He will prove Himself to be our mighty Protector and Provider, even in the darkest of times!
Prayer: Lord, teach me to respond to adversity in a Christlike way, so that my trials won't be any longer, or any more intense, than they need to be. Help me to see You as You really are--a good and gracious God, who loves me with a perfect love, and always wants what's best for me. Thank You that as I place my wholehearted trust in You, I will reap the rich rewards You promise in Your Word!
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