"It was so bad we didn't think we were going to make it. We felt like we'd been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally--not a bad idea since He's the God who raises the dead! And He did it, rescued us from certain doom. And He'll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing. You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation…”
- 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 The Message Bible
These verses penned by the apostle Paul have comforted countless believers over the ages because they remind us that when our circumstances look the bleakest, putting our trust in God can bring deliverance. Paul was a man of great faith, yet he admits here that he had doubts about his situation. He eventually comes to the point where he decides to put himself in the Lord's hands and to "trust God totally." He then acknowledges God's infinite power and ability to breathe life into dead lives and circumstances. Nothing gives our God greater honor than putting our wholehearted trust in Him when we're going through difficult times. He, in turn, honors us by delivering us--often in miraculous ways. In Psalm 50:15 (NLT), the Lord says, "Trust Me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give Me glory." When we go to God with our troubles, and let Him know that we're depending on Him to deliver us, He puts His rescue operation in motion, because He knows He'll get the glory for our deliverance.
While it's true that walking through dark times can take a toll on us, we find a very encouraging Biblical principle in the Book of Daniel. The prophet Daniel was thrown into a den of lions because he refused to worship anyone but the one true God. Even though Daniel did the right thing in remaining completely devoted to the Lord, he was not spared from having to endure a long night in a dark dungeon filled with hungry lions. But we discover that it was because of his faithfulness that he was miraculously delivered from certain destruction. Daniel 6:23 (NIV) says, "And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God." Scripture makes it clear that it was Daniel's decision to put his trust in God that saved him. And just like Daniel came out of his trial unharmed, we can come out of our trials without any physical or emotional scars because of our faith in God.
What does the Bible say about putting our trust in someone other than God? Proverbs 28:26 (NIV) says, "He who trusts in himself is a fool." The truth is, if we are not actively seeking God's help in our times of trouble, we are probably putting our trust in our own resources and abilities, and we will end up disappointed and defeated. Isaiah 2:22 (NLT) says, "Stop putting your trust in mere humans. They are as frail as breath. How can they be of help to anyone?" God warns us here not to make the mistake of depending on others to save us. God wants to be our Savior, and He isn't about to let anyone else fill that role in our lives. And for those who are tempted to put their confidence in their finances, Proverbs 11:28 (NIV) warns, “Whoever trusts in his riches will fall.”
The psalmist knew where to put his trust. Psalm 130:5 (NLT) says, "I am counting on the Lord; yes, I am counting on Him. I have put my hope in His word." The Word of God can be our greatest source of encouragement and comfort when we're going through hard times. We can ask the Lord to give us a promise from His Word to cling to. In times of doubt, God's promises can give us the hope we need to stay focused on Him and His faithfulness, instead of on our circumstances. One way we can be certain that we've really placed our trust in God is that we will experience an indescribable peace. Isaiah 26:3 (NLT) says, "You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, whose thoughts are fixed on You!" And Paul reminds us that the prayers of other believers can be "part of the rescue operation," so it's wise for us to ask God who we can turn to for prayer support. Let this promise from the Lord reassure you today--"None of those who have faith in God will ever be disgraced for trusting Him"! (Psalm 25:3 TLB)
Prayer: Lord, when I'm going through difficult times, help me to put my whole trust in You. Remind me that whenever I put my trust in myself or others, I will regret it in the end. Teach me to rely on Your Word for encouragement, so that I won't be tempted to lose hope. Thank You that my faith in You will bring peace, joy, and victory!
- J. M. Farro