My son was reading about John Huss the other day, and was quite shocked when he learned what a horrible death he had suffered. We got onto the topic of martyrs and were discussing how some of the people walked away from death (such as the three Hebrew children and the fiery furnace) while so many others (as those listed in Hebrews 11) died for their fath.
My son asked, "If we don't know what God is going to do, whether save us or let us die, then how can I trust Him?"
There words have been ringing in my head all day, making me stop and think about the depth of his question. To be honest, I have thought a similar thing before, wondering inside that even though I may be praying for safety, it could just be the very day He has decided I would leave this earth and end up in heaven. I have often wondered if this is an okay way to think and if I was being doubtful in my thoughts and prayers. I know God allows certain things to happen in our lives for a reason, often to bring glory to His name or increase our faith just a little bit, but we have no idea what tomorrow holds for us. Psalm 90:12 says, "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom." Only God knows if we will live to see to see the next day. So, needless to say, it took me slightly aback to hear my innermost thoughts put into audible words by my son.
I looked up the word 'trust' in the dictionary and it means: "a: an assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something; b: one in which confidence is placed." God's character is flawless, and His strength is so much more than my teensy, weensy bit of energy/strength that I think I may have. God cannot lie - He IS truth!
I also looked up the word 'trust' in E-Sword and there are 134 verses in the Bible that deal with trust. I like the from Proverbs 29:25b that says, "...but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe." It has a promise in there for my safety! It is one of many that I feel I can hold onto in times of trouble.
As a young child trusts that his parents will take care of his needs, and be there when he falls down, so should we trust our heavenly Father to take care of our needs and be there when we fall. Parenets try to make the best decisions for their children, but sometimes they have a greater reason to step back and let their children learn on their own. I can remember the time when my dad put the matter of buying a car totally into my hands: I was about eighteen years old and I needed a new car. For reasons that will remain anonymous, my dad decided it would be totally up to me when it came time to decide which one to buy. He went with me as we searched for a car, but never even gave a hint which one I should choose. There was one I liked in particular, but every time I searched his face for a clue as to what I should do, he remained expressionless. The car I liked was a standard, or as some call it, a stick. I only knew how to drive an automatic. Yet, I knew I could learn if I put my mind to it. After an agonizing night of prayer and hoping I was doing the right thing, I felt like it was the right car to purchase. When it was all done and the car was mine, my dad smiled and said, "Well done. It is a great car."
Up until that point, I had no idea what he was thinking and if I was making the right decision. I had to trust the Lord completely, without the assistance of my father's advice. I hated that feeling of being left on my own to decide, yet, hearing his words of affirmation lifted a huge burden off my shoulders. In the end though, it taught me how to pray and trust the Lord for bigger issues that came up in my life.
I believe if we could ask the Hebrew martyrs about their final decison to completely trust the Lord with their lives, even if it meant their death, I believe they would say, "It was worth it all." To reap the wonderful benefits of heaven's splendor, and to see Jesus face to face, and have Him smile at them and say, "Well done, my child, well done." Our mere life on earth was nothing compared to the endless forever that is our eternal home in glory.
It all comes down to having a personal relationship with Him. It means loving Him so much that you are willing to give up your all, even your life, for Him. As Joe put it, "People who die for Him spent a lot of time living for Him." So, my answer to my son would be, yes, we can trust Him because He is God; because He knows best; because He is our Creator and our Champion; because He loved us enough to die for us; because His promises are yea and amen; because our sufferings are but for a moment in this life; because, like the three Hebrew boys said, "Our God is capable of saving us, but even if He doesn't, we will still trust in Him." I can trust Him because He is always faithful; because I love Him. I thank the Lord for a God Who is worthy to be trusted.
I have to put this note up tonight because Pastor spoke about this very subject tonight at church. He really summed up my sentiments in a way that I thought was worth repeating: Faith is trusting God when you don't understand why or how. When you don't understand, pray and God will give you a peace that passeth all understanding. Trusting God is taking that step that you know you are supposed to take, and believing He will take care of the rest.