What does it really mean to trust the LORD? And how do we actually do it when life gets hard?
If you’re human, I imagine you’ve asked yourself similar questions. Trust feels as if it comes easily to us when life is going well, right? When the circumstances of life don’t require trust, it’s not all that hard for us to boldly profess our trust in Him.
Trust the LORD
But what about when we’re suffering? What then? How do we trust God when life takes unexpected twists and turns and leaves us feeling lost on the journey? What does trust actually look like then?
I was sitting in church this weekend as we kicked off a new sermon series through the book of Malachi (absolutely LOVE this book of the Bible by the way), and it’s usually in this setting that God uses something the pastor says to really inspire me. As he briefly referenced Hebrews 12 and moved on with the content in Malachi, my fingers rapidly flipped to the back of my Bible and started reading a text that I’ve probably read over 100 times, but this time with fresh eyes and a prayer:
Fresh eyes and a prayer
Lord, speak something new to me from these words.
“Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline—which all receive—then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had human fathers discipline us, and we respected them. Shouldn’t we submit even more to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time based on what seemed good to them, but He does it for our benefit, so that we can share His holiness. No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:7-11 CSB
“Endure suffering as discipline.”
“…He does it for our benefit,”
“…it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness…”
I sat there in my seat while the pastor preached on, and I couldn’t take my eyes off of this text, these specific phrases. I underlined, I highlighted, I pondered…and then I jotted these words in the margin of my Bible:
Trust the LORD in the suffering. His discipline does not mean His departure.
The human heart is so prone to try and find the cause of our suffering. We’re desperate to know where it’s coming from, who caused it, and why it’s here. Rarely do we default to trust in the midst of suffering. We question. We point fingers. We struggle. We don’t naturally trust.
Here in Hebrews, we’re reminded of a few really important things:
- Our pain is never in vain.
- God is not absent in our suffering, but rather very near, working it out for our benefit.
- Our suffering has the ability to produce peaceful fruit within us.
I think that if we remembered these specific truths the next time life threw us a curveball, our perspective of the pain would shift. It wouldn’t necessarily hurt any less, but our reaction would change. We’d lean into the presence of the LORD instead of our own understanding. We’d rest more fully in His promises that He draws near to the broken hearted, and that He never abandons those who seek Him (week 1 memory verse).
So, how do you trust in the midst of suffering?
Remember what He said. Remember who He is. Remember what He does.