Trusting God When It’s Hard

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The other day I got a call from our Real Estate agent with some bad news.  Prices in the area are continuing to drop in the worst real-estate market since the 1960’s, so we had to drop the price of our home by another $10,000.  This wouldn’t be so bad, if it weren’t for the fact that we had already priced the house $15,000 under what we’d actually paid for it.  The good news is that when we bought our home we put a lot of money down, the bad news is that we’re almost certainly going to lose it all…assuming that we can sell the house at all.

I’ve known for quite some time that this is a pretty bad market, so it’s not as though all of this comes as a surprise to me, but somehow that doesn’t make it any easier.  Last week, after having our home on the market for over a month without a single person coming to look at it,, I began to get nervous.  What if the house doesn’t sell by the time we need to move?  Do I rent it out?  Where do I find renters?  What if the market continues to drop and 2 years from now I’m in a worse position than I am today?

If you’ve ever been in what feels like a desperate situation, you know that questions like these can make you feel as though the walls are closing in around you.  You begin to theorize and strategize and to frantically search for any means of escape or redemption.

These feelings aren’t limited to financial situations, they can be equally true of the mother struggling with a disobedient child who only wants him to obey, or of the pastor struggling with a critical church member who only wants to have a church business meeting without any fights, or of the business owner who only wants to see the economy turn around so that he can stay in business.  What they all have in common is the passionate desire for some kind of redemption from difficult circumstances.

What I’ve come to realize is that the great danger in these momentsImageProxy2 is not that God will not deliver me, but rather that I begin to desire redemption from my circumstances more than I desire the Redeemer. In other words, the danger is an attitude that says, “You can tell me about Jesus having the answer to my problems all day long, but what I really need is…”.  The reason that this attitude is so dangerous is that it functionally denies the sufficiency of Christ and replaces my need for Christ with my need for deliverance from a set of circumstances.  In the midst of hard things, the only proper response is to trust.

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.  God, the Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. (Habakkuk 3:17-19a)

The issue that is at stake when God asks you if you trust Him, is if you desire the Redeemer more than you desire redemption from your circumstances.

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April 19 2010 04:00 am | Devotional

7 Responses to “Trusting God When It’s Hard”

  1. Zack (@zacharyb) on 19 Apr 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    Great word, Drew!

  2. Ariel on 20 Apr 2010 at 8:19 am #

    So true! Elise was talking outside with a friend when a man (who looked like he was homeless) sat down next to them as they were talking about how God is in control of everything and that when times are the hardest that is when we really need to place our trust in Him; He will take care of us and do what He believes is best for us. When they were done, the man turned to them to thank them for reminding him that God is always there for him and even though he is going through a really tough time, God has a plan for him. Just another example of how we desire redemption from the circumstance than from the Redeemer.

  3. Jonny Buell on 20 Apr 2010 at 10:32 am #

    Awesome! Great reminder bro!

  4. Aunt Janet on 21 Apr 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    Thank you Andew! I need this reminder it seems daily now. Instead of waiting for God to change my circumstances, I need to be content and remember that He is All I need whatever the circumstances.

  5. Drew on 21 Apr 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    Thanks Janet, we’re praying for you.

  6. links for 2010-04-22 | The 'K' is not silent on 22 Apr 2010 at 10:02 pm #

    […] Trusting God When It’s Hard "The issue that is at stake when God asks you if you trust Him, is if you desire the Redeemer more than you desire redemption from your circumstances." (tags: article theology devotional shepherdsnotes) […]

  7. Leah on 16 Oct 2011 at 5:53 am #

    I typed in “trusting God” and “selling a house” this morning, and came across your website. There I found exactly the same verse the Lord had led me to earlier. You are so right–we need to prize Him over all else. That’s the real place of rest and peace.

    In contrast, I read this earlier in the morning. A portrait of life apart from trust which, I’m sorry to say, pretty much sums up where I can get if I choose fear over faith: The Lord will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary from longing, and a despairing heart. You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life.” Deut. 28:65

    Who would choose that?! Oh, Lord, save us from the fate of those who don’t enter Your rest due to unbelief….

    Blessings.