We often think of the invisible God as being very distant from humanity. But is that accurate? Isn’t it in our hardships and sorrows that we feel abandoned? In Psalm 27, King David expresses that he was surrounded by enemies–men who were his closest advisors but wished his death. Was David aware that God knew his circumstances? Yes, but he honestly expressed his innermost feelings of being afraid. And rightfully so, we cannot imagine living every day with people in our homes plotting our demise.
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—
so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
so why should I tremble?
2 When evil people come to devour me,
when my enemies and foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.
3 Though a mighty army surrounds me,
my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
I will remain confident. Psalm 27:1-3
Our Heavenly Father sees and knows that the human heart is fragile. God is also aware that our hardships usually result in disconnecting ourselves from Him when we feel threatened and powerless. We are weakened by the unexpected; spiritual warfare, financial difficulties, family issues, loneliness, material loss, illnesses, broken relationships, the death of a loved one. First, we must acknowledge that the trials and sorrows in our lives cause pain and suffering, mentally, emotionally, and physically in illnesses. But have confidence, knowing that it is not God’s purpose to break or crush us. God’s purpose for our trials: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4
During our challenges, human effort is required. God is waiting for us to seek His help and strength through prayer. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
Within each of us is the buried response of “where is God? During our trials, we quickly forget God, our Deliverer when faced with overwhelming circumstances. Fear instead of faith comes easily when we perceive that our hardships are bigger than God. Identifying our perception of God involves an honest and in-depth self-evaluation. “How do I see God?”
Without believing, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” Jeremiah 32:27, we will continue to doubt the Omnipotence–supernatural power of God, our Creator, Provider, and Sustainer.
Still, in His loving-kindness and mercy, God reaches out to His beloved.
- Through the Lord’s mercies, we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
- My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” Psalm 27:8
We may acknowledge the power of God, but do we belong to him? Have we given God our hearts? Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.” John 10:14. Our commitment to God is reliant on surrender, commitment, total faith and trust. Doing our part means having a dependent relationship with God, our Father. Yes, we are to become as little children, totally dependent on the love and power of our Heavenly Father. Human Effort + Divine Intervention = Victory!
To experience daily spiritual growth, our hearts must stay connected to Jesus Christ, who is the only way to God. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
There are many benefits to giving our hearts to God. First, we gain total peace, resulting in spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical strength. Faith and trust in God, even during stormy trials, give us courage, contentment, and confidence. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 4:7
We can achieve peace during the harshest trials and sorrows. Knowing that we will feel the pain that accompanies spiritual growth; yet, trusting in God gives us the strength to press on, in Jesus’ name. God is preparing us for eternal life. Jesus gave His life that we may receive immortality and live in the New Heaven and New Earth when He comes again. Giving our heart [total commitment] to our Savior will produce the character traits of love, faith, trust, patience, obedience, courage, and confidence. Yes, it is time for us to have a heart-to-heart relationship with Jesus Christ.
Prayer: God, we are going through some hard times and we need your love, comfort, and divine intervention. Please give us the strength to endure our trials. We are confident that you will bring victory. We ask this prayer in the powerful name of Jesus. Amen. © 2021 Sonya Johnson