“Let God be true and every man a liar.” Romans 3:4a
Who are you going to trust when your circumstances deny God is good and loving? Who will you believe when your heart feels betrayed by Him? When His commands make no sense at all and even cause heartbreak and division? When His promises ring hollow in the face of what you are experiencing and feeling?
How do you think Job really felt as one disaster after another wreaked havoc on his heart, mind, and soul—as his children perished, his friends accused him, and his own wife ridiculed him for his fidelity to God?
What will you do when the dark night of your soul comes? Who will you trust? If you haven’t settled this question once and for all in your heart and mind then you had better do so now. Don’t wait until you find yourself drowning in unbelief. You must pour this firm belief like concrete as the foundation of your soul so that no matter what happens to you or your family in this life, you will not be uprooted and laid waste by the circumstances and changing attitudes and desires of the world around you—even in your own household.
“I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning! I have a terrible baptism of suffering ahead of me, and I am under a heavy burden until it is accomplished. Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to divide people against each other! From now on families will be split apart, three in favor of me, and two against—or two in favor and three against. ‘Father will be divided against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother; and mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’” Luke 12:49-56
I can think of nothing more painful and unsettling than watching one of my own children grow up and choose to walk away from the God of their youth. To deliberately choose a lifestyle of disobedience to God’s word. This, however, is going to become more and more common as our children are influenced and led astray by the ways and lusts of the world. In times such as these, there is nothing more important than showing our children (young and adult) a constant example of fidelity and obedience to God’s word and ways. Compromising your own faith to better accept and condone the disobedience of your children will only backfire in the end. A parent’s goal and ambition should always be to put God first and family second. This is what Abraham demonstrated on his homemade altar on Mount Moriah and God delivered Isaac by providing a ram in the bush. May God see our obedience—at times heartbreaking and gut-wrenching—and provide salvation for our own children as well.
We cannot let our circumstances and experiences dictate our view of God. If my circumstances dictated the reality of God’s character then I would have walked away from Him after my father—at the age of 40, with 4 young children and a vibrant and growing church under his care—died from cancer. From a human standpoint, it was brutal and made absolutely no sense at all. At the time it frightened me. Later it would anger me. Eventually, it would humble me. But what helped me hold onto my faith more than anything else was watching my mother and paternal grandparents grieve and shake their fists but resolutely cling to the promises and sovereignty of God.
The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21
At times God’s truth serves as a sledgehammer on our pride. At times it is a scalpel dissecting truth from lies in our own hearts. At times it is an embrace that comforts and holds us up when we don’t even have the strength to stand. All of these are the reality of God’s great power and love in our lives.
The most dangerous strategy of the Devil is to convince us that our circumstances, experiences, and feelings are more valid and trustworthy than God’s truth. The world is in turmoil today because, for so many people, feelings overrule facts. It is a FACT that God created us and He sets the rules of engagement and dictates what is true and false—not us. “Let God be true and every man a liar.” Romans 3:4a