Devotional

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  — Joshua 1:9.   

From the moment you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior until taken into the presence of Christ in heaven, we discover that living the Christian life is the biggest challenge we will face. It is something of a roller coaster ride. Sometimes we are on fire for God, trusting Him with every fiber in our being and other times we don’t feel so trusting.

“Everything’s going wrong. How am I supposed to trust in God when I lost everything in Hurricane Michael?”  I won’t pretend to have this all figured out. I don’t want to give you cliché answers. All over our area people are experiencing real pain. Sometimes, our circumstances are out of our control and things go from dark to darker. When our lives spin out of control or we face chaotic circumstances the first question that comes to mind is, “can I really trust God?”

It is difficult to believe God is in control when we are in the midst of anxiety, heartache, or grief. Every Christian has struggled with this at one time or another. We weigh God’s promises with the reality of what is happening to us. What we have to do is trust Him even when we don’t feel like it, or it makes sense to do so. 

Look at the story of Ananias found in Acts 9:1-21. Paul had just had a dramatic conversion. Jesus tells Saul, now Paul, who is now totally blind, to get up, go into the city and wait to receive further instruction. The people with Saul lead him to a house in Damascus. In Damascus, there was a Christian man named Ananias. The way I imagine this story is basically the way the Message Bible tells it. I imagine Ananias sitting in his house, maybe having lunch, when God speaks to him in a vision. He says  “Ananias.” Ananias responds: “Yes, Master.” “Get up and go over to Straight Avenue. Ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus. His name is Saul…’”

I love his all too human response found in verses 13-14 in the The Message Bible (MSG): “Ananias protested, “Master, you can’t be serious. Everybody’s talking about this man and the terrible things he’s been doing, his reign of terror against your people in Jerusalem! And now he’s shown up here with papers from the Chief Priest that give him license to do the same to us.” God says, “Don’t argue. Go!’”

Ananias was an obedient Christian. He did what God asked Him to do, but all the way there he was probably worried about what would happen to him in this encounter with Saul. He probably felt like he was trusting God with his life. He went, so again, you have to assume he decided that God knew what He was doing, and could be trusted. And that is how we should react in times of trouble. God can be trusted.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What kind of things do you tend to trust in when life gets stormy, that makes you feel comfortable and secure rather than fearful?
  2. How can we better trust God this week even in bad circumstances?