Our Lord could sum up His heart’s desires for us with two words: “Trust Me.”
As we navigate the good and bad in this broken world, the highest honor we can give God is to fight to trust Him no matter what happens.
The Apostle Paul emphasizes this “no matter what” mentality in the first chapter of Philippians.
“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.” -Philippians 1:12
Remember his circumstances when he followed God's leading to the city of Philippi? He was beaten and thrown in prison. This was totally unjustified, and Paul had no legal help to challenge the wrong done to him.
Why would God lead His choice servant into a situation where these things would happen?
Instead of looking from man's point of view, Paul made God’s perspective his perspective. He saw that all of this was meant “to advance the gospel.”
Paul completely trusted God’s leadership and sovereignty. In verse 20, he tells us that, “by life or by death,” his purpose is that Christ Jesus will be exalted by his response to any circumstance.
Paul’s trust always had two components:
- Obedience through action
- Praise and thanksgiving for the outcome
In essence, he really believed that God was in control and that God’s love for him would always work for his best. Whatever the circumstance, Paul wanted to demonstrate his passion and deep longing for Jesus Christ to be honored and glorified. So he obeyed and thanked God no matter what happened.
Paul continues to emphasize this “no matter what” mentality in verse 27:
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel … .” -Philippians 1:27
Now what about us as we find ourselves in difficult times?
Each of us find ourselves in very different places and with different types of struggles as we fight to make our hearts completely available to Jesus. But the battle is won or lost in our gut. We must learn to cry out, “I will trust my Father no matter what circumstances bring me today.”
I may have to say it a hundred times a day—with tears in my eyes or knots in my stomach. But if we cling to Jesus, we can humbly cry out, “Yes, Father, I trust You.”
Yes, it is a fight daily with the world, my flesh, and the evil one, but we know who has won. Yes, He has won and is called the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We also know the last chapter that tells us about that day, when every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father (Philippians 2:10-11).
John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.