“That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
Let us cling to the Lord. Life can be hard — extremely hard at times, but God gives us trials so that we can grow from it and develop a deeper intimacy with the Lord. Sometimes the weight of our trials can seem unbearable. For the Christian, we know and believe that God is in control of all things. We acknowledge and believe, “And we know that all things will work together for good, for those who love and are called according to His purpose.” We need to grip onto this promise.
“The child, in danger of the fire, just clings to the fireman, and trusts to him alone. She raises no question about the strength of his limbs to carry her, or the zeal of his heart to rescue her; but she clings. The heat is terrible, the smoke is blinding, but she clings; and her deliverer quickly bears her to safety. In the same childlike confidence cling to Jesus, who can and will bear you out of danger from the flames of sin.”
Whenever we are going through tough and hard times, we need to have confidence in God’s Word, trust in the Lord, and cling to Him. This past summer in Israel, my brother and I went on the camel ride. As I was riding on this camel, it felt as if I was going to fall off every time the camel took a step. I was SOOO scared! I was clinging to the the bars with every ounce of my strength. We need to also cling to the Lord and His promises with all our heart, soul and strength. Cling to Him in your daily life. The Lord listens to our prayers and His promises always stand. Psalm 63:8 says, “My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.”
We know that God is sovereign over all things. Lamentations 3:23 says, “They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” In the moments of trials, we want His sovereign hand to turn the page and remove us from the situation. In our despair, our hearts and minds can leave us feeling hopeless. God’s not listening. Why is this happening to me? At some point the pattern of bad news after bad news can start to feel cruel. If God is in sovereign control of everything in my life, why does everything in my life feel hard and painful?
Our hope is placed in the One who was abandoned and killed on a cross. The One who surely could have said, “Enough!” chose instead to endure the suffering for the great joy set before Him — the joy of rescuing His bride. If we don’t read the whole account of Joseph being sold by his brothers and being imprisoned, we’ll miss the beautiful ending of forgiveness that was offered to his brothers, as well as God’s good plan to save His people from drought and famine. If we don’t finish reading the book of Job, we won’t know of God’s kindness and care for Job. The road to Calvary was truly God’s love for us. Our “road” can be very hard, but as we cling to the Lord we see His love for us and that He truly works ALL things for our good.
Christ calls us down long, dirty roads of trials and sorrows. He brings us these trials so that we can become more like Him. God did not call us to always have easy and comfortable days. John 15:2 says, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.” He takes our heart and cleanses us. The Lord purifies our souls. When we go through this process, we become more like Christ. John 15:3 declares, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” As we endure our trials and dig into God’s Word (getting cleansed and washed), we draw closer with the Lord. In our time of trials, our character changes and we become more like Christ.
Trials help us to see the character of God in ways that we can never experience, when everything is going fine and dandy. We need to bless the Lord at all times. Our hearts should long to know God in a deeper and a more intimate way. Often, this requires our faith being tested in ways that we may not want or circumstances that we would not choose.
Friends, let us hold fast to the Lord and be joyful for every storm that comes our way. James 1:2 declares, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” Keep clinging to the Lord!