Sometimes it is a hard thing to do, trusting God. We know we should, we know it is the right thing, and we know God is in control, yet we too often are afraid to just let God be God. Too often, we want to play God ourselves and second guess His will by implementing our own will. But the Bible teaches, and we have found, that this always leads to disastrous results.
Take, as an example, Sarah and Abraham. At age seventy-five, God told Abraham that he was going to make of him a great nation (Gen. 12:2,4). But Sarai was barren; she had no children (Gen. 11:32). This promise was indeed a great one for they were already passed the age of childbearing (Rom. 4:18-22). Later, Abraham pleaded with God, “What wilt Thou give me, seeing I go childless” (Gen. 15:2). God promised him once again that he that shall come out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir (Gen. 15:4). The Bible tells us Abraham believed God and He counted it for righteousness (Gen. 15:6).
Apparently, however, God was not moving quickly enough for Sarai, for, in the very next chapter, after ten years in the land of Canaan with no child yet (Gen. 16:1-3), Sarai gives to Abraham her handmaid, Hagar, so that he might have children by her (Gen. 16:2). The result of this union was Ishmael, when Abraham was eighty-six years old (Gen. 16:15,16).
The results of this action by Sarai and Abraham proved costly. First, there was conflict in their own family. There were hard feelings between Sarai and Hagar, and this no doubt placed stress on Abraham, as well (Gen. 16:5). Second, there were hard feelings between Ishmael and Isaac, the promised child (Gal. 4:29). Third, as indicated in the prophecy, the descendants of Ishmael would be “against every man and every man’s hand against him” (Gen. 16:12). The impact of this act is still being felt in the world today.
It was not until Abraham was ninety-nine years old–twenty-four years after the original promise–that God appeared to him to tell him that the next year would bring about the promised child (Gen. 17:21). Though Abraham and Sarah both laughed, God fulfilled His promise, in His own time and in His own way. Who would have ever thought such was possible? But God knew it all along!
God invites us to trust Him. “Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him” (Psalm 2:12). “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God” (Psalm 20:7). “Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed” (Psalm 37:3). “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5).
Too many times, we think we know better than God. Some elders and preachers think to themselves, “Our attendance is low, we have to do something to bring people in.” So they begin to innovate in worship with entertainment and other unscriptural activities. They don’t trust God’s plan and seek comfort in their own. Some Christians don’t trust God in His doctrine and begin to twist it to suit their own designs. Other Christians don’t trust God’s promises and try, like Sarah, to force God’s hand and bring about God’s will through their own means. In the end, it all amounts to not trusting God.
Jesus promised if we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness all the things we need, the necessities of life, will be added to us (Matt. 6:33). Hosea reminded us, “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men” (Hosea 10:12-13).
We need to let God be God, trust in the Lord, be faithful to the end and leave the rest to Him.
Eric L. Padgett