Question: How do we trust God in the midst of trial?
Proverbs 16:16 (NASB)
16 How much better it is to get wisdom than gold!
And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.
What a trap, unbridled desire! Desire, although a gift given by God to increase and expand His people, like every gift in the wrong context, can be so destructive. Desire like emotion (often emotion being driven by desire) are a tool in the belt of the righteous, or those with a heart to be right before God. The Lord promises the desires of the righteous one. This is because one who is righteous cannot be self motivated. This does not mean one cannot care for themselves, but there is a difference between self-care and self-motivation.
The above proverb has a lot of direction in it if we would just look. It is not telling us that one cannot be rich and righteous at the same time. That would be an errant view of scripture. It is telling us which pursuit is better. I actually see something more in this as well. Whatever we are after is our focus and our focus matters to God. Often, in times of lack, people have a tendency to over focus on the need. Now this is completely understandable if you are in the world. It’s a shame many believers have not yet realized they’ve been given access to a new world.
For years my wife and I struggled with never having enough. We were faithful to tithe and to give on top of it, many, many times going without ourselves in order to do so. I remember always worrying, always being concerned about where or when we’d get the ability to just hold our heads above water. We lived in a city of hills and winters and brick roads. Once, while driving home one particularly snowy day, I was faced with a real dilemma. I’d start up one street only to have to reverse and try another. It was winter and we could not afford the needed tires. I did this many times, trying many roads and each time failing. I was so frustrated and to add insult to injury, my overburdened and broken windshield wipers left a perfect view-hindering path right at my eye level. I sobbed like a baby that day crying out, “Lord, why are you not taking care of us!”
We made the determination that we had to get tires and we had a local mechanic (also a believer) who found a way to help us out. I got the car to him and waited for the new tires to be put on. As he pulled the car out and I got in, I immediately started sobbing once more. He saw that I needed new windshield wipers and the Lord put it on his heart to just throw in a set for free. God had heard my cries and despite my lack of confidence in His ability to take care of me effectively, proved Himself once again with a well needed humbling for me. Wisdom.
Today if I need windshield wipers I don’t even consider it. Tires or even a vehicle for that matter fall into this same category. In those years I learned some of the most valuable lessons of trusting God that I would ever learn. When I thought I was neglected, He was encouraging me to come up higher.
We learn in trial what it means to be reliant on a God we don’t always see before us. In times of lack we learn the most valuable lessons. How, you might ask. God never promised to remove every trial, He promised to take care of us despite them. He never promised us self sufficiency, but sufficiency in Him. He said over and over again, “Trust Me!” He promised that regardless of what we see or don’t for that matter, He should be the object of our affection, the One we can trust. The One who does not change. This life and earth are temporary, He is eternal.
When lack is present, whatever that lack may be, you have instruction. Seek wisdom. You may not have enough for tires or wipers but you can ask Him to show you, to teach you, to give you wisdom. “Show me, God, what you want me to see, because I trust You are taking care of me.” When you are lacking and are not able to overcome, trust the One who has promised us Himself. If you’ve sought the need and can’t make it happen, maybe, just maybe you’re looking for the wrong thing. Seek wisdom, wisdom never disappoints.
James 1:5 (NASB)
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.