This remarkable little book, 31 Days Toward Trusting God, tells the story of Jerry Bridges’ faith as it grew through suffering. 31 simple chapters propel the reader through a serious of thought provoking questions and scriptures. Our Guest Services team of 20 employees at the Glen Eyrie Conference Center read this book together through the course of, well, 31 days. Rather than continue to tell you how much I enjoy this book, here is the summary of my interactions with chapter one.
“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.” ~ Hebrews 3:12
Upon finishing and reflecting on the first chapter of the book I am particularly struck by 3 observations made by Jerry Bridges:
“God’s people are not immune from such pain. In fact, it often seems as if theirs is more severe, more frequent, more unexplainable, and more deeply felt than the pain of an unbeliever.”
“God’s moral will as seen in the Bible is rational and reasonable, but the circumstances in which we must trust God often appear irrational and inexplicable.”
“Yet it’s just as important to trust God as to obey Him.”
The 2nd point is where I want to spend a moment.
Often when we look at our lives, we defend our actions and make excuses. We live in, ok I live in, a yeah-but-world. Yes, I believe, but you don’t know my story. Sure it would be good to trust God in a new vocation, sitting in a studio in New York writing the next great American novel, but what about our medical bills? Of course I would like to spend more time with God, but don’t you know how busy I am?
Trusting God is done while staring into the face of ambiguity, while peering through a lifeless cloud of utter bleakness that offer no direction, rather it veils, hides and even steals it. As we move forward traveling carefully down the road of life there are no red stop signs, no yellow caution signs warning us of road damage, but still we must press on toward the goal. We must trust knowing that God is worthy of our trust. Sometimes that is hard to do. Very hard. But if Trusting God really is as important as obeying God, and Jesus clearly says it is, then my goal is not to blindly trust in an unseen God, but rather diligent pursue the unseen but knowable God of the bible and work with steadfast intention towards trusting God more quickly, more often. Not perfectly, immediately. More quicker, more often. God is patient. Slow to anger. Abounding in love. Trustworthy.