CONFIDENCE IN GOD
Vimal R. Ram
In this world of toils and snares, there come situations that corner us and bring us to our wit’s end, and then we cry out,“What shall we do now?” In times like these, remember: tough times don’t last, but tough people do. Whatever be the problem, there is hope for us, for we are God’s people and it is no secret what God can do. What He’s done for others, He can do for us. So why not just take Him at His word? Rather than lean onour own understanding, let us just trust Him, acknowledge Him and see how He directs our path. We know well that we cannot clap with one hand. Similarly,we have got to do our part and God will do His. And our God never fails. What are we to do? What part do we play when we are at our wit’s end?
First of all, be still. Sounds funny, doesn’t it? But this ‘be still’ is action in itself from our side. Being still is essential for clear reception of instructions. Didn’t Moses say to Israelites, “Stand still…!” It did seem unreasonable, what with the Red Sea before them and their fierce enemies behind them! But there was solution from the Lord in that order. When they stood still, God made His angel and the pillar of cloud stand between them and the enemies, protecting them. The Lord God then divided the Red Sea before them, making a grand path for them to cross it and reach the other side safely. Then He destroyed their enemies in the same sea. They all saw this miracle, this great work of God, and believed on Him.
King Saul, before taking on his mantle, was asked by the prophet Samuel to stand still, while he instructed him from the word of God on how to rule over Israel as God wanted. During his awful affliction, Job was told by Elihu to “stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.” A nice way of solace! When King Jehoshaphat and Judah were invaded by a great multitude of Moab and others, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel and told them not to be afraid but to “stand still” and see the salvation of the Lord. David and a few others also obeyed God’s instruction, “Be still and know that I am God.” We need to remember this when we are perplexed and driven to the wall; then we will see how wonderfully God brings us out of our predicament.
Being still, with no action from our side, takes us to the next step: being silent. Yes, there is a time to speak and a time to keep silence. There are times when we have to maintain silence to let the Lord do His work. Israelites were asked to keep complete silence for six days as they went around Jericho and on the seventh day they were asked to shout. And the wall of Jericho fell down flat. They were able to take over the city, destroying everything in it.
As he underwent painful trials, Job asked his three friends once to hold their peace altogether, for it would be their wisdom. David, thinking about the brevity and vanity of life, said, “I will keep my mouth with a bridle,” and held his peace at that particular time. The writer of Proverbs implies that those who follow God’s wisdom know when to be silent: “…a man of understanding holds his tongue” (11:12). “He who guards his lips guards his life” (13:3). “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue” (17:28). Hence, let us be still and keep silent, trusting our God fully, and rest assured that all will be well in the end. How? When? No need to break our heads on that. Our God is able and He will work out everything for us in the best way.
Wait, wait and wait patiently, even if there is no manifestation of what and how our God is working for us. Patience can never be defined, only practised and learned through personal experiences. Oh that we would understand the meaning and value of patience and its end result! This wonderful virtue takes away our worrying, crying, weeping, wobbling and weakening! It takes away our own efforts and helps us put our trust in the Lord wholeheartedly, taking away our unbelief and fears. All kinds of problems, tough times and tight corners become null and void when our God begins to work for us.
Let us wait patiently and let patience do its perfect work. David says in Psalm 40:1, “I waited patiently for the Lord and He inclined unto me and heard my cry.”
The end result of our confidence in God, by being still, silent and patient, would be glorious—far beyond our expectations and imaginations, and so very satisfying that we will exclaim joyfully, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name!”