Dr. Marc Drake, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church Sun Lakes
A remarkable story is told in The Hiding Place about Corrie Ten Boom and her sister Betsie. It was during WWII and one night, during an air raid, Corrie went downstairs to the kitchen to drink tea with Betsie. When Corrie returned to her room, she found that a jagged piece of shrapnel had broken through the window and landed on her pillow. She rushed back downstairs and exclaimed, “Betsie, if I hadn’t heard you in the kitchen…” But her sister interrupted her replying, “Don’t say it, Corrie! There are no ‘ifs’ in God’s world. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety. Oh Corrie, let us pray that we may always know it!”
Yes, the answer to living with inner peace in this fallen world is to trust in the sovereign God Who has our lives in His hand. For in His providence, God uses every circumstance of life for His glory and for the believer’s spiritual benefit (see Romans 8:28). There are no “ifs” in God’s world.
However, our response to the trials of life is critical. As humorist Charles Lowery has pointed out, we must resist seeing dark clouds in every silver lining or finding the difficulty in every opportunity or wearing black just in case someone dies! So, how should followers of Jesus Christ respond to the trials they encounter? Consider the following:
Call out to God. King David prayed, “In the day of my trouble I call upon You, for You answer me” (Psalm 86:7). There is no help like the help God provides (Psalm 146:5). Call upon Him.
Don’t stop praising. David wrote, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” (Psalm 34:1). David had been going through one of the most difficult times in his life, but he declared, “I will bless the Lord at all times.” Praise changes our perspective: Focus on the problem and you’ll be overwhelmed. Focus on God and you’ll be overjoyed!
Remember that God is faithful. Christians can say with David: “The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.” (Psalm 138:8). Yes, there’s a purpose in adversity (even the coronavirus). For adversity takes away those things in which we trust so that we can clearly see God’s faithfulness in caring for His own (Philippians 4:19).
We have probably all heard the well-intended statement: “You must face your fears.” But is that the answer? David wrote: “I sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4). Face my fears? I had rather not even give them the time of day! So, instead of simply facing his fears, David sought the Lord and found in Him deliverance from fear.
Our God rules, reigns, and rescues! There are no “ifs” in His world.