In Times Like These
This controversial political season is sparking more debate and divisiveness, more worry and angst, than just about any other election year I can recall. From our work places to our dinner tables, we argue over the worthiness of the two major presidential candidates and their very different visions for our nation. Pros and cons steadily stream on our social media news feeds and every night the national news seems to announce new developments in the race that make things worse than the day before. It’s easy to become discouraged. So what do we do?
Whether we’re discouraged by the current political climate in our country, the devastation wreaked by a hurricane or other natural disaster, an unwelcomed medical diagnosis, or any other problem or trial, giving up or giving in is not the answer. The only way through, the only way out, is to keep our eyes, our hearts, firmly fixed upon our Lord and place our trust fully in Him.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Notice that our trust is not in what seems right or good, or any other person or thing. We trust in the Lord. Also notice that we trust Him completely, not half-heartedly. We do not waver or rely on our own understanding. And lastly, notice that we acknowledge Him in all our ways. We recognize that He is God and accept His authority in our lives. And then, He will direct our paths.
In times like these – and as I have discovered in difficult times in my own life – the opposite of discouragement, is faith. And faith comes from trusting in our Lord and allowing Him to direct our paths.
Trust is not a passive response. It is a conscious decision to surrender my needs, worries, fears, all my struggles, to our Sovereign God. It is coming to Him, talking to Him, reading His Word, searching for guidance and direction, and seeking His will for me in my present moment.
- When I am afraid, I trust in Him (Isaiah 43:10). He will be with me, strengthen, help me, and hold me up!
- When I have many worries, I trust in Him (Isaiah 26:3). He will give me peace.
- When I have no way to fight my own battles, I trust in Him (Proverbs 37:5). He is ready to act on my behalf.
- When evil triumphs, I trust in Him (Psalm 37:39-40). He is my refuge; He will help me and deliver me.
One of the best things we can do in times like these is to draw near to God, seek Him, acknowledge Him, and trust Him. I am reminded of an old hymn written by Frances J. Crosby, “Draw Me Nearer” (lyrics printed below). I think I‘ve known this hymn for most of my life. Yet the older I grow, the more precious its lyrics become to me. It was first published in 1875, but its words still speak to believers today. In times like these, may we all draw near to the One who loves us, who died for us, and with whom we will one day eternally dwell. May we trust Him in all things, at all times. And while Christ lingers in His return, may our prayer be the second stanza of this great hymn: “Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord, By the pow’r of grace divine; Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope, And my will be lost in Thine.” Amen
Draw Me Nearer
Frances J. Crosby
I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,
And it told Thy love to me;
But I long to rise in the arms of faith
And be closer drawn to Thee.
Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To the cross where Thou hast died;
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To Thy precious, bleeding side.
Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
By the pow’r of grace divine;
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
And my will be lost in Thine.
Oh, the pure delight of a single hour
That before Thy throne I spend,
When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God
I commune as friend with friend!
There are depths of love that I cannot know
Till I cross the narrow sea;
There are heights of joy that I may not reach
Till I rest in peace with Thee.