Every year tends to have some sort of a theme, either by design or by what seems to keep happening. 2015 was a year spent trying, and ultimately, failing to get a ministry job. It wasn’t through any particular fault, the position I candidated for would not have been an ideal fit. We would have made it work but God in His providence made the vote go the other way.
Even so, we gained friends out of it and discovered an incredibly beautiful part of the country. Seriously. Missouri is gorgeous.
Anyway, that search was last year’s theme.
I’ve been trying to pin down what the theme of 2016 is supposed to be and I may not know until 2017 but for now, the first three months have been all about false starts.
January was quite possibly the worst, darkest month I have ever experienced. February saw me fall through the cracks of a company’s hiring process when it all looked really good. And March, well March saw me applying for a ministry position that seems… impossible.
Getting into the second quarter, we are now in waiting mode but I can say there are three lessons we are learning right now, all involving trusting God.
Trust that God is good
The trick to this one is realizing that all the others flow out of this. We know that God is good because it is impossible for Him to not be (James 1:13). But when life is hard and when bad things happen to us, this is so easy to forget. Not just that, it’s tempting to believe that it isn’t true, that maybe God isn’t good and maybe He isn’t sovereign. It’s the same temptation we’ve been fighting against since Genesis 3. But God is good.
Trust that He has a plan
One of the many books I have started to read is The Mystery of Providence by John Flavel. The main point of the small bit that I’ve read, I haven’t finished it yet, is that we know God is sovereign and provident because we can look back at the record of scripture and see example after example after example of His will being carried out. It doesn’t always look the way we expect it to, like in the death of Jesus, but it is always, always always carried out.
Trust that His promises remain true
In Hebrews 6, the author explains to us why God swore an oath to Abraham by Himself. He swore by Himself because there is no one greater to whom He can appeal. And our God is unchanging. He has His will and He will carry it out. He cannot lie. If this were not so, He would not be good. So when we look at His Word and we read His promises, that we will be His and that He will keep us until the end, we can take those promises and claim them because they have been given to us in Christ.