Foreclosure, cancer, divorce, unemployment, and natural disasters happen. On this earth, in our time, bad things happen to all people. We raise our kids in the Word but they rebel. We pour our hearts into ministry with no fruit. We confess all known sin and battle the enemy yet the crisis is still there. What do we do when the pains of life don’t go away? We stand still.
Standing still is not weakness. It shows the greatest possible strength. Any fool can plow ahead and do something. But a wise man can trust the Lord enough to do nothing. A fool cries out for worldly fixes. But a wise man will quietly trust in the Lord–no matter how long He tarries.
Jesus said, “I’m coming back.” We believe Him. It’s been 2000 years since He spoke the words yet we all know it will happen someday soon. Why then don’t we have enough faith that He will fulfill His other promises, in less time?
Would it be farfetched to state that if you are not daily living in the expectancy of His return, that you are also not living each day in the peace of His faithfulness?
For me the most difficult challenge is standing still. I pray with fervency and often see miracles. I teach with authority and lives are changed. I endure heartaches and grow stronger. But when God just doesn’t move as quickly as I imagined, when the trials last longer than I desire, or when I am sick-and-tired of being sick and tired, I want to do anything but stand still.
Through years of wrestling with God, I stand convinced of one vital truth. There are just some things we will never understand but we can know for sure that they are for God’s greater glory. When we’ve confessed all known sin and are living in His holiness, when we’ve battled the enemy and know he is defeated in our lives, and we still have the trial, it’s simply God’s will.
Sometimes the loved one dies. Some days we don’t win. Some children will rebel for years. Some hard hearts will not soften. Some ministries need to die. Weaknesses show greater strength. God uses crippled people. The Bible is full of paradoxes. His ways are not our ways. It’s best to learn to stand still and trust when nothing makes sense.
We can use 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 as a prayer guide for standing still. Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Be joyful always: immerse yourself in worship and praise. Read Psalms aloud, listen to praise music, recite the miracles of God from Genesis to Revelation, live each day in expectancy of the beloved Bridegroom’s return.
Pray continually: live in His Presence. Allow Him to bring His Word alive to your heart and mind. Listen for His voice, share your heart with Him, walk and talk with Him every minute of the day, practice seeing His Presence in everything you do and journal all these divine moments.
Give thanks in all circumstances: be filled with a grateful heart. Henry Blackaby teaches that we should view everything in our lives against the backdrop of the cross. If we practiced that simple truth, our hearts would overflow with gratitude for His amazing love.
At Bible study yesterday, our teacher challenged us to create a worksheet with a picture of the cross as the backdrop. I printed the words, “God is love” across the top of mine. The assignment is then to record all the trials, struggles, pains and frustrations of our lives. Somehow when viewed upon the cross, these things grow strangely dim.
If you really believe God is love and He is faithful, then you will also accept the fact that His will is always best. Stand still.