Many of you have probably heard of this book. I’ve never read it, but I’ve definitely heard wonderful things about it, and I’m excited to get started on it in a new fall women’s Bible study at our church. Not only do we have an excellent book, but I cherish the women of my church! They give such kind, godly advice and pray with a mature earnest I can only look forward to.
The book: Trusting God, Even When Life Hurts
The author: Jerry Bridges
What a great first chapter. Technically, the study doesn’t start until next week, but I decided to jump on in. The first chapter is titled, “Can You Trust God?” Which seems like a rather simple question. Even unbelievers who acknowledge the existence of God acknowledge that God is a Being to be trusted.
But Bridges unpacks the question further: instead of asking the question as “Can you trust God?” (see above paragraph), ponder “Can you trust God?” Or, to make it more personal, can I trust God? Bridges continues:
“Do you have such a relationship with God and such a confidence in Him that you believe He is with you in your adversity even though you do not see any evidence of His presence and His power?”
If you’re sitting back and feeling a little winded from that question, don’t worry, I am too.
This really rolled the tape of past moments of distrust and unbelief in my life, where I was actually tearfully, bitterly, tersely angry with God. In a moment of disgusting arrogance, I would roll my eyes heavenward and growl, “Really, God?” through clenched teeth.
First of all, as I am reliving in my mind some of these moments, some not so long ago, I am disgusted with my attitude. With my pride, my anger, my ignorance of God’s almighty power.
Second reaction: instant realization of my stupidity. Jerry Bridges so kindly and yet so firmly quotes several verses that bring home the intense stupidity of my distrust and disobedience towards God.
One excellent passage is much too long to quote here, so I encourage you to look it up on your own: Psalm 78:9-22. The others are shorter:
“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing;” Philippians 2:14
Thirdly, repentance, even of things that I let fester within me instead of confessing immediately.
What a first chapter. This study is going to tear me up one side and down the other, that’s for sure!
Anyway, I made the “promise” in the accompanying discussion guide to keep a journal throughout the study. And, well, my journal is my blog. So now you all must keep me accountable!
I’ve also committed myself to memorizing Romans 8:18-39. What a hefty bunch of verses — but verses that I know will bless me daily when tucked into my memory. Scripture memory is something I need to work on. My spiritual growth has suffered due to my distance from God’s word, lately, and I am eager to cup it close to my heart. My Bible study group will keep me accountable of this. I have a feeling I will be reciting verses every few weeks.
Also, I’ve been feeling convicted of cowardice in the workplace. Pray for me as I seek opportunities — that I will recognize them and then act upon them without fear, trusting God only.