“Many are the woes of the wicked,
but the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him.” Psalm 32:10
Some days (or months, or years), it seems that everything goes wrong. An accident, a grave illness, a financial predicament, a heated disagreement, a deep disappointment -- any or all of these could gang up against you, robbing you of peace, joy and contentment. “Many are the woes of the wicked…” It’s so easy to think like “the wicked,” like people who don’t have Christ in them and who are controlled by their weak, sinful natures. “The mind of the sinful man is death…” (Rom 8:6). His thinking is all negative. For him, when everything goes wrong, there’s no way out. It’s going to turn out bad. The accident ruins things, the financial problems can’t be fixed, the disagreement is unresolvable, and the illness is inevitable and might even lead to death.
But wait. That’s not who we are. We are not “the wicked.” We have the Spirit of Christ in us if we belong to Christ (Rom 8:9). That makes us “the righteous.” Difficulties are bound to come, but when they do, his Spirit in us says, “Trust me.” “How?” says our flesh and all of our earthly, logical mind. “There is no good way out of this.” “Oh really?” says the Lord. “Is my arm too short to save you, even from this?” (Num. 11:23, italicized words added.) Don’t you know, “…the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him.”
So often a tough situation doesn’t seem to have a way of working out well. If we trust in our own human efforts to solve the problem, it very well might not turn out well. But we who have the Spirit of Christ in us live by faith, not by sight. If we can take that leap and throw ourselves onto the Lord and trust him to figure it out and to lead us to his solution, we’ll find out that he’s got it. He’s had it all the time. It may be something we would never have thought of. Remember what he did with the Red Sea. Just at the right moment, he opened the way, a most unexpected event.
When the crisis comes, we could feel consumed by our woes if we’re not careful, but God’s word encourages us to remember that we are surrounded by his unfailing love if we trust him. If we can take him at his word, leave the negative-thinking probable scenarios behind like “we will probably drown in this Red Sea or else Pharaoh’s army will probably either slaughter or capture us,” then we make room for God to work. This means that we have to get our minds off of those thoughts, take a kind of blind leap out of doubt and into trust - trust in God’s word - then we can be assured that his unfailing love will be waiting for us, and an answer will come. When the crisis comes, when you’re having a Red Sea moment, opt for trust.
The Union Church of Guatemala
Dr. Ralph Porter
Women's Ministry President
Union Kids Director
AM Worship Coordinator