What's Going On?
December 8, 2020
Have you ever been in a situation so challenging, so confusing, that you find yourself asking, “What’s going on? What is God thinking?” Of course you have. If you are like most of us, you are exactly there right now. The pandemic and all the ripples that accompany it have racked and shook your world. Maybe you have other things going on too. What in the world is this about?
Paul has been right where we are, and he figured it out: “But we have this precious treasure [the good news about salvation] in [unworthy] earthen vessels [of human frailty], so that the grandeur and surpassing greatness of the power will be [shown to be] from God [His sufficiency] and not from ourselves. We are hedged in (pressed) on every side [troubled and oppressed in every way], but not cramped or crushed; we suffer embarrassments and are perplexed and unable to find a way out, but not driven to despair.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-8
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Paul says God is using the thing/things that are pressing and perplexing you to grow you. Some of the things happening on the outside of you are making changes on the inside of you. We cannot afford to lose our inner confidence because of what we see going on around us.
There is a powerful principle in the sports world and business world that has helped me so much with these challenges: “Love the process and the process will love you back.” Basically it means, “Things may look bad now, but there is a plan in place to make it better.” For the process to work, it must be constant. The process is commitment. It is commitment to do what is required regardless of the challenges, inconveniences, or extenuating circumstances.
A global pandemic certainly puts that to the test. But we are not in harder circumstances than Paul or many, many others throughout history. We have to realize what Paul knew. If the process is going to be powerful for us, it has to be a way of life. There has to be trust, not only in the process but in the God who is in charge of the process. It must be a lifestyle choice that is immune to the biggest disruptor any of us have seen in our lifetimes.
This pandemic gives us a great opportunity to trust in the unseen rather than the seen, as Paul told us. I own it straight up. At times it can be inexpressibly painful. But to have real faith is always to have a deep sense of trust in what cannot be seen. Proof or evidence is not needed. Instead, we have the confidence of knowing that God is in control.
To trust the process wholly and completely is to not need to know what is unfolding or why but to continually look to that which is unseen. Recently, God has been working with me in this area to trust Him more and more. Hard circumstances of my life have unfolded and are unfolding in such a way that I have been given an opportunity to trust that God is working a divine process and plan that I can’t see clearly. I am being overcome with a newfound respect for the divine process in life.
Try as I might, I can no longer remain in what is known. Things can no longer go according to my plan, no matter how hard I try to make it perfect. The same thing goes for you. To trust the process means to know and have faith that there is a divine plan moving through me and my life in any moment. That was true for Paul, and is still true for me and for you too.
Even if you cannot understand what is unfolding right now, whether it is in your own life, your work, school, the church, or our country, let’s together pray and choose this kind of trust. Choose an unshakeable sense of trust in God that as this is happening, God is working through circumstances for your higher good and for all of us. We can be better for it.
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” – Corrie ten Boom