As I once heard author and speaker Elizabeth Elliot say: “God will give you the grace you need at the moment you need it, not a moment before.” Many ask her how she could cope when her husband was tragically killed by the spears of a hostile tribe. She replies that at the moment she needed to handle it, she cried out to God and He gave her the strength, power, and courage to forgive those men and move into the next stage of life as a widow. The result of her faith in trusting the character of God was that she courageously went back to these men and led them and much of the tribe to Christ! How could she do this? Psalm 112:8 explains this. “Her heart is secure, she will have no fear; in the end she will look in triumph over her foes.”
Faith comes from having a true understanding of the character of God. This means we have to trust that God is who He says He is in the Word. Rather than project our image of our earthly father onto our image of our heavenly father; or draw conclusions about the character of God from our negative experiences; we need to take God at His Word that He is who He says He is. Then we will “not fear bad news. . . Our heart will be secure, we will have no fear” (Psalm 112:7-8).
The Lord gives us a beautiful picture of how He walks with us through difficulty. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2). Sometimes, He completely protects us from having to experience great troubles. There are more of these stories in our lives than we realize. We may be surprised in heaven to learn of the thousands of times God protected us from evil and from difficulties. But sometimes, He allows us to go through pain and suffering. However, He walks with us in the midst of it. If we trust in Him to be our Great Shepherd, He will not allow it to overwhelm us or destroy our spirit. Hold fast to your Perfect, Almighty, Loving Father.