Can You Really Trust God? (Grief Series Part 3)

This is Part 3 in a Series I’m sharing on Grief (although it is applicable to all of life).

If you’ve missed the first two parts, I’d love you to catch up here:

Part 1 – My Story And Tools To Help You Overcome Your Grief

Part 2 – How To Recognize God In All Circumstances

In the months and years following the tragedy that God allowed into my life, I would say that one of my greatest struggles was grappling with who was responsible for the car accident that claimed the lives of my mother, sister, and nephew.

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Who Is Responsible For The Events That Happen To Us In Life?

There were those around me who immediately and persistently blamed Satan. They insisted that because we hadn’t bound him up that morning, he was free to reap destruction in our lives, and took the opportunity to do so.

Others pointed to human error as the culprit. They reasoned that because my sister was so far along in her pregnancy, she shouldn’t have been driving the car, and since she did, her third trimester fatigue led to her falling asleep at the wheel, which in turn caused the fatal accident.

While others in my life assured me that God’s perfect will and plan had been ordained since before time began, and that this occurrence was the sovereign hand of God, which nothing and no one could have thwarted.

So who was right?

Confusion reigned in my soul for many years as doubts and the endless search for answers whirled tirelessly around in my mind.

I reckoned that if you take the approach of the first two options; that Satan and human intervention are the results of what happens to you, then you are believing that the third option, God’s sovereignty is not the ruling force behind all of life. You are placing Satan and humanity above God’s Sovereignty. However, is it one or the other?

Let’s examine each option.

Human Intervention

Think of an illustration of a painter painting a picture. In order to produce the artwork, three components are involved in the activity:

The painting – represents your life

The paintbrush – represents you

The painter – represents God

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painter4

So, your life is being beautifully laid out as an artwork. Is the paintbrush (you) painting the scene? No. It is the painter, who is holding, moving, and influencing the paintbrush, who is creating the masterpiece!

This little analogy helped me so much in understanding who orchestrated the event that was so life-changing, and in fact, who orchestrates every tiny detail and circumstance of my days. It couldn’t have been my sister alone who was the sole cause of the event.

Is Satan Behind the Tragic Incidences In Your Life?

The account of Job in your Bible demonstrates loudly and clearly who allowed tragic circumstances into his previously blessed existence. Remember the way this righteous man lost everything, his possessions, his health, his entire family?! Amazingly, it was actually God’s idea to allow Satan to test him!

Listen in:

The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?”

Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.”

And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” (Job 1:7-8)

And then after a little dialogue, the Lord is the one who finally gives Satan the consent in Job 1:12:

“And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.”

After the go-ahead from God, literally all hell broke loose in Job’s life.

However, even though Job went through a horrendous time of trial;

  • The Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before (Job 42:10)
  • He blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning (Job 42:12)
  • After this Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, four generations (Job 42:16)
  • Job died, an old man, and full of days (Job 42:17)

God followed through with incredible blessing. Isn’t our Lord so kind and merciful!

Neither you nor I have gone through the difficult trials that Job did, but we can learn so much from the truth that God reveals as having occurred behind the scenes in the account of his life.

Can You Really Trust God?

Satan may have been allowed certain reign in Job’s circumstances, but God was fully in control, supremely sovereign, and eternally merciful to Job in the midst of and beyond his trials.

Beloved one, I wish that I could tell you that I’ve got it all figured out. But I don’t. Even while writing this post I was struggling with the truth of this issue. I don’t claim to know or understand the way life works. The conclusion I believe the Scriptures point to is that even though Satan and human intervention have a part to play in the events that happen to you, God is still sovereignly in control of it all.

Divine sovereignty is not the sovereignty of a tyrannical Despot, but the exercised pleasure of One who is infinitely wise and good! Because God is infinitely wise He cannot err, and because He is infinitely righteous He will not do wrong.

A.W. Pink

What happens in your life is not an accident, dear friend. It is not a coincidence. It is not a mistake. And it is not apart from God’s loving consent as He skillfully paints the handiwork that makes up your life.

God’s sovereignty is the thread that is woven throughout the Bible.

Job 42:2 is one of my favourite verses in the Bible, because he reassures the likes of you and I so well:

I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

When the truth of “So it was God…” dawned on me, I began to make sense of life. The peace of knowing that nothing can or does happen to you and I without His loving approval, is almost too wonderful to comprehend.

You can rest in this knowledge, dear one. The Lord reigns!

A book I highly recommend on the subject is Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts, by Jerry Bridges.

For Part 4 of this series, please head here: Dealing With Grief – A Practical and Powerful Tool

Tweetables:

God orchestrates every tiny detail and circumstance of your days (<–Click to Tweet)

Satan may be allowed certain reign in your life but God is Supremely Sovereign (<–Click to Tweet)

God’s sovereignty is the thread that is woven throughout the Bible (<–Click to Tweet)

How would fully trusting God and believing in His loving sovereignty change the way you approach life? I’d love to hear your insights?

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Tehila is an Israeli, God-loving, husband-serving, child-nurturing mom of five sweet little ones whom she homeschools. She resides in beautiful New Zealand from where she blogs at Women Abiding – Encouraging women to abide in God and His Word.
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About womenabiding

Tehila is an Israeli, God-loving, husband-serving, child-nurturing mom of five sweet little ones whom she homeschools. She resides in beautiful New Zealand from where she blogs at Women Abiding – Encouraging women to abide in God and His Word.
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44 Responses to Can You Really Trust God? (Grief Series Part 3)

  1. Beth says:

    I’ve been reading lately through 1st Samuel and God keeps bringing my attention to the many times He was sovereign in the life of Saul and David. Your reminder from Job, “… no purpose of yours can be thwarted” is so true and is something I’m daily being encouraged by. Thanks so much, Tehila, for being another reminder, another “voice” proclaiming God’s goodness and strength. I pray God continues to bless your efforts to encourage others with this story and that you’ll continue to feel God’s healing touch because of your vulnerability here, my friend.

  2. momstheword says:

    That first response that someone told you surprised me. I have never really heard that one before, that some people believe that it is OUR responsibility to bind Satan. God binds him and God holds him back, it’s his responsibility, not ours. Of course, we can pray along those lies of binding his power when things come up along the way, but we don’t need to fear that he will run around unleashed if we don’t!

    I don’t know if I told you but a month ago a long time friend of ours was murdered. (I didn’t mention it on my blog and I had blog posts already lined up so only missed one day of blogging).

    Anyway, the day we found out I was sad and upset, of course. But I also struggled with my feelings about his murderers. It’s hard not to feel angry. Yet I knew that dwelling on THEM was going to be a problem for me because it would lead me to dwell on how he was murdered too, and that would just be more upsetting.

    Sometimes you feel like if you could just UNDERSTAND why someone did something like that or why something happened, you would feel better. But some things just can’t be understood.

    We live in a sinful world. But fortunately, God is sovereign as you said! Thanks so much for linking up to the “Making Your Home Sing Monday” linky party today, my friend! 🙂

  3. Meg says:

    It’s in times where things just don’t make any true sense where I simply have to lay it back at the cross and say “Thy will be done.”

  4. Jennifer says:

    Your painter analogy is interesting. I’ve also heard of our life being like a tapestry. We may see a few threads at a time, but God knows the beautiful picture He planned.

  5. Mai Bateson says:

    Very True. Very Inspiring! The article clearly depicts the Bible verse from Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Stay blessed everyone! 🙂

    Visiting you from the Happy Wives Club Link Up.

  6. Janis Cox says:

    Hi,
    What a tough topic. Thanks for your encouraging words from Scripture. I love: When the truth of “So it was God…” dawned on me, I began to make sense of life.
    Yes – God. And in faith we continue not understanding everything but knowing Who is in charge.
    Thanks for linking to Sunday Stillness,
    Blessings,
    Janis http://www.janiscox.com

    • womenabiding says:

      Thank you for your encouragement, Janis. We have so much more to learn and understand of God and His infinitely wise ways. As His precious Word says in 1 Corinthians 13, I believe, “Now we know in part, but then we shall know fully!” We do believe by faith though that God is indeed over all! So much appreciate your comment. Blessings, dear one.

  7. I think when you deal with any sort of grief, this is what the foundational issue is. Do you really trust that God is in control and that you can trust him? If you can, then you’re 90% of the way to healing.

    • womenabiding says:

      Absolutely, Loren! If back then I would have been at the place where I trusted God completely, and understood His sovereignty and wisdom more, it would have saved me literally years of pain along the way. I totally agree with you, brother! God bless you and your family today and always.

  8. Dee says:

    I lost my sister 22 years ago in a terrible murder. I miss her so much its physically painful at times. Even now all these years later. The last thing I remember her saying to me was one night I was running away from home…again. (abusive father) and my sister tried to grab my arm and shouted after me…You don’t know Jesus. That’s why your so mad. Youdont know Jesus. Of course I thought she was nuts and I left but it wasn’t long after her death that summer that those words haunted me in my grief and anger. I sought God and to this day I feel I am still slowly getting to know Jesus. Thank you for this post. God Bless.Dee

    • womenabiding says:

      Oh, Dee! I am so sorry to hear this, and I’m thankful that through all the pain and heartache, God has been drawing you to Himself, using the difficult circumstances, bringing good out of it all. Please stay tuned for next week’s post, since I truly believe it will be ground-breaking on your grief journey. I so much appreciate you sharing your story. 22 years may sound like a long time to alot of people, but I know it’s not, dear friend. With my love and hugs to you…

  9. Hazel Moon says:

    Thank you for sharing at “Tell Me a True Story.” There are so many “WHY” questions that we have now that will never be totally answered until we reach heaven. In the meanwhile we MUST trust God to work it out and bring us comfort. I for one if there were two choices, who does the terrible things that happen to us? God or Satan? I would vote the devil – some how some way Satan was at fault. Never blame your sister, as bad things happen where no human can be blamed. It makes me sick when people say, God needed your loved one in heaven so he took them early! No it wasn’t God who did that. In the background Satan laughs and claps his hands with glee every time we believe it was God’s doing. However it is God who can and will bring us through it all.

    • womenabiding says:

      Thank you for your input, Hazel. As I said in the post, I’m still figuring this whole thing out, but it’s always good to hear where other folks are in the process. Thank you for your faithful friendship here. Blessings…

  10. These three posts are so helpful and I have really appreciated them. Thanks so much, Tahila!!

  11. David Rupert says:

    I wonder if sometimes things happen out of a natural order.
    I know you concluded that there are no accidents…but I do see dotted line consequences with some of the things that happen.

    For example, last month, I decided to turn over and sleep a little more, which made me late for work. While driving, i got a speeding ticket. Nobody’s fault but mine — can’t blame God, can’t see Satan in it either.

    But in your tragedy, i wouldnt dare make that dotted line relationship. Sometimes there are just accidents, but it’s in our healing and our trust and our faith that God makes good out of them.

    Thank you for telling your story and helping all of us wrestle with the inherent difficulties

  12. I just read on another site a quote I thought was pretty fantastic: (paraphrasing because I can’t remember exactly but it was a Tim Keller quote) “Keep the thoughts you would have if you fully trusted God.” Meaning, if you fully trust God to handle a situation, you don’t worry about it, your thoughts are all good.

  13. Nicole says:

    What a wonderful post! So encouraging too! I am a new from southern charm! I would love for you to check out my blog and hopefully follow me back! Nicole

  14. Falen says:

    I remember nagging to a friend about how hard it was, how unfair it was, how painful it was, and she reminded me, “Honey, the Bible is full of people who thought the same thing. Isn’t that what the Bible is about? Hope and Love regardless of circumstance?” I’ll never forget her saying that.

    Beautiful post!

  15. Tracy says:

    Hi Tehila, wow, tough post, but such great encouragement here. I too believe that God can be trusted. I would rather go through what I have to go through WITH God than without Him
    God bless
    Tracy

  16. What happens in your life is not an accident, dear friend. It is not a coincidence. It is not a mistake. And it is not apart from God’s loving consent as He skillfully paints the handiwork that makes up your life.

    How beautiful and how hard life is! Yet God is God and He is good even when events rip our hearts out and we can’t fathom why. I am so very sorry for the tragic losses you suffered. Unimaginable. May His grace and peace continue to heal your heart and may you keep sharing your story to help others along their way.

    God bless you always…

  17. Anita says:

    Hi Tehila,

    Thank you for your post my friend. I agree with every word you shared. I believe we can trust our Lord with everything, for His plan for our lives gives us hope for our future. There are many things I could stay trapped in the whys – why did that happen? But once I released that and stood in grace, I come to understand how everything comes together for God glorious purposes. It’s hard. So hard. But we are not alone in our pain or grief, as we hold our hand out to hold the gift of grace, mercy, love. For every tear we shed, if we search for God through the pain, we will blossom, as our dependance on Him grows. We have to be careful what we focus on. Fear or unfailing love? I choose unfailing love.
    Blessings.

  18. Linda Stoll says:

    I’ve got no choice but to trust Him … there’s just no other way for me to go!

  19. Rosey says:

    I saw this post on Freedom Fridays and wanted to click over to read it. It’s really a great post. Thank you for sharing it.

  20. hi friend. first of all, i’m so desperately sorry for the loss that you’ve endured. oh, it seems so unfair. but you are right. the Lord is sovereign. and he is merciful. and he is love. i’m leaning on these truths this week as i lost my baby at eight weeks. thank you.

    • womenabiding says:

      Emily! I am so sorry about your recent loss… May God truly be your comfort. I love seeing you around here and pray that He will be the lifter of your head… <3

  21. Sylvia says:

    This is what I always cling to! I MUST believe that no matter what, God knows what’s going in and He’s in control. For whatever reason, He has allows certain things to happen. He knows what’s best and He knows what He’s doing!

  22. Marty says:

    Beautifully shared! Such a difficult thing to comprehend that God is in control of even the bad things. You took a very difficult subject and clearly and easily made your point.
    May the peace of Christ be with you this day!

  23. Nikki says:

    Very touching, very insightful. Thank you for sharing,
    Nikki

  24. sue says:

    Plan to share this with a neighbor! Thanks for sharen with us at One Sharendipity Pl. this weekend!

    sue @the2women.com

  25. Betty Taylor says:

    If you can’t trust God, who can you trust? I enjoyed your post! I am visiting from Harvest of Friends Blog Hop.

    http://agutandabutt.blogspot.com/

  26. This has been such a great series! Surprised you were able to wrap it up in just three. Thanks for inviting me here each week to partake.

  27. Kasey says:

    I love the illustration with the painting. You have put together an extraordinary, thought-provoking article here! Praise the Lord that He has walked you through this intense grief experience!

  28. Ruth says:

    Really appreciated this post. You have written it so well. I find such strength in the firm belief that our lives are very much in the hands of a sovereign God. While I , like you, would never claim to understand that fully or to be able to explain the details of that I firmly believe that no “accident” or “act of Satan” could ever take my life or the lives of those around me. When I am tempted to think that a loving God “wouldn’t do this” I look to the cross where God ordained the death of His own dear Son, to bring about His good and loving purposes for His people. While Satan certainly thought he was having his way, and Judas and the leaders of Israel were not innocent, scripture in so many places assures that God had ordained this from before the foundation of the world and it was only when Jesus ” bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” (Jn 19:30) that He died. Psalm 139:16 tells us that, “all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” This could not be a firm truth unless our last day was in God’s sovereign control. It is one of my deep desires that my children will hold this truth firmly too. May God bless this post and use it greatly in many people’s lives.

    • womenabiding says:

      Dear and precious Ruth, please forgive me for this very late reply. Somehow your comment was hidden in my inbox. I loved the valid and true points you made, and I can’t wait for my readers to read your words, as they so much enhance the thoughts in my post. You are a blessing! Would love to see you around here again xx

  29. Such a great time to revive this post. The Thanksgiving and Christmas season can be so challenging for those who are walking through grief.

  30. God is supremely in control of our lives. He gave us the same power in genesis. Let us create man, In our own image…And God did, and gave us to power to Rule and Reign to Dominate all on this planet, so yes we can Bind Satan. yet why do a job that was done already at Calvary. effectively Satan was defeated in his lair. Jesus descended into hell and fought our every battle and WON. he arose and went to prepare a place for us in paradise. In the meantime we simply must have Faith in God’s lan for our lives, whatever happens. We must think of all those things wonderful, beautiful righteous, love, gentle, isnt that what We are told. Because we then attract those things into our lives. So sorry for your loss, my dear. Yet I urge you ad encourage you to continue focusing on the Lord our Jehovah! For he alone can deliver a JOB victory into our lives.
    Thank you for sharing at the Pit stop!

    ~Julie syl

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