Trusting God is not always easy. It happens when our relationship with God is underdeveloped, when we have a hard time putting our trust in something intangible, or because we’re new to the whole idea of putting our trust in God to begin with because we’re new to the faith. Failing to trust God is inevitable. We fail to trust Him when we worry, when we’re afraid, and most of all when we sin. Some of us may not know what we can trust God with or even how we can trust Him. Anything can apply—finances, health, relationships; but the two things I’ll be focusing on is trusting Him with our safety and preservation.
Everybody has faith. It may not be in the same thing, but we all put our faith in something. The question is not, “Will you have faith?” Instead, the question is, “What will you put your faith in?” What, or whom, is your idol? Whatever we put above God, that thing becomes our idol—it becomes our god. It can be your boyfriend/girlfriend, wife/husband, video games, food (gluttony), the existence of aliens, science, your rationality (ultimately yourself), some personal sins like homosexuality, adultery, pornography, greed, gossip, and the list goes on. Faith in God is putting our trust in His promises and Word because that faith is attached to His promises. The very definition of faith is, “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen… By faith we understand that the universe was created by the Word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible” (Hebrews 11:1, 3). God’s Word promises to protect us, to deliver us from evil, to give us all our needs (if we seek His kingdom first—Matthew 6:33), and He even promises to discipline and chastise us when necessary. These are the happy promises we like to focus on, but He also promises His wrath against the wicked not because it gives Him pleasure (see Ezekiel 18:23), but because that is the punishment for rejecting Him. By faith, we put our trust and hope in the reality of Jesus’ second coming. By faith, we trust that God created the universe out of nothing. By faith, we trust God with the entirety of our lives.
First Timothy 6:17, “Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of their wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy.” We are to put our trust in God and nothing else, for He will provide our needs. It is senseless to put our trust in our wealth and materialistic things because of their uncertainty—they are temporary or unreliable and could be taken away tomorrow. God, however, is certain and remains forever. He is eternal and has proven His care for us since the beginning of creation, not that He needs to prove it, but because it is His very existence and being that proves it in and of Himself.
The prophet Daniel is a great example of having trust in God. Daniel 6:23, “The king was overjoyed and gave orders to take Daniel out of the den. So Daniel was taken out of the den, uninjured, for he trusted in his God.” As Christians, we are all too familiar with the “story” of Daniel and the lions’ den. The first time I read this event on my own many years ago without the guidance of a poorly filmed cartoon, it struck me that the only reason why Daniel was taken out of the den was because he trusted God! How remarkable is it that God saved Daniel simply because he trusted Him? This is evidence that trusting God with our safety can and will keep us safe and even save our lives. If God can do something this remarkable, imagine what He can do with your life.
When I was on a mission trip for flood recovery work in August of 2008, my team and I were helping rebuild a church in Iowa City called the Christian Rock Church. Our music minister, Pastor John Martineau (who was the leader of the team), asked me to go up in a ceiling area and pull some wires. Looking at the destroyed ceiling, I became skeptical of my safety and afraid for my life because it was literally falling apart. The safety precautions had me realise that I could possibly get severely injured or even die in the worst case scenario if the ceiling ever collapsed while I was up there. However, I thought to myself, “Wait, God isn’t going to let me die. He’s not finished with me yet.” After that quick thought and putting my trust in God, my fear immediately vanished and I willingly climbed the ladder into the ceiling.
About thirty minutes later, Pastor John asked me to come down and help him and our other leader, Jim Walcholz, with some wires on that level. On my way over to the ladder, a part of the ceiling collapsed from underneath me. As I fell, my left leg got caught on something and it twisted my knee. I hung for about three seconds. As I was hanging for that brief moment, I swung myself up and grabbed onto the edge of something and just as I got a grip, my foot was immediately released. (How I reacted so fast in that situation, I have no clue.) When I was ready, I let go and landed on my right foot, which was my one good leg. In spite of my injury, my left leg getting caught and my knee simultaneously twisting actually saved my life. If my leg had not gotten caught, one of three life threatening possibilities could have occurred:
- I could have landed head first on the cement floor.
- I could have landed head first on a large, sharp blade from a metal fan.
- I could have landed head first on a sharp metal corner of a furnace that we had just installed the day before.
Pastor John mentioned that while I was hanging, my head was at least one inch above the sharp corner of the furnace. I ended up with a strained MCL (one of three major ligaments in the knee) as well as my knee being sprained at the same time.
That night, we talked about the incident. I can tell you right now that it was not luck. Luck is the most quintessential human delusion. Back where we were staying, we discussed how miraculous my survival was and how it was actually a glorious event. Pastor John was convinced that there was an angel involved. I thought to myself that this was possible, but being new to the faith at the time I didn’t think much of it. The next morning, we went back to the site we were working at and to the area where I fell to examine it. No one had gone near the area since the accident. We examined the ceiling and there was absolutely nothing that could have grabbed on to my leg—no wires, no pipes, just absolutely nothing. Then we looked at the ground to see if there was anything that could’ve fallen after my leg was released underneath all the insulation, but there was still nothing. Another amazing thing that happened during this supposed atrocity is that while I was hanging, all the witnesses said that there was insulation literally everywhere in the air and on the ground (at least five inches thick) as I was hanging from the ceiling, and none of it got in my eyes. This is miraculous because I remember my eyes being open the entire time. I remember hanging upside down and reaching up to grab whatever it was that I grabbed. And I remember, as I landed, grabbing a nearby chair so I could sit down since my left leg was in a lot of pain. If you get insulation in your eyes, you either suffer from permanent blindness or serious damage to the eyes. So that’s miracle number one.
Here’s the second miracle: A fellow team member, Brian Birchmeier (who has a form of autism and because of it is incapable of lying), he mentioned that he saw a bright white light in the shape of a vine—an angel—fly through the nearest door to me at extreme speed, and when it reached me, I immediately stopped falling. The amazing thing about Brian is that in spite of his autism, everything he tells you, he tells you exactly as he sees it; he literally doesn’t lie. He couldn’t describe the angel’s identity entirely other than its shape as a vine because he looked away from the immensity of its brightness. Atheist and even Christian skeptics will say that because of Brian’s autism, his information is unreliable and invalid. If you understood what his autism is, you wouldn’t even say that. What reason does he have to make up a lie like that? It is especially because of his autism that we should believe him because in any other situation, he would never come up to the group and share something, especially something like that. Something compelled him to share this, and it definitely was not for the sake of lying. There is no “rational” explanation for my miraculous survival. Anyone reading this can speculate, but you weren’t there. You can’t ever know. Only those who were there can know. The angel’s presence would certainly explain the lack of pipes or wood or anything else in the ceiling or on the ground that could have caught and held my weight. There was literally nothing I could have grabbed but air. When I think back to that moment, I don’t remember grabbing anything solid. I just reached my arm up in a natural reaction to grab something, something grabbed it, and then I landed on my right leg. Needless to say, God sent an angel to save my life, and I praise Him for it. Because I trusted in my God, He went out of His way to save my life.
My testimony might be a drastic example of trusting God, but you get the point nonetheless: trusting God leads to His action. If there’s anything about my character that I consider a great strength, it’s my trust in God in all affairs of my life. As a current college student, whenever I’m extremely stressed or worried about an exam, I pray for Him to give me a peace of mind, and every single time He calms me. There have also been times when I’ve been in a desperate financial situation, and every single time after praying and trusting that God would help me, I either got money in time or someone would anonymously help me. After the incident, God laid on my heart Psalm 91:11-12, “For He will give His angels orders concerning you, to protect you in all your ways. They will support you with their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Those who say that God does not give us guardian angels because “this verse doesn’t mean that,” after my experience, I cannot believe that lie. The psalm says clearly that God will give His angels orders to protect us, and that’s exactly what God did all those years ago in Iowa. He also laid on my heart Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” The moral of my testimony is that if you trust God in anything, like your safety, He will keep you under His protection. His sending an angel may not be what happens every time, but if the situation requires an angel, He will certainly do so because He’s promised to do that in His Word.
Who knows what might’ve happened if I hadn’t trusted God? Maybe I would’ve died, or if I were fortunate maybe I would’ve suffered from permanent paralysis or severe brain damage, but alive nonetheless. Instead, I trusted Him, and He sent an angel to save me. Why Brian was able to see the angel and no one else was, including me, I’ll never know. As Daniel trusted in God to save his life from death, I also trusted in the same God to save my life from death, and He followed through in both situations. It wasn’t my trust that commanded God’s action. Rather, God chose to act because of my faith—that is, God acted because of my faith. I want you to focus on two psalms. Psalm 62:8, “Trust Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts before Him; God is a refuge for us.” Brothers and sisters, trust God, seek His comfort (the Comforter—the Holy Spirit), and fear not, for God is our refuge in times of trouble and fear. And Psalm 9:9, “The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” If you have fear about anything, whether it’s physical or moral or emotional or spiritual or financial, pray and trust in God. If you’re in fear for your personal troubles, pray and trust in God; never fear. God is our stronghold—He stands firm for each of us in our safety, happiness, and protection; and no one, not even the Devil, can move Him from protecting you and delivering you. These psalms lead us to the ultimate comforting words of Christ, “Come to Me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).