Trust His Heart (Even When It Hurts)

It's always a challenge to trust someone's heart, whether it's God or our brothers/sisters. But it makes a huge difference in our experience in that relationship; it can make the difference between growth and suffering.

Spurgeon wrote: ‎”God is too good to be unkind. He is too wise to be confused. If I cannot trace His hand, I can always trust His heart.”

When others (whether God or man) do something that we don't understand, or something that hurts, the enemy accuses them before us. He often declares, “Look what they did to you! You can’t trust them! That hurt you! They did it on purpose!” Implicit in his accusation is the assumption that we have the right to judge God, to judge our brother or our sister. The accuser of the brethren accuses them before us, and invites – tempts – us to join in that accusation. He tempts us to join his work against those whom we have trusted.

But we actually have the choice: We can often look past the event to their heart. With God we can say, “I am confident that God will not do something for the purpose of hurting me. If I can't trust my understanding of what He's doing, at least I can trust his goodness; I can trust that he is FOR me! He has my best interests in mind.” And it helps take the sting out of it.

And if our brother or sister does something that we don't understand, something that hurts, we have the option of looking past that “something” to their heart. We can't say that every brother, every sister has our best interests in mind, but often, they do, and yet the enemy still accuses them before us. It is appropriate to look past the thing that we don't understand to their heart.

If we can say, “I don't understand, but I know that they're FOR me,” then we can trust their heart, instead of our understanding of their actions. It doesn't fix the problem (and there will always be problems among human beings), but it takes out some of the sting, and it silences the enemy's accusations, which are much of the source of pain.

Sometimes we have to say, “Yeah, that was stupid, but they didn't know any better.” Maybe it's because they're immature; maybe it's because they didn't know we're fragile in that area; maybe it's because they're going through their own storm right now.

Often enough, I have been led to declare, “I don’t know that they are for me, but I will not assume otherwise. I don’t even know that they didn’t know any better, but I will not assume otherwise. They may have done that to hurt me, but I will not join the enemy’s accusation against them!”

Still the enemy accuses them before us, tempts us to be their judge and jury, tempts us to take our eyes off of Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, and focus instead on the offense, on the pain (real or imagined) that it causes.

If we choose to partner with the father of lies, we will believe his accusation, assume evil of our brother, and join his accusation or resent him, and thus is a “root of bitterness “planted in our heart. We don’t often intentionally choose to partner with the accuser, but if we respond with accusation, resentment, bitterness, then that is in fact the choice we have made. Ouch.

If we instead choose to partner with the Father of Light, then we can choose to trust that in the midst of it all, He has our best interests in mind, trust that he will bring good out of the evil, trust our brother’s heart. I’ve heard some starry-eyed brethren insist that if we’re focused on God, then it won’t hurt. Bosh. That’s denial.

A wound is a wound, and while it’s not profitable to focus on the wound, neither is it profitable to pretend it’s not there. But if we respond in trust – of God, and of our brother – then it’s a lesser wound than the enemy’s plan, and it can be healed more quickly, more completely, and more profitably: we can learn from the wound.

Graham Cooke teaches that the wise response is not to become hard in an attempt to be un-woundable. The wise response is to learn to be healed quickly.

Father, let us respond as Jesus did, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do,” and as Stephen did, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” The devil’s got more than enough followers anyway; I won’t add my name to that list.

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