The two truths God taught me about Himself came by way of the following:
#1 God is intimately involved in every detail of my life—the good and the bad. Nothing happens—no matter how bad it may seem—by accident.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). God does not abandon His children. My temporary pain has an eternal purpose.
#2 What happens to me doesn’t matter nearly as much as how I respond to it. Quietly trusting God is better than loudly defending yourself.
“He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth” (Isaiah 53:7).
#3 Suffering is the best schoolmaster.
“It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees” (Psalm 119:71).
One of the purposes of affliction is to teach us things we would not otherwise know. Until hard times come, our knowledge of God and his Word tends to be rather theoretical, like the man who reads three books on car repair and then opens an auto repair shop. When my car breaks down, I want a man with some grease under his fingernails. If he’s too clean, I worry that maybe he doesn’t have enough experience.
So, from a preacher who has grease under his fingernails, here are the two truths God taught me about Himself:
#1 I AM SOVEREIGN, SO TRUST ME! God is in control. Nothing happens in my life that doesn’t pass through God’s hands first. What a great truth that provides such peace and comfort.
#2 I AM FAITHFUL, SO TRUST ME! God has the power, the resources, and the wisdom to bring about what He has decreed; therefore, I do not have worry or fret about how God will accomplish what He has purposed. I need only to trust Him.
Before 2019 I believed both, but as 2020 dawns I now not only believe them, I know them to be absolutely true.