Where Are You, God?
Unshakeable Trust, by Joyce Meyer
A Book Review
“Total trust in God should be our goal, not only because it honors God, but also because the benefits to us are astounding.” –Joyce Meyer, Unshakeable Trust
Sometimes it’s really hard to trust where God is leading us. Especially when you believe you are in God’s will and things seem as if they are just getting worse and worse. I purchased the book, Unshakeable Trust by Joyce Meyer during one of those times in my life where things seemed to be getting worse and worse, and my faith needed a very strong boost. And, a big boost is exactly what Unshakeable Trust gave to my faith, and I hope that my honest review of this resource will do the same for you!
There are so many outstanding takeaways from this book, but I’ll only expound on a few. The first salient point of the book is that “Peace is never found in relying on our understanding.” I thought this was a very profound quote because Joyce enters into the heart of so many people in this chapter by delving into the question, “Does God Allow Suffering?”
The idea that God could allow suffering is something I’ve never really wondered about until recent years, and admittedly, it’s only been related to my suffering. It’s easy to pray for someone else when they are suffering and tell them that “God doesn’t put more on you than you can bear.” But, when you’re the one doing the suffering year after year, and it doesn’t seem to end, you begin to wonder, “God, are you really allowing this? And if so, why?”
Although it’s completely normal to have and ask questions of God, if God doesn’t show us an answer, it can take away our peace. In Unshakeable Trust, Joyce Meyer eloquently expresses that our rationalizing and ultimately the diminishing of our peace is satan’s way of trying to draw us away from our relationship with God. When we begin to start reasoning or trying to rationale what’s happened, that’s when we get in trouble. Our reasoning seems to usually throw us into an emotional tailspin that doesn’t help our situation. What Joyce speaks of in Unshakeable Trust is that we lose our peace when we try to understand things that only God can understand. With that being said, my takeaway from this point in the book is that regardless of what happens, we have to do the work to stay in peace and let God handle every situation for us.
The second point I’d like to extract from Unshakeable Trust comes from the chapter entitled, “Reasons Why We Suffer.” This chapter discusses how it can be doubly hard to bear with a situation if we don’t understand why it’s happening or where God is when the floodgates are opened in our lives. Joyce speaks of the process of spiritual maturation as a means to help us tolerate the most unpleasant of situations. For example, Joyce mentions that suffering is actually beneficial to us. That type of thinking certainly takes some spiritual maturity, and it doesn’t happen overnight, so don’t be too hard on yourself when you feel more than a little discouraged with your situation. One thing I’ve learned on this journey is that even when we have those disappointments and times of discouragement, we have to lean on our trust in God and His track record to help us to get out of our pit. I’ve learned that Joyce is right in this assertion that our suffering is helpful to us because I truly believe that if I hadn’t gone through the many hard things in my life, my relationship with God would not be as strong, and my intentional daily dependence on God would probably be non-existent.
In this same chapter, Joyce brings up the point that “Jesus never asks us to go where He has not been.” ( p. 91) The fact that Jesus has already experienced the ultimate suffering for us means that whatever we face, Jesus has already claimed victory for us. We just have to remember that if our Lord and Savior had to experience pain and suffering on Earth, we are not exempt from it and must strive to endure it through Christ who strengthens us. (Philippians 4:13, NIV)
One of the most profound quotes from the book is, “Whatever you might be going through right now, please know that God is with you and He has a plan for your deliverance and healing.” (p. 99) In this chapter, we learn that just like an earthly parent isn’t pleased when their child goes through pain and suffering, neither is our Heavenly Father. However; he is pleased when we are willing to suffer for His sake. Suffering does not glorify God but keeping a good attitude when we suffer does. Although suffering feels unbearable, the fact that God can be pleased with us while we suffer if we can keep a good attitude provides some solace.
Again, it’s easy to feel abandoned by God from time to time. Even Jesus momentarily felt that God had forsaken him on the Cross, but we have to remember that God’s Word tells us that He never forsakes us in Deuteronomy 31:6.
Whatever you’re going through at the moment, please know you are not alone. God sees our pain, and He hears our cries. He didn’t forsake Jesus at the Cross, and we see how that turned out. Jesus rose from the dead, and that teaches us that nothing is impossible for God and if He loved us enough to send Jesus to die for us in the first place, just imagine how much He loves us and cares about our deliverance. The next time you’re tempted to think, “God, where are you?” think of the following story.
“Footprints” Author Unknown
One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with God. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. One belonged to him and the other to God. When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life. This really bothered him, and he questioned God about it, “You said that once I decided to Follow you, you’d walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why when I needed you most you would leave me alone.” God replied, “My precious, precious man, I love you, and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”
This story teaches us that when we feel the most alone and abandoned by God, it’s during those times that He is carrying us. Because of His promise to always be there, we can have an unshakeable trust in Him, and we never have to wonder where God is when we need Him most.
Keep P.U.S.H.ing, my friends!
If you’d like to purchase the book, Unshakeable Trust, just click the link below. I know it will change your life!
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Meyer, Joyce. Unshakeable Faith. Faith Words, 2017