Tiffany Ann Lewis: Trust vs. Disappointment...Who Wins?
As I sat quietly in worship before the Lord, the Holy Spirit brought forth a vision of a large mound before me. It was a mountain of pain that contained all of my past, present, and even future disappointments. The mountain was blocking my worshipful experience. It was hindering me from getting to that sweet place in the Spirit, which I love so much, where the cares of the world melt away in His presence.
I wanted to ignore the mountain that was looming in front of me and just worship. I tried to move to the left or the right in order to get around it, but each way I turned the mountain of pain was directly in front of me. I didn't want to think about my disappointments, nor did I want to deal with the pain I experience when I do. I wanted to think about my Jesus and get lost in worship. The presence of God was heavy and I was engulfed in His love; but the pain was present too, so I wanted to dance, so to speak, around the mountain.
Pain is not pleasant, therefore I was trying to speak to the mountain and cast it into the sea, but it didn't work. Suddenly, Jesus was standing between me and the mountain. He took me firmly by the shoulders, halting my motion and said, "Tiffany Ann, stand still and know that I am God."
"Yes Lord, I know, that's why I just want to worship," I replied, attempting to dance away again. But He wouldn't let me. Over and over again He brought me back to the mountain of my pain. Finally figuring the Lord had something to say, I stopped trying to get away. In the stillness, He asked, "Tiffany Ann, do you trust Me here? Here, in front of this mountain? Do you trust Me with your pain? Do you trust Me with your disappointments?"Selah...
Walking in Both Trust and Disappointment
As tears rolled down my cheeks the Lord taught me about walking in both trust and disappointment. The primal instinct to pain is fight or flight. We'll either fight down the pain or run from it. That's why I was trying to "dance around" the mountain. I was trying to avoid the pain of my disappointments. The problem with that is when we run, we are running away from God not to Him.
Sadly, in this life there are times in which what we are hoping for slips through our grasp, and our heart is broken into thousands of pieces. For the Believer, admitting this type of disappointment often becomes a battle of the soul; and in this vulnerable place the individual might wonder if they really trust God or not. This type of battle only serves to add painful guilt to already spiraling emotions. At times like this we may find ourselves hiding our real feelings from God. We may feel ashamed to let Him know what is going on deep in our heart, for surely if we trusted God we wouldn't feel disappointed, right?
Wrong. Experiencing disappointment does not necessarily reveal a lack of trust. What it reveals is a disappointment, and we don't need to hide it from Him. That is just another lie the devil speaks in order to keep us from the love of God. The Lord already knows our thoughts, hurts, and disappointments and He invites us to discuss them all with Him, Come now, and let us reason together… (Isaiah 1:18).
Beloved, we can be real with God; and as we trust Him enough to reveal it, He will heal it. Trusting in God and experiencing feelings of disappointment can walk hand in hand when we are walking hand in hand with God. Let me show you what I mean.
God Will "Cause" Us to Trust Him
There are two root words used in the Old Testament to express "trust." One is batach and the other is chasah. Batach (Strong's #982) is used most often and means: to trust, trust in, to have confidence, to be bold, to be secure. It's interesting to note that this root (batach) takes on a causative verb form. I don't mean to get overly technical here, but it is very important to know what a causative verb means for this all to make sense.
In language, a causative verb indicates the action that is necessary to cause another action to happen. It reveals that somebody/something is indirectly responsible for the action. This teaches us Biblically that God will cause us to trust Him.
Psalm 22:4-5 says, Our fathers trusted in You; they trusted, and You delivered them. They cried to You, and were delivered; they trusted in You, and were not ashamed. God caused them to trust Him through all the signs and wonders that He did in their midst. But let us remember that although they were freed from bondage in Egypt, they were also leaving everything they knew, everything that was familiar to them, and walked blindly through the wilderness, a wasteland that was full of life-threatening circumstances.
Just imagine some of the disappointments the children of Israel must have faced. They had no food, no water, and no home. What they did have, however, was a promise from God; and over and over again He provided for their needs, revealing Himself as a faithful, loving and trustworthy God. Through this provision He caused many to trust Him more and more each day.
Now, this type of hope in God is not some sort of wishful thinking, but a confident expectation and radiates from a heart that has been persuaded one way or another. We see this concept in Romans 5:3-5, ...we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
These tribulations cause us to trust/batach God more. Yes, we hurt, but we don't need to push our feelings down in order to be strong Christians, pretending it's all good, saying, "Praise the Lord, I lost my job but it's all good...praise the Lord." We just need to run to God and receive the strength we need, one day at a time.
Help for the Weary Soul
This becomes possible through our second word for trust: chasah. This word used to define trust is similar, but not the same. There are some shades of meaning found in chasah that may really help the weary soul. Chasah (Strong's #2620) means: to seek refuge, flee for protection, to put trust in God, to hope in God, and to make someone a refuge. Simply said, batach "relies on" where as chasah "takes refuge in." We find a beautiful word picture of chasah in Psalm 57:1 where King David is portrayed as nestling under God's wings for refuge like a baby bird hides under its parent's wings. Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge (chasah), until these calamities have passed by.
Notice how in this psalm David wrote:
"Until these calamities have passed me by." We can think of it as, Until my tribulations produce perseverance, character and finally hope in God, which will not disappoint. They won't disappoint because at the end of it all God's love was poured out through Calvary.
The situation may be disappointing...O, but God. It's interesting to note that chasah is found in the verse that is the middle of the Bible, Psalm 118:8, It is better to trust (chasah) in the Lord than to put confidence in man. How profound that it's chasah that is used here, not batach. You see, if we run away in our pain trying to numb it somehow on our own, we will never fully experience the protective refuge of what it is to chasah/trust in God.
When we run to God seeking shelter in our pain, we will find it. He will be there at the mountain of pain and disappointment spreading His arms wide, inviting us to crawl under His wing and find our rest. When we are "here" in this place we can experience a soothing peace that wells up from deep within. Although all hell may be breaking loose around us, we will be able to declare "it is well with my soul" because we trust Him.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; the God of my strength, in whom I will trust (chasah); my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my Savior...—2 Samuel 22:2-3a
Amen and Amen.
Tiffany Ann Lewis
Dancing with the Flame of the Lord Ministries