Last night, I got to have a lengthy conversation with a friend about God, faith, and what it means to trust in him. Many analogies were used, many questions raised. What I found helpful about the conversation was the reminder that faith is not primarily about believing a set of data, assenting to a list of propositions (though that isn’t unimportant). The Christian faith is about putting our trust in a personal God who reveals himself to be a loving Father, a gracious Son, and a powerfully present Spirit.
That idea of trust is shot through Psalm 56. David, the writer, is in the midst of awful circumstances, having just been captured by his enemies. But he constantly turns from circumstance to the Lord: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” (56:3-4).
I wonder how I would respond to being placed in David’s situation. No doubt, I would struggle to avoid pointing the finger at God: “You are able to save me from this circumstance. Why are you willing? Are you really good after all? Do you really love me?”
But look at what David writes: “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” (56:8). Rather than self-righteously accuse, he humbly remembers the love and grace of God to him. He sees the love of God so clearly that he pictures the Lord bottling up his tears. So precious, so beloved is he to his Lord, that not one ounce of suffering goes unnoticed.
Do you see God’s love and compassion for you? Do you struggle to see it? Look to Christ! Look at the lengths to which God would go to restore you to himself! God sent his own Son to suffer in our place so that he could call us his own. God knows every last tear you and I have shed, and will remember them until the day when he will “wipe away every tear” from our eyes, when “death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4).
No matter the depth of our sorrow, in Christ there is no tear that will not be wiped away. Trust that. Trust him.