With fear and anxiety at every turn, Christians are being encouraged to trust in the Lord and not to yield to the stress that distracts and confuses our walk with Him. It is good advice of course, but I suspect that for some people it appears rather like an encouragement to exercise more will power and to try to think more positively.
What’s missing? Perhaps the answer lies in the familiar words of the Psalmist, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3) If our confidence in God has no solid foundation, but rests on little more than vague sentiment, then it is no wonder that a constant faith seems so difficult and elusive.
It need not be so. I can trust in the Lord because He has committed Himself to me. How has He committed Himself? Through the sacrificial death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Once I see the magnitude and the wonder of that great event and its power to save sinners, and once I realise why it was necessary and how unworthy and lost I am apart from it, then the grace of God has real substance, being anchored even in our own history. It is no mere sentiment – it is an almost tangible reality.
When we understand something of the power of God to save in the gospel, to trust Him during a crisis seems like a very natural and reasonable thing. “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
And so doctrine (that much despised word) proves to be essential if I am to stand strong and walk worthy of Him “who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).