WINNING THE LOTTERY

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock. [Isaiah 26:3-4 (NLT)]

The story is told of Jack, a man who was definitely down on his luck: his business had gone sour, the bills were mounting, and foreclosure was imminent. Jack turned to God in prayer: “God, I trust you to help me. I’m in dire straits and desperately need financial help. Please let me win the lottery this week.” When the lotto numbers were drawn, however, someone else won. Although Jack’s faithful but desperate prayers went on for three more weeks, he never won the lottery. When the lotto rolled around again, once more Jack desperately prayed: “Lord, I’ve now lost my business, house and car. We’re homeless with nothing to eat. Please help your good and faithful servant; let me win the lotto just this one time.” Suddenly, there was a flash of light, the heavens opened and Jack heard a thunderous voice from above: “Jack, my son, you’ve got to meet me halfway on this. Go buy a ticket!”

As much as we wish it, trusting God doesn’t mean we will always stay out of difficulties or harm’s way nor does it free us of the consequences of our actions or, as in Jack’s case, our inaction. Trusting God means we know He cares and is ever-present; it means we believe that He loves and leads us and intends good for us. Trusting God means doing what God says; it means that we can turn our fears and anxieties over to Him. Trusting God, however, doesn’t mean we can turn our work over to God. Let us never forget that trusting God doesn’t mean we stop toiling or striving while the world collapses around us. Perhaps, when it seems God has forgotten us, it’s not because He’s failed to do His part; it’s because we’ve failed to do ours!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. [Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)]