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Trust God

I run in the path of God’s commandments, for he has broadened my understanding.

Psalms 119:32

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:18

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Hebrews 11:1

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The Free Burma Rangers are not just motivated by love—they are also carried along by faith. They are “sure of what [they] hope for and certain of what [they] do not see.” (Heb 11:1) Their faith can inspire our own in at least four ways…

Trust God’s presence in the midst of tragedies. Says one Ranger: “When bad things happen, I dare not complain. I believe where there is suffering—God is there. He will show us the way to go through.” Without faith, we notice the absence of God in atrocities. But with faith, we can discern the presence of God in them. He is not behind the evil or suffering that is happening, but he is present with compassion and comfort in the midst of it, ready to reach into the lives of hurting people.

Trust God’s promises in the midst of despair. Says Karen: “When I look around, it’s just despairing. But Jesus has promised things that are better than the reality we see. And if you cannot rely on that promise, what is there to rely on? There’s no human answer that’s going to get you through the next day.” Evidently, Karen follows the example of the apostle Paul who said, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Cor 4:18)

Trust God’s plan in the midst of many distractions. As we trust God’s goodness, we can say no to the things that threaten to side-track us, dilute our focus or drain our energy. As Dave says: “I want to say no to the swamp of sin that gets me bogged down and no to the swamp of good things that God didn’t ask me to do that will also bog me down.”

Trust God’s pathway in the midst of life’s brevity. Dave inspires us to “run in the path of God’s commandments” (Ps 119:32) when he reveals to us what makes him tick: “You only have one life, you might as well go for it… because what have you really got to hold onto? You’re going to lose your life anyway. So I say yes to all the good things God has for us. I want them. And anything useful to do that I can do, I would like to do it… I want to say yes to that line God has for me, which I believe has no caution lights. It’s green, so go as fast as you want to go. How much faith do you have? Go! That’s what I want to do.” 

REFLECT

Which of these four ways of trusting God is most relevant to you right now:

  • Trusting God’s presence in the midst of tragedies?
  • Trusting God’s promises in the midst of despair?
  • Trusting God’s plan in the midst of many distractions?
  • Trusting God’s pathway in the midst of life’s brevity?

More

Hope on a Rope

The final rescue scene in the documentary has a way of searing itself into our imagination and memory. A woman, named Iman, shot days before, lies nearly dead in open rubble under the scorching sun. She lifts her hand and quietly calls for help from the Free Burma Rangers. Dave realizes that rescuing her will likely reveal to the ruthless ISIS soldiers the hidden position of the Rangers, and all the wounded people they are carrying to safety. Understandably, his first prayer is that God takes her life. But God intends to bring hope where there is none: his hope comes in the form of a rope. We can learn four things about finding hope when we are in a hopeless situation…

Greater Love

In the documentary’s most nail-biting and heart-stopping scene, Dave is exposed to the murderous fire of ISIS snipers as he seeks to rescue a little girl named Suria who is out in the open, sitting beside the mother she has just lost. Dave’s courageous act of love can inspire the way we love and serve others in several ways.

Crossing Lines

Birds of a feather tend to flock together. We tend to build relationships with, and prefer to serve people, like ourselves. But Jesus came to mix things up—leading his people to cross geographic, cultural, ethnic, religious and socioeconomic lines for the sake of community and service. The first century world was as divided as our own, yet God’s Spirit brought about spiritual community between “Jews … Gentiles … Scythians.” (Col 3:11)

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