…Who can you really trust?
When we became Christians we began a new life. A life of freedom; but also, a life that Christ warned us would have difficulties and struggles.
Why should that be? One reason. Accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior, also restored us as sons and daughters of God; thus making us citizens of God’s Kingdom. And while all that is true, the problem is, …we are still living on planet Earth!
We were not instantly perfected (made sin-free and perfect). Our sins were forgiven and we began a relationship—a process, if you will—with Jesus that will prepare us, over time, for our move to Heaven.
In the meantime, we gradually learn more about God’s Kingdom; and as we do we become more of an alien on earth. We grow more aware that earthly lifestyles and cultures are truly broken, corrupt and sinful. Yet, this is the culture in which we “swim”, and will swim, until we are called to our true home.
The unfortunate truth is that it is simply not possible to live a sin free, trouble-free life on earth! But, God did not leave us without resources; and the Bible is our number one resource. I consider the following scriptures to be four of the most crucial scriptures for developing our trust in God.
*Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. [Proverbs 3:5, NLT]
And that scripture can be backed up with three more…
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” [1Peter 5:7]
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” [Jeremiah 29:11]
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” [Romans 8:28]
Now, speaking from my personal experience, I can tell you it is easy to say, “I trust in God.” It is not always so easy to do. I want to trust God. And, I am getting better at it. But, it hasn’t been simple or easy.
More than once, I’ve been told… “Well, you either trust God, or you don’t.” Excuse me; but… where in the bible are you seeing that? It simply is not that black and white. Although I think Satan would like for us to believe it. After all it’s one of those things that does have a kernel of truth. Satan will jump on it in order to lead you into questioning whether or not you are truly a child of God. Let me give you an example of how this works from my own life.
For me, some things aren’t at all hard to turn-over to God. I can look at something, realize it beyond my capacities, ask God to handle it, and go on my way. Then, when I see that God has taken care of something for me, or paved the way for the two of us to move forward together, I give him the glory. (O.K. Being honest, I have to admit I am sometimes a little slow in giving that glory when I don’t immediately see (or recognize) what God has done. But when I do, I,take care of the oversight right there and then.
Then there are other things I pray about, and tell God I’m giving them to him. And I do, …for a while. Then, I start thinking about it. That leads to worry. (In my case it often involves long-term financial issues). Next, I’m waking-up in the middle of the night and I can’t get back to sleep. Satan is working me over. I’ve become a basket case of worry and fear. I’m not solving a single thing. I close-up, lose patience with people; and in general, become something of a jerk. And yes, I’m setting a very poor example of a Christian life.
Now, let me clear up something. Is my worry a sin? Yes! Does the fact that I’m worrying and not trusting God mean I’ve somehow canceled my status as a Christian? NO! I’m, still saved. Is Jesus happy about my situation? No. BUT, He is with me and ready to pick-me up from where I’ve fallen; brush-off the dirt of this world (and Satan); put an arm around me, and take the reins firmly in hand. All I need do after calling on Him is relinquish control and have faith that I will see the optimal outcome to my problem.
So, let’s go back to those scriptures and see if we can’t find some help in them. The first scripture tells us, “do not depend on your own understanding.” In other words our understanding is flawed. For example, God can see into the future, …I can’t. And, my understanding of what’s really happening in the present, isn’t all that great, either. We need to pray for Kingdom eyes to see with, Kingdom ears to hear with, and Kingdom thought processes..
The second verse says, “…for He cares about you.” Folks, that is saying a lot. God, the Creator of the Universe… Cares. For. Us! And, by the way, it’s not just Christians he cares for. He cares for everyone! But for those who believe in, and love Him, …we get relationship. We need to take every advantage of it. What power that gives us!
The third scripture tells us that God has, “…plans for our good and not for our harm.” His plans are, “…to give us a bright future and a hope.” Is there any doubt in your mind about who has the BEST plans; God, or us? While we’re taking advantage of that relationship we have with God, we need to make sure that through our arrogance or simple lack of faith, we’re not leaving anything on the table.
The fourth verse tells us that our screw-ups or even Satan’s plans for our destruction, can be worked, by God, to the advantage of those who love him and are following his plans. This does not mean that God will always do what we want. God can say, “Yes.” God can also say, “Not yet;” or even, “No.” Happily, I have noticed that frequently, “No,” means, “I have a better plan.” And, that makes this a verse of re-assurance, one we should always carry with us.
And finally, if these scriptures aren’t enough for you, just stop. Clear your mind. Now, think about what God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit have already done for you. God’s plan, Jesus’ sacrifice, the Holy Spirit intervening for you. If that doesn’t boost your faith and trust—check your pulse. I hope it’s not too late.
In 1 Corinthians 13:11, Paul says, “When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.” I suspect that in some ways I still behave like a child (or worse yet, a teenager). This perfecting process takes constant prayer, lessons, and effort. And sometimes, I feel like I’m taking one step forward and two back—yet you are always with me. Thank you!
Lord, I also want to thank you for the lesson you have taught me about worry, and how to stop it in its tracks. That has been an immense help to me. Thank you for reminding me that “worry” and “fear” are Satan’s tools—not yours. Remembering that lesson has helped me more times than I’d care to count. And every time you have been right there, for me.
Lord, I know who has my back, and who I can always trust! Amen.
* Scripture quotations marked [NLT] are taken from the New Living Translation—Life Application Study Bible, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.