Can We Trust God?
Trust is an elusive commodity. Can we trust in God? Whether we comprehend it or not, fleshing out the answer to that question is the lifelong search in which we all engage. U2 expressed it well: “But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for…”
We keep looking because life seldom comes with everything perfectly scripted. Life is a long series of routines with peaks of joy and valleys of heartaches along the way. There can be stretches of excruciating boredom that cause us to wonder about the deeper meaning of life. Through it all it always comes down to that question: Can we trust in God?
Two inescapable facts: (1) God loves us. (2) We desperately need his love and mercy.
The Hebrew prophet Jeremiah spoke about the benefits of faith in God: “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”
Finding resolution to the trust question happens in stages. It begins at the cross of Calvary, and then becomes an endless process of releasing our dreams into God’s care.
Our outlook moves away from self-absorption as we begin to interpret our lives in light of God’s Word. We learn that the only way to be progressively transformed is by trusting him with the details of our lives.
When we exercise trust we are strengthened, but when we go our own way we experience spiritual atrophy. Growth requires that we invite God to examine our motivations. Then we must be willing to respond in humility and obedience.
Our Hearts Betray Us
However, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak; we want to place our confidence in God, but the reality of life works against unconditional surrender to him. As Christ-followers empowered by the Holy Spirit the intent of our heart ought to be to embrace all that God has for us. Our goal should be to fully trust God in every avenue of our lives, but let's be brutally honest here. Our hearts betray us; we stumble and fail because we live in a fallen creation where the world, the flesh and the devil are our constant adversaries.
Our capacity to be human really has no limitations. We say a critical word; we indulge in a bit of gossip; we laugh at a joke at someone else’s expense, we worry and fret over concerns we've supposedly turned over to God; we fail to respond to the Holy Spirit's prompting to say a kind word to a stranger because we're caught up in hitting a deadline; we grieve the Holy Spirit because we attempt to fix things that belong entirely in his care.
In our moments of unknowing or even willful disobedience, are we no longer disciples? Has salvation been lost to us until we repent or is God's love longsuffering? Is his mercy new and fresh each morning, each moment?
Scripture is absolutely clear that God is always beckoning us to higher levels of trust. He nudges us to keep looking deeper to find more grace; he yearns for us to completely trust him with that area of weakness that so easily entangles us; he urges us to clean out the closets of our hearts and keep them clean.
Welcome To The Human Race
There’s a prickly issue at odds with trust: Sin. Sin is a word that postmodernism has redefined so that it means nothing. We want to relegate sin to the dustbin of an archaic past, but Paul’s counsel to the Romans remains relevant: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Sin is rebellion against the One who loves us and gave his most precious gift to rescue us. We degrade or tarnish everything we touch; welcome to the human race. Yet God’s love for us is undiminished. We can do nothing to escape sin and its consequences except to trust God’s provision in Christ.
Keep Looking, Keep Trusting
We can't pretend to be something we are not with God because he knows us inside out. This should liberate us to a remarkable degree of intimacy, but most of us run from such a close relationship with God. We aren’t quite convinced that he can be trusted. God's gift is free; eternal life in Jesus Christ. He gave it while we were yet sinners, so that we could find the truth: God indeed can be trusted with our lives.
Trust needs to continually work itself out; as we keep looking for it, we keep finding it. When we choose to keep applying it, then little by little, bit by bit it becomes less and less elusive.
- Wanted Man
Wanted Man a.k.a. Ken R. Abell, seeks to be a blessing to others. He's a rake, a rambler, and a teller of tales who understands that there is strength in a story well told and well lived. To learn more, inquire or schedule him, visit this web site.
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