Tag Archives: faith

Trust Issues – Part 2

Of Trust and Trees (When Trust is Misplaced)

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / kosmos111

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / kosmos111

Once burned by misplaced trust, many will turn inward, trusting only in themselves. I tend to withdraw and disengage for a while when I have been betrayed. I take a step back and watch the world through wary eyes. God doesn’t want us to go through life suspicious, angry, or resentful — but he does want us to place our trust in him alone.

“With all your heart you must trust the Lord and not your own judgment.”  (Proverbs 3:5 CEV)

“And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.”  (Psalm 9:10 ESV)

Trust placed in God will never be betrayed. He will not let us down. Not only can we trust him in all things and in all ways, he will help us. We can let go of our vengeful attitudes, knowing that God will make it all right in the end.

“Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.” (Psalm 37:5-6 NLT)

“Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” (Romans 12:19 MSG)

God wants us to put every bit of our faith in him — not in our family members, or our closest friends — or even our spouses. Every relationship in our lives should be secondary to our relationship with him. While we know this in theory, it’s not as easy to put into daily practice as we’d often hope. We are to love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind. (Luke 10:27) All of it.

“Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!” (Psalm 40:4 ESV)

Unlike the desert wastelands we experience when we place our trust in flawed humans, if we trust in the Lord, we are like lush trees surrounded by life-giving water. Our obedience will be rewarded. There are no worries if our trust is placed correctly. Instead of struggling to get by, our growth will be constant and we can focus on bearing fruit.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV)

Do you have unresolved trust issues? What can you do today to trust God more? 

 

 

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Trust Issues – Part 1

Of Trust and Trees (When Trust is Betrayed)

© Can Stock / kamchatka

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / kamchatka

Have you ever been betrayed by someone close to you? Someone you believed you could trust? A parent? An employer? A pastor? A mentor? A good friend? A spouse? All of the above? I’ve been let down more times than I can count, yet I am repeatedly surprised when my trust is betrayed. The closer we come to placing our faith in a trusted friend or family member, the deeper the treachery cuts. Trust seems like a good thing, but is it?

“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.”
(Psalm 118:8 NIV)

When the betrayer is in a position of authority, it’s particularly disturbing. We want to be able to hold those in leadership — especially Christian leadership — to a higher standard. It seems like a right we should be able to claim, but is trusting others what the Bible teaches us to do?

“Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.” (Psalm 146:3 NLT)

“Let everyone beware of his neighbor, and put no trust in any brother, for every brother is a deceiver, and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.” (Jeremiah 9:4 ESV)

Love your neighbors, yes. But trust them? Not so much. We can’t put our faith in mankind. When Jesus walked among us, he performed miracles and people began to believe in him, but he knew better than to trust in men — even his closest friends and disciples. He knew they would ultimately betray him.

“But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.” (John 2:24-25 ESV)

There are times in our lives when we must rely on others, but we must be very careful where we place our confidence. God likens those who place their trust in humans to a bush in the wastelands. It’s not a pretty picture.

“Do not trust a neighbor; put no confidence in a friend. Even with the woman who lies in your embrace guard the words of your lips. For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—a man’s enemies are the members of his own household.” (Micah 7:5-6 NIV)

This is what the Lord says: Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord. That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.” (Jeremiah 17:5-6 NIV)

Ouch — harsh! If I put my faith in an earthly source, I will always be disappointed. Always.

When is trust good? (Return tomorrow for a more uplifting view of trust!)

Where have you placed your trust and how has your choice affected your life? 


Change

Speed

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The older I get, the more I struggle with change. In my twenties, I craved it. In my thirties, it was still new and exciting. But now, pushing fifty … not so much. And it happens faster than ever these days.

I had a great-aunt who was born in 1880s and lived into the 1980s. The child of pioneers, my Aunt Ora traveled across the prairie in a wagon. She also witnessed the advent of television, computers and space travel. Although from my perspective, she always looked the same—with neatly-coifed silver hair, a pillbox hat, a prim dress and no-nonsense shoes—she had experienced amazing change in her lifetime.

Two generations behind her, I have still seen substantial change. My childhood was spent largely playing outdoors, unencumbered by any electronic devices. My first boyfriend did have an Atari Pong game, but it wasn’t enough to distract him for long. I watched my first VHS video at a high school party. My world was rocked when I got my hands on the brand new Macintosh SE my last year of college. I even managed to finish college without once having a conversation interrupted by a cell phone call.

Now, in a career that has spanned more than 25 years, I’ve owned more computers and software upgrades than I can count. At first, I latched onto each new innovation with anticipation. At any given moment, I could take advantage of a smart phone, my beloved Kindle, my laptop or my desktop computer—or a combination simultaneously. Now, I’m over it. I admit it. I’m tired. I just want to get off the ride. This city girl has moved to the country. We live in a cellular dead zone. And I love it. I crave a simpler life.

In this fast-paced, ever-changing world, it’s comforting to know that our God never changes. We can count on him no matter what. Amid the swirling sands of change, we have a foothold.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

In this imperfect world, change isn’t always for the better—but Bible scholar, Arthur Pink, nailed it for me when he wrote: “God cannot change for the better, for He is already perfect; and being perfect, He cannot change for the worse.” Unlike the shifting environment our lives are tossed by, there is One we can count on—a constant, soothing source of peace we can rely on.

Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. Psalm 62:6

Where you do find comfort when constant change starts to wear you down?

I'll admit it. These days, I'd often rather just stay in my safe, little cocoon.

I’ll admit it. These days, I’d often rather just stay in my safe, little cocoon.


No Luck

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Do you believe in coincidence? Life is full of a million variables. At any second our life could launch in countless different directions. Each small decision has the potential to greatly impact the rest of our lives.

There was a time in my life when I did believe in good or bad luck. I thought myself the master (or mistress) of my own destiny. Luck was the superstitious notion or force that could bring good fortune or adversity at random. Now that I am a follower of Christ, I have come to believe that God is in control and there is no such thing as luck. Everything happens for a reason—good and bad.

We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  Romans 5:3-4

The ancient practice of casting lots was not unlike flipping a coin. Although it seemed to border on gambling at times, it was often simply used as a means of being impartial. Casting a lot might seem to imply that the outcome was random, left to chance, without design—but even a random act can be used to fulfill God’s purposes. The book of Acts even mentions that the apostles cast lots to replace Judas.

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD. Proverbs 16:33

Luck is a worldly concept that does not acknowledge God’s sovereignty, but God, in his providence, does not leave our lives to chance. He guides us along a path of purpose, where every aspect of our lives—good or bad—is used as details of a greater plan.

I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things. Isaiah 45:7

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

In the end, all things are orchestrated for our good. Even the things that cause suffering build character in us, teach us perseverance and ultimately give us hope. They teach us to let go of the physical world and to embrace the spiritual world.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.  Romans 8:5-6

Knowing that our lives are not left to chance, we can find peace even in difficulty. When Joseph finally had a chance to confront the brothers that sold him into slavery, he told them: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.” (Genesis 50:20)

No good luck—no bad luck—even the most minor events of our lives have greater meaning than that. I am much more than lucky to be a child of God.

Do you believe in luck?

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