Summary: Trust issues; many of us have them. Yet I think everyone trusts in something or someone. In God We Trust is written on our money yet ironically more americans trust in money than they do God. Let's see why trusting in God is the much wiser choice.
In my last series, I focused on the places where Jesus said, “I tell you the truth”. But in order to accept what Jesus said we need to trust that he knows what the truth is. Jesus said to Pilate, “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me”, to where Pilate replied, “What is truth”. He wasn’t willing to trust that Jesus was it. Everyone trusts in something or someone. Ironically, in God we trust is written on our money yet I guarantee the majority of Americans trust money more than they trust God. Let’s take a look at the issue of trust.
1) Wavering trust.
Interestingly, the first place we see the word trust is in Exodus when God delivered the Israelites out of Egypt. As the Egyptians were chasing the Israelites they came to the Red Sea. Moses stretched out his staff and God parted the sea. The Israelites crossed on dry ground but when the Egyptians tried to cross the Lord swept them away as he closed the sea back up.
Witnessing this event changed the Israelites. Exodus 14:31, “And when the Israelites saw the great power the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.” For many people, the Lord does something extraordinary in their lives and then they put their trust in him.
However, as we will see, this trust can be short-lived when trouble comes again. When trust is based on witnessing something unexplainable it can be based on an emotional feeling-the wow factor. So when that event fades into the sunset and life sets in again, that trust has a tendency to dissipate; especially when a hardship strikes.
Ex. 16:1-5. Vs. 4-explain that they weren’t to keep any until morning but some did and it was full of maggots. They were instructed to get twice as much on the six day and rest on the Sabbath but some went out to collect anyway-lack of trust in what God had said.
The Israelites grumbled again a short time later when they arrived at Rephidim and there was no water to drink. So, God gave them water to drink when Moses struck the rock.
When the spies were sent out to assess the condition of the Promised Land, Joshua and Caleb brought back a good report but the other ten spies were afraid because the people there were big thus they convinced the rest of the Israelites that there was no way they could survive if they tried to take over the land of Canaan. Deut. 1:26-33. And because of this persistent mistrust they were not allowed to enter into the land the Lord was giving them; their children would inherit it instead.
True trust in God is not simply based in circumstance. It’s not something that comes and goes with each passing test. It’s one thing to trust God after the miracle happens but will we trust him before the miracle happens? The Israelites showed that their trust was not a solid one.
2) Trust me.
Prov. 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Lean not on your own understanding-in other words, ‘don’t trust yourself’.
Prov. 28:26, “He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.”
We lean on our own understanding in many ways-how to manage our finances, how to conduct our relationships, how to handle situations, things like that. But we also lean on our own understanding when it comes to God. Instead of looking to the bible for answers on who God is and what he wants from us we trust in our own understanding of God and what he wants from us.
Some think God wants nothing more from us except to try to be a good person. Therefore, some trust that at the end of it all they’re going to heaven because they were a good person; even though the bible doesn’t say that. So, what will we trust in-what the bible says or what we think? We shouldn’t trust in our own understanding when it comes to God, eternity or life in general for that matter.
But, in order to trust God I have to accept that I don’t have the answers; I have to accept that God knows better than I do. That means letting go-letting go of my pride, letting go of what I think is right, letting go of my way of doing things. Letting go and embracing the wisdom and knowledge of the one who knows and sees everything.
Don’t be like the tourist who came too close to the edge of the Grand Canyon. He lost his footing and plunged over the side, clawing and scratching to save himself. After he went out of sight and just before he fell into space, he encountered a bush which he desperately grabbed with both hands. Filled with terror, he called out toward heaven, "Is there anyone up there?" A calm, powerful voice came out of the sky, "Yes, there is." The tourist pleaded, "Can you help me?” The calm voice replied, "Yes, I can. What is your problem?" "I fell over the cliff and I’m dangling holding to a bush that is about to give way. Please help me." "The voice from above said, "Do you believe I can help you?" "Yes, yes, I believe."’ "Do you trust me?" "Yes, yes." The calm voice said, "Well then, I want you to simply let go of the bush and everything will turn out fine." There was a tense pause, then the tourist yelled, "Is there anyone else up there?" Let go and trust God.