Summary: Faith is more than believeing. It is acting on what we believe and trusting that God will do what He says he will do, even in the area of our finances.
The New Year has come and we made our resolutions. Promises to be better, promises to do things, promises, promises, promises. As for me and my house, we have resolved to Trust God more.
When our son Matt was a toddler, washing his hair was always a problem. He would sit in the bathtub while Loretta put shampoo on his hair. She would wet his hair to make it lather. Matt would then put his head down and the soap and water would run into his eyes. This caused pain and tears. She explained that if he would just lift his head up and look at her, this would not happen. He said O.K. but as soon as she began to rinse his hair, he would put his head back down; the soap would run into his eyes causing pain and tears. It makes me think about our relationship to God. We know He loves us and we believe we can trust HIM, but sometimes in a difficult situation, we panic and turn our eyes away from HIM. This never solves the problem, in fact, it makes the situation worse, and we become afraid as our fear blinds us from trusting HIM.
Even though Matt knew we loved him, he had a hard time trusting us in a panicky situation. We knew we could protect him, but convincing him was not that easy when all he could see was the water coming down and knowing the soap would sting his eyes. His lack of trust hurt us, but it would hurt him more. He would suffer the pain of the soap stinging his eyes. I am sure our lack of trust hurts God very much, but how much more does it hurt us?
The Bible tells us to lift up our head to God when problems come. He knows how to protect us if we remember to listen to Him. Now when I find myself in a situation where it would be easy to panic, I picture Matt sitting in the bathtub looking up at Loretta, learning to trust us or me. Then I ask God what should I do. Sometimes the answer is scary, but one thing I am sure of, God will never pour shampoo in my eyes.
One of the areas we must trust God more in is the area of our giving. I have heard it said, “Giving to the church is like pouring money down a bottomless pit; you give and give, but they are never satisfied.” Why do we bristle at the mention of giving? Maybe it is because of disagreements with church leaders over how the money is spent. Maybe it is because deep inside, we are still selfish and would rather spend our money on ourselves. Maybe our biggest concern over giving is fear of the future. We’re afraid that if we give away too much we won’t be able to make ends meet. We’ve all read and heard the promises of God in His word how He will meet all of our needs. Yet we assume these passages aren’t to be taken literally about physical needs. Instead, we reason that these promises must be limited to spiritual blessings.
The world’s economy is ever changing. Life is uncertain and survival is difficult one author said. However, God teaches us that he is not bound by our economy, he is not bound by our limitations, He teaches us that He always provides. Not always in ways that we expect, but He is faithful. Everything in the universe is His and at His disposal. He will generously reward faithfulness. He is just waiting for our trust. Proverbs 3:5 says PR 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding
Paul writes in 2 Cor 9:10-11 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us, your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
I remember a story about a tourist who was visiting the Grand Canyon. He got a little too close to the edge 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 scrubby bush that he desperately grabbed with both hands. Filled with terror he called out toward heaven, “IS there anyone up there?” A calm and 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 am dangling in space holding on to a bush that is about to let go.” The voice from heaven said “Do you believe?” “Yes I believe,” replied the tourist. “Do you have faith?” “Yes I have faith,” replied the tourist, “I have strong faith.” The voice from heaven then said, “Well in that case, simply let loose of the bush and everything will turn out fine.” There was a tense pause, then the tourist yelled, “Is there anyone else up there?” (author unknown).