Tag: trust

Trust Me

“C’mon, man. You can trust ME.”

You’ve probably heard those words a time or two, haven’t you? “Trust me”. 

Whether spoken by a fast talking used car salesman, a slick politician, or a guy who is trying to put the moves on some unsuspecting chick, words which should carry some of the greatest worth are deemed trite and meaningless. 

Has something happened to the English language? 

No. Just to the human experience.

“Trust me” used to mean, “You can take me at my word. Whatever I say, that will I do. Nothing will keep me from honoring my word. For my word is my bond, and if necessary, I will swear to my own hurt to make sure my word is fulfilled.”

It USED to be, when a person made a deal with someone, they would shake hands; a picture of ‘cutting a blood covenant’ with each other. The handshake signified to each person the seriousness of their solemn oath. They each knew the underlying message to the other was “you can trust me”.

There were far less written contracts needed, or used. 

But these days, contracts aren’t even worth the paper they’re printed on. 

Why? 

Because people, many people, don’t find anything wrong with saying one thing and doing another. Whether it’s a university basketball coach, or a marriage partner; the oath and the contract holds very little value. 

And I’ve discovered something. Those who don’t see the value in keeping their word are the very ones who have a difficult time trusting someone else. 

Now here we are, a nation preparing to elect a new president. Each candidate is trying to gain our trust. They’re saying, “Trust me”, to a nation that really doesn’t know what trust means.

How can a nation trust when they don’t value their own words?

Our currency proclaims, “In God We Trust”, but do we?

This nation doesn’t trust God. If it did, God would be more a part of our world. Evident in our activities, our behavior, our decisions, and our morals. 

We do everything we can to erase even the mention of God from our society and vocabulary. 

Maybe, just maybe, if we started holding OURSELVES accountable to the promises WE make, we just might find the moral fiber and backbone to hold OTHERS accountable for the things THEY’VE promised. 

“Trust me” should be the most powerful oath a person could ever say. But it isn’t anymore. 

Maybe someday. 

“O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart…who swears to his own hurt and does not change.” (Psalm 15:1-4 ESV)

“God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it.” (Numbers 23:19 ESV)

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

Hiding Behind God 

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Every so often I read or hear a statement that really trips my trigger. And I just bet you do, as well.
I recall hearing someone recently say, “Christians are always hiding behind their God.”

Isn’t it amazing? Like, is there anything wrong with that?

Everyone uses someone or something to hide behind. It may be pride, or physical looks. Have you noticed how important physical appearance is for many folks?

Others hide behind their bank accounts, jobs, positions, and such.

You see, there are a lot of ways to cover our insecurities.

Intellect and intelligence, the capacity for knowledge and the ability to use it in a practical sense, can be a hiding place for others. After all, if they can’t figure it out, then how can it be worth knowing; let alone true?

Some dear, God fearing Americans hide behind the United States Constitution. I’m not knocking it. I’m only saying it wasn’t designed to hide behind, but to support a republic type of government; “…that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”

Or, as another writer put it, “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”

There are, quite possibly, scads of people who like to pick out a single Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to hide behind. Some prefer using the Second Amendment as their covering, while others are elated they can now hide behind the SCOTUS’ interpretation of the 14th Amendment.

Yes, it’s true. Everyone, everywhere, whether they know it or not, has a favorite hiding place. 

And yes, this Christian has found God, specifically His Son Jesus Christ, to be the best place to hide. He left His place of comfort and security so I could have a place to hide from the wages of sin.

Hiding behind God through the power of the cross and the glorious resurrection doesn’t make sense.

But it does make a difference in a person’s life.

Both now and forever.

“You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.” (Psalm 32:7 ESV)

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” (Psalm 46:1-3 ESV)

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2 ESV)

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:11-14 ESV)

The Operation

 

imageIf I were to explain to you how I felt, sitting in the Doctor’s office that day, I’m sure you’d understand. Everyone has moments like I was having; pain, uncertainty, confusion, loneliness. I was grateful for everything I’d been given, all I had accomplished, and for the opportunities which were before me.

I was definitely part of something really huge; colossal, in fact!

But something wasn’t right.

No, nothing was wrong with the world, or even my world; everything was great. The problem was with me. The problem was IN me.

So, here I was at my very first doctor visit.

I sat with the Doctor, discussing my symptoms. While he listened, he occasionally scribbled on the small notepad he’d pulled out of his coat pocket, nodding his head as if he knew exactly what I was talking about.

Finally, I finished.

Neither of us said a word.

As we sat silently in his office, he reviewed his notes while I imagined all the things he might say to me. Frankly, I was just a little bit scared.

“You are going to need surgery”, he said, as he lifted his eyes to mine. “You are not well, but if you’ll trust me, I can make you better; perfect, in fact! It will require allowing me to put you into a deep sleep. I’ll make an incision in your chest area, about 10 inches long. There will be some loss of blood, though not a lot.

“I need to remove a something from you; but you have a couple dozen of them anyway, so you won’t miss it. Of course, I need your authorization in order for me to perform the operation.”

“Surgery? I don’t know, doctor. I’ve never had as much as a skinned knee, and now I’m supposed to allow you to cut me open? Surely there’s another way! I mean, how about therapy?”

“Therapy isn’t what you need.”

“Couldn’t I take care of my problem with medicine? I’ve got a great insurance plan.”

“No, I’m sorry. Medicine will not cure you.”

I could almost hear my heart, as it pounded nervously in my chest. An operation? Surgery? Why? And what if something went wrong during the procedure? What if the diagnosis was wrong? Could I really trust the doctor?

As I sat there, my mind racing with questions, I finally had the nerve to ask the question I’d been too scared to ask.

“Doctor, what exactly is wrong with me? Cancer? Pancreatitis? Kidney stones? Why do I need to be cut open, and have part of me removed?”

He smiled as he looked into me eyes, and deep into my heart.

“You need a wife.”

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.

“At last!” the man exclaimed. (Genesis 2:18-23 NLT)

Day Seven

40 Days of Promises

Ever Present God

You are not alone. Even though you may not see or feel anyone near you, God is close by.

And His presence can be your confidence and strength.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah”

“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah”

“Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire. “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah.” (Psalm 46:1-11 ESV)

“A very present help…” That’s one of His exceedingly great and precious promises to you and I. “Lo, I am with you always…”

“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?” (Psalm 139:7 ESV)

The psalmist goes on to say, “If I go to the highest mountain or lowest valley, You are there.”

But do you know what’s the most exciting part of knowing God is near?

The most exciting thing is knowing He is near to help, to comfort, to deliver, to provide and protect.

Just how awesome is that?!?

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me.” (Hebrews 13:5-6 ESV)

He has promised, so we can believe. He has spoken, so we can respond.

What are you saying? Who are you trusting?

Let’s trust the ever present God.

Day Six

40 Days of Promises

Meditate the Word

The Lord gave Joshua everything he needed in order to fulfill all he was called to do. And, basically, it came down to this simple instruction: meditate the Word of God.

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8 ESV)

Meditation, according to the Word of God, is a very personal and powerful thing. For example, to meditate the Word is to ponder it, think about it, mull it over and over in your mind; thinking of different ways to apply what you are reading or hearing.

Joshua’s instructions: speak, mutter, remind yourself over and over all God has told you. Day and night, night and day. Always. That way you will always know what to do, how and when to do it, IF you are to do it.

That bit of information is what would lead to his success and, ultimately, his and Israel’s prosperity.

David knew the meditation principle, as well.

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” (Psalm 1:1-3 ESV)

Just hanging out with the crowd, even a church crowd, won’t guarantee success in the things of God. Success and prosperity (God’s kind) only come from PURPOSELY doing things God’s way.

“Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies…” (Psalm 119:97-98 ESV)

“…Wiser than my enemies…” Wouldn’t that be a great thing to have? More wisdom than our enemies? It’s what Jesus had when He walked this earth as the Son of Man. The devil couldn’t trap or trip Him.

And He was able to secure God’s promises for us.

Jeremiah said basically the same thing:
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV)

Always bearing fruit, never fearing the unknown, forever trusting God and experiencing God’s faithful care.

The Word of God is demonstrated through the life of those who take the time to meditate on God and His Word.

What do you meditate on? Your fears and worries? Or do you meditate on the Word of God?

Your choice. God will never leave you nor forsake you; decide to do things His way and watch His Word come to pass right before your eyes.

Day Five

40 Days of PromisesThe Faithful God

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations…” (Deuteronomy 7:9 ESV)

I love this description of God: the faithful God. He keeps covenant; in other words, He can be depended upon.

Life is full of uncertainties, but the faithful God can always be counted on.

“And the Lord gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the Lord had given all their enemies into their hands. Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.” (Joshua 21:44 – 21:45 ESV)

Even when we are less than perfect (and who isn’t), like Israel in Joshua’s day; God is faithful. He will give us victory over all our enemies if we will only give Him a chance.

Give God a chance? What’s that mean?

It means to trust, to believe, to obediently do our part.

Because He is the faithful God.

“Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all.” (1 Kings 8:56 ESV)

To give God a chance also means to hold fast our confession; to verbalize our faith in our faithful God.

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23 ESV)

Yes, the One Who makes the promises IS faithful!

He IS the FAITHFUL GOD.

40 Days of Promises

40 Days of PromisesThe Lord let us know, through the writings of the Apostle Paul, that the things which happened to people in the Old Testament happened not only for their instruction, provision, and discipline, but also for ours:

Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 1 Corinthians 10:6-11 NKJV

So let’s use Moses and the twelve spies for our example. God instructed Moses to choose men, one from each of the twelve tribes of Israel, to spy out the land of promise. The men were to be leaders; men who were recognized for their position and ability. Men who would gather information about their new homeland and its inhabitants, and return with samples of its produce. Men who would mix the gathered facts with what they already knew in their heart; that God is faithful and true. Men who would influence their nation to follow after God.

God gave them 40 days of promises; time to meditate on all that He had promised.

The word translated “spy” means, “to meander about, especially for trade or reconnoitering.”

Reconnoiter. I like that word. It means, “To go to a place, or area, in order to find out information about a military enemy: to do reconnaissance.” In other words, the twelve leaders’ mission was simply to gather the facts and report them to Moses and the others. And by doing so, the rest of Israel could gain the much needed support for their faith to help them actually possess the promises they had been hearing about the past several generations.

Support for faith. It’s something all of us need if we’re to possess the promises of God. And that’s the reason for this series of posts.

Think of this reading material as a type of reconnoitering; looking at the land God has already promised. Examining its impact on our way of living. Seeing the faithful God in a whole new light. Understanding His love and great desire to impact our lives for good, and for eternity.

Sure, there may be things that appear much too large; impossible, even.

But the Lord does not say one thing and mean something different. He is, among many other things, faithful and true.

One huge lesson we can take away from the spies of old: look at life through the eyes of faith in God. Mix faith with the promises of God. Don’t be overwhelmed with the size of the enemy, the problem, or whatever. God didn’t send them into the land to investigate the prowess and power of the enemy; but to witness the greatness of His Glory against the backdrop of impossibly.

40 Days of Promises. An opportunity to examine the “land of promise”, dream the dreams of God for your life, and, hopefully, by mixing faith with the promises, personally experience God’s handiwork and power.

And just imagine the joy you’ll have in telling others about the land of God’s promises.

Can God Be Trusted In The Dark?

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Why does our faith vacillate so much when life changes on us? When the sun disappears behind dark and threatening storm clouds?

We say we trust the Lord, that he is able to do anything, yet we become a nervous wreck when things don’t go as planned. We say he’s good (all the time) but act as though he’s not. We declare we can do everything through Christ who gives us strength, but complain the moment we feel the slightest bit of trouble.

We are quick to say, “Amen”, when the preacher speaks about Jehovah-Jireh, the God who provides. But when we can’t see a way out of our situation we want to rag on the preacher!

Why?

Maybe it’s because we don’t really know God as well as we say we do. Or, maybe we are too absorbed with our own little kingdom, rather than the kingdom of God. Possibly it’s because we don’t understand a basic truth about God.

God reveals himself against the backdrop of lack, trouble, and death. His handiwork is easier to see when the sky is dark and stormy. His signature is much more noticeable when the cupboards are bare. Paul said it this way:

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV)

God used 4 lepers to rout the whole Syrian army. 2 Kings 7

He provided a ram for Abraham to sacrifice, rather than his son. Genesis 22

Defeated the army of Moab after he told the Israelites to dig ditches. 2 Kings 3

Fed 5,000 plus with only the food found in a little boy’s lunchbox. John 6

Made a borrowed axe head float and swim, as Elisha tossed a stick into the water. 2 Kings 6

When the earth was created, he used things unseen to make all that can be seen. Hebrews 11

Killed 185,000 enemy soldiers with one angel. Isaiah 37

Remember: when circumstances scream “impossible”, that’s when you’ll hear God speak the loudest…

“Here I am.”

Everyone Believes Something

Grace Books & Blogs 2 (4)

Faith is an interesting thing.

Everyone has it, though not everyone realizes it. But everyone lives by that which they believe.

It’s easier to see it in others than in one’s own life.

A person’s faith will grow or shrink; but they’ll always have faith. It may become “NO FAITH”, but it will never be “GONE FAITH”. What do I mean? “NO FAITH” is still something that influences the way we think, speak, and act.

God has given each person a measure of faith (Romans 12:3). Faith, the ability to believe, is an element of the human experience. It’s part of our life. We can’t help but believe something about anything.

Faith in God, or faith in God’s power and ability, grows just like faith in people, faith in airplanes, chairs, or garbage cans. If you’ve ever sat on a chair and it broke under your weight, you’ll think twice about putting faith in a chair. Faith grows through either positive experiences and/or from hearing the word of someone who’s never lied to you or stolen from you. Someone who has always treated you right is someone you’ll learn to trust; someone you’ll believe.

That’s how faith in God grows. By hearing his word and responding obediently to what he says.

There’s one other way faith grows, and that’s by hearing, or reading, what God has done for someone else. It works the same way in the negative sense. “Testimonies” of people treating others terribly will tend to affect the way you interact with the “terrible” ones.

We’re simply wired to believe. It’s part of who we are, which greatly determines what kind of life we’ll live. Do YOU want your faith in God to grow? Do YOU want to live the kind of life God has designed for you? With God all things are possible.

Are you interested in reading testimonies and teachings that will help your “believer” grow in faith in God? If so, please check out these three eBooks available through Amazon Kindle.com.

“Breaking the Spirit of Poverty”, “Generosity”, and “How to get the most out of your Pastor”. http://tinyurl.com/nhhzozt

God has given faith to each one of us. What we do with it is our choice.

Let’s choose wisely.

Mary Magdalene’s Morning

Alabaster

I got up early, after a fitful sleep. Over and over, throughout the night, my mind replayed the horrible sights and sounds I witnessed a few days earlier.

I begin my walk of mourning, to the place where my heart was buried.

Jerusalem had been very busy for several days, with the Passover feast and all. People had come from miles around to offer sacrifices, meet with family and friends, and to watch the show.

It’s funny how people are, don’t you think? They almost faint when they see a single drop of blood, yet when something so extreme as a crucifixion takes place, they can’t seem to pull their eyes away from the gruesome sight. And when there are three crosses raised toward heaven, it really draws a crowd.

I didn’t want to look. I didn’t want to go to the hill at all. I even tried to force my way through the crowd, trying to make it home before lunch; but I could only go where the mob took me. There was no way out. And all I could see were the crosses; each one displaying their prize.

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