Friday, January 27, 2012

Sorry, I Thought You Said You Trust God

Sometimes we don't have to say very much about God's Word, it speaks for itself:

Cursed is the one who trusts in man, 
   who depends on flesh for his strength 
   and whose heart turns away from the LORD. (Jeremiah 17:5)

It is the ongoing message of the Scriptures; trust in man and you are doomed to misery and failure. Often we make plans or have ideas that we think will please the Lord but they come from our own wisdom. We even declare God's Word thinking it means one thing in our flesh but when we are tested in it we discover that either it wasn't what we thought or that we weren't really living it in the first place. How can a man say that he "loves Jesus and will follow him even to death" one day and the very next day be lost in despair and fear over something to do with the flesh? Either God is God or he isn't. Either he is in charge or he isn't. Either we are believers or we are not.

Who are we trusting, God or man? God or ourselves? God or our bank account? God or our employment? The Word is not gentle with those who say they trust God but trust man instead, who turn from the Lord and lose themselves in the despair of the flesh:

He will be like a bush in the wastelands; 
   he will not see prosperity when it comes. 
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, 
   in a salt land where no one lives. (Jeremiah 17:6) 

That is not God's choice for us but instead the result of our poor choices, to rely on our flesh. However, it is a completely different situation for those who do trust God, even when it looks like death is what is waiting for us. Maybe it's not that drastic. Maybe it is only a broken heart or lost employment but those things can feel like death. Yet look at what the Word says is the result for those who choose to trust:

But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,    whose confidence is in him. (Jeremiah 17:7)

He calls us blessed. And for good reason. Realize what is promised to those who trust:

He 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 17:8)

Do you see that? The man who trusts in the Lord, who continues as he must, who continues in his place of witness, who allows joy to be his attitude, will never fail to bear fruit. Our roots will always be in Jesus Christ who will sustain us in all kinds of circumstances. We will not fear the heat, we will be kept green, full of life and we will have no worries in the time of drought, during difficult circumstances.

It comes down to choice. In our times of crisis our "knee jerk" reaction tells us a lot about our character, the condition of our heart. To come back after a blow is good but to stand up under it with joy is far better. To return after running away shows good character but to not run away in the first place shows mature character. To trust at all times is a sign of maturity, a sign of mature love. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him!

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