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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

It's About Trust

This past Sunday, my pastor spoke about Jesus' temptation by Satan in the desert. Satan tempted Jesus three different ways, and Jesus had an answer from the Word for each temptation. But what all three boil down to, and what all of our temptations boil down to, is trust. Do you trust that God cares about you? Do you trust that He is concerned if you have financial trouble and don't have enough to eat or a place to live? Do you trust that He has your best interests at heart, and if you follow His lead, things will go well for you? Do you trust that God wants to see you in Heaven with Him one day? Pastor's point was that every sin we commit in some way comes back to a lack of trust that God loves us and cares about us. If we don't trust Him, we'll try to do it ourselves, and that's where sin comes in.

I think we can take that idea a bit further, though. I would submit for your consideration that there is nothing else we can trust in except God. We certainly can't trust in other people - people are very complex creatures, and every one of us lets someone down from time to time, despite our best efforts. We can't trust things that aren't alive, either, things like financial market forces or things that occur in nature like weather patterns or medical facts. There are certainly patterns at work in all of those things, but they are so complicated that they are beyond our comprehension, and they can be affected by things we can't foresee. Heck, I live in Oklahoma... I can tell you that you can't even trust it to be cold in the wintertime and hot in the summertime.

You may think that you have one thing you can trust: yourself. If you think that, you are wrong. You can't trust your own memories, for example... any psychologist can put you in a situation where you are absolutely positive you remember something that happened, and you are absolutely wrong. Witnesses to crimes get details wrong all the time, not because they are lying but because they don't remember just right. When a witness is being questioned, the interrogator has to be extremely careful not to provide information for the witness that he will later be sure he supplied himself. We can't even trust our own judgement, because sometimes we just don't have a complete enough understanding of a situation to choose wisely, and sometimes there are factors we weren't aware of.

To be completely honest, you can't even trust your own eyes. Have you ever had a fever and hallucinated something, and it seemed completely real? Have you ever been on medicine that gave you weird visions, or had a bit too much alcohol and saw something that wasn't there? If our bodies get the least bit out of whack, or have even a tiny bit of any of a huge variety of chemicals introduced into them, we get all messed up. It might not even take something that extreme to throw you off course... try not going to sleep for two or three nights in a row and see if you still have a clear picture of what's going on around you. Even eating the wrong kind of food, even legitimate food that is good for your body, can make weird things happen given the right allergy or in combination with something else. Your brain is a huge chemistry set, and if the wrong chemicals get in there, you definitely cannot trust your own five senses.

There is nothing in this world that you can trust 100%. The only thing in existence anywhere that is trustworthy is God. If you choose to put too much trust in anything but Him, you're setting yourself up for trouble, disappointment, and ultimately, utter failure. But if you do put your trust in Him, you are setting yourself up for a life where success is not only possible, it is probable. Or, dare I say it? If you put your trust in God, success in your life is guaranteed. It may not look like what a man on the street thinks means success, but you will obtain success that you know in your heart is the best kind of success there is.

Trust God today. All the way, without reservation. See where it gets you!

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