Faith, life, Stories from Scripture, Uncategorized
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Can God Earn My Trust?

I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare your works.

{Psalm 73:28b, NKJV}

There’s something about God I really appreciate.

He’s Trustworthy.

He is worth my trust.

He dignifies me–my mind, my body, my spirit–by earning my trust.

And, he does the same for you, too.

It’s one of God’s characteristics that draws us to him intimately, personally, and proves that he’s interested in a relationship with each of us and not after our religious actions. He wants to help us understand: life, ourselves, him. By being constantly trustworthy, he says, “I care about you”.

And he is impeccable in his trustworthy manner. He never sloughs off his dutiful attention to earning our trust. He can’t. He simply cannot not be trusted.
This is a difficult concept for us, we whose hearts simultaneously yearn for perfection and instant satisfaction. We want to feel

secure,

feel blessed,

feel always, instantly, totally trusting — but we don’t. And then,

we feel abandoned,

let down,

despondent,

and afraid.

Yet in all this stormwater rush of feelings, God remains the same. Our feelings change; God doesn’t.

Psalm 73 (a copy is included at the end of this post) is a perfect place to settle into for a few minutes to compare and contrast the inconsistencies of the human heart and the trustworthy, constant attention of our creator.

It all begins with what we’re looking at.

When our eyes are focused on others, we see:

1. What we do not have.

2. What we think we need to be happy.

3. What an injustice it is that God denies us what we think we need to be happy.

 In such close proximity, our problems loom large, our disappointments are consuming, our pain unbearable.

And all those other people look so happy, and healthy and problem-free. Beyond that, it seems they rule the world and run the show without any repercussions.

Oh, to be free of responsibility! To say and do and spend whatever we like without any consequences!

But that is fantasy.

When we look across at others we find ourselves in a desert of despair where shimmering mirages promising empty satisfaction tempt like dreamscapes.

They leave us thirsty. They leave us confused and angry.

And we eventually turn our anger toward God.

Fist-shaking at brittle sky we cry out, “That’s not fair. Just look at what you’ve done. Look at how hard I’ve tried to be good and this is all I get? A broken down life, a sick body, an empty bank account. What kind of God let’s this happen?

We lose hope. We think we have no one and nothing to trust.

And then, we’re left with nothing else to look at. We see our world and the empty promises it makes for wealth and satisfaction, we see the detritus of our consumption and we look in the mirror of our own souls and see even less.

Like the psalmist says, then I went into your sanctuary.

To sanctuary with God is to look up fully into his goodness, to focus the gaze of our eyes and our souls on something completely not of this world.

Then, we begin to see clearly.

We realize that the path of the self-focused and self-absorbed leads to certain destruction–it is a slippery slope. Then, we see that the path of our envy leads to a small and bitter life, an ingrown soul with hard edges and impenetrable shell.

Neither option is appealing. What are we left with?

The open hand of God, extended toward us. And there, in Psalm 73:23-24 is the heart of the gospel:

1. You take me by the hand — Luke 19:10 “The Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

2. You guide me with your counsel —  John 14:26 “The Counselor…will teach you all things.”

3. You lead me into glory — John 14:3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you also may be where I am.”

Over and again, in the Old Testament stories of God’s patient trustworthiness illustrate that he intentinally repeated these consistent maneuvers of earning that broken trust (the question of whether or not we can trust God’s goodness was patently presented to Eve by Satan, and the perfect trust relationship was subsequently broken when Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s instruction. Further, they chose to not trust him, but rather their own misguided thoughts).

We can always find God when we seek his sanctuary (presence), his hand is never retracted, but always outstretched; he guides us with his word and his Spirit; he has purchased full redemption and has a place for us in eternity with him.

///

Friend, I live here with you.

We see the injustice against the needy juxtaposed against the bizarre celebration of movie stars and athletes. We wade together through the waste of our consumerism and we battle inner wars over learning to live chastely and simply or wanting the next generation smart phone, a newer car or better looking figure. It seems like contentment resides just around the next paycheck.

Today, lets walk together into the sanctuary of our God and look up.

Let’s take his hand, his free gift of salvation. Let’s receive that guidance and direction through the Word and the Spirit. And let’s hope for the future.

We can trust him. He’s earned it.

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking

Life and rest, and joy and peace.
I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

— Louisa M.R. Stead

Linking up with:

JourneyTowardsEpiphany

Psalm 73 (New Living Translation, from Blue Letter Bible)

1 Truly God is good to Israel,
to those whose hearts are pure.
2 But as for me, I almost lost my footing.
My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone.
3 For I envied the proud
when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.
4 They seem to live such painless lives;
their bodies are so healthy and strong.
5 They don’t have troubles like other people;
they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else.
6 They wear pride like a jeweled necklace
and clothe themselves with cruelty.
7 These fat cats have everything
their hearts could ever wish for!
8 They scoff and speak only evil;
in their pride they seek to crush others.
9 They boast against the very heavens,
and their words strut throughout the earth.
10 And so the people are dismayed and confused,
drinking in all their words.
11 “What does God know?” they ask.
“Does the Most High even know what’s happening?”
12 Look at these wicked people—
enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply.
13 Did I keep my heart pure for nothing?
Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?
14 I get nothing but trouble all day long;
every morning brings me pain.
15 If I had really spoken this way to others,
I would have been a traitor to your people.
16 So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper.
But what a difficult task it is!
17 Then I went into your sanctuary, O God,
and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked.
18 Truly, you put them on a slippery path
and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction.
19 In an instant they are destroyed,
completely swept away by terrors.
20 When you arise, O Lord,
you will laugh at their silly ideas
as a person laughs at dreams in the morning.
21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
and I was all torn up inside.
22 I was so foolish and ignorant—
I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
23 Yet I still belong to you;
you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
leading me to a glorious destiny.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.
27 Those who desert him will perish,
for you destroy those who abandon you.
28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God!
I have made the Sovereign LORD my shelter,
and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.

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6 Comments

  1. I am with you, sometimes lost in the extreams that surround us. The excess, the need… the compassion, the indifference. It all has a purpose and this pulling of myself is part of the larger plan for me. I feel that too.

  2. roseann elliott says

    Amen and amen…walking with you today in God’s sanctuary and looking up…this song is one of my favorites….great post…blessings~

  3. just wanted you to know that my daughter is looking for a hymn to sing at her college scholarship audition and I suggested this song not 30 seconds before clicking on to your link. You were used by God to confirm! Thanks!

    • I love that kd! Thank you so much for sharing that with me! It’s been so long since I’ve been in a congregation that regularly sings hymns. Sometimes I read my old, red hymnal for devotions. So much truth. I hope your daughter sings her heart out for Jesus–he’s got her future in his hands. Bless you today!! Alyssa

  4. Sarah Koci Scheilz says

    Visiting from Faith Barista today and really enjoyed your post! I’ve been resting in the Psalms a lot lately, but haven’t gotten to Psalm 73 lately. Thanks for the fun “preview” 🙂

  5. Teresa says

    Thanks Alyssa. This is beautiful and timely. I am at a time when I am very aware of my inconsistent emotions and feelings. I am not alone as the psalmist so clearly laid out in this Psalm you highlighted.
    Thanks for walking with Jesus my friend!

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