Archive

Posts Tagged ‘promise’

The Truth About Trust

October 28th, 2015

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” Proverbs 3:5 NIV.

Trust rests securely on God’s history of trustworthiness.

My thoughts and comments today are about “the truth about trust.”

There are times when trust is not easy for us, especially in bewildering circumstances when trust is absolutely required. Trust is essential. Trust is integral to the relationship between government and the governed, business dealings, personal relationships, successful marriages, healthy families, and your relationship with God. Trust is more about substance than supposition, more about faith than feelings, more volitional than emotional.

The Apostle Paul considered trust as fundamental, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NIV. Isn’t that what you desire? Every person yearns to be filled with joy and peace, while overflowing with hope. From the Scripture, the Source and process are clear. You experience those only, “. . as you trust in [the God of hope].”

Trust rests securely on God’s history of trustworthiness. God has been, is, and will forever remain absolutely trustworthy, “the same yesterday, today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 NKJV. Trust provided the foundation for Paul’s confession of God’s nature and conviction of the truth of His Word. “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” 2 Timothy 1:12 NKJV. Read Romans 8:37-39 NKJV.

Without trust, faith is more imagined than real. Trust is the foundation for faith and, “faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen.” Hebrews 11:1 NKJV. With trust, it is all or nothing. By definition, trust that is conditional or partial includes a mixture of distrust. Solomon’s counsel is this: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV. In these Bible verses, I notice three practical truths about trust.

(1) There are two non-negotiables about trust. Be wholehearted in your trust of God, and make God your first and foremost consideration in everything you do, either great or small. Biblically, the Hebrew concept of trust means, “to lean one’s whole weight upon something in order to rest upon it and be strengthened by it.” Or more simply stated, trust is, “to rely entirely.” That is the truth about trust.

(2) There is one temptation you must avoid in all instances and at all costs. “I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.” Jeremiah 10:23 NIV. Refuse every enticement to trust yourself or others above and before God. There must be an entirety and exclusivity about trust. That is the truth about trust.

(3) Trust holds a glorious promise from God. Trust straightens the unforeseen twists and turns of life’s journey. “Trust in the Lord . . Delight yourself in the Lord . . Commit your way to the Lord . . Rest in the Lord.” Read Psalms 37:3-8 NKJV. That is the truth about trust.

Today, I pray for you to find God trustworthy in all things at all times.

EDL TRUST father and son

 

Christian Communications

 

Devotionals , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Growing Pains

October 1st, 2012

“When they walk through the valley of weeping – they will continue to grow.” Psalm 84:6-7 NLT.

Pain aversion is rarely a formula for successful growth.

My thoughts and comments today are about “growing pains.”

Life will not be happy all the time; wishing it would be is wasted effort. There will be tears. Every day life may bring pain from broken plans, broken friendships, broken dreams, and sometimes broken hearts. That’s when you learn what you truly believe, what real faith is all about, and how to grow in your knowledge of the character and sufficiency of God on the most personal level. See 2 Peter 3:18 NIV.

No one likes times that grieve the heart. Pain aversion is rarely a formula for success. Useless worry and wasted energy is the only thing that results from such an attempt. However, the person who chooses to grow through their pain will find unexpected joy on the victory side of life’s most sobering, even sorrowful, experiences. See John 16:20-22 NLT.

There is no quick relief; an easy way out will produce no victory or growth. In your pain, turn to God for wisdom to see your situation as God sees it. Look at life vertically, not horizontally. “Whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.” James 1:2-4. Maybe your pain and disappointment are an opportunity for joy not despair. You are not asked to rejoice because of trouble, but rejoice because of God’s sufficient grace; you will grow and trouble will not endure.

When you run from your pain, you also run from the joy God will bring. The Psalmist wrote, “When they walk through the valley of weeping – they will continue to grow.” Psalm 84:6-7 NLT. That’s a process, but there’s a promise as well. The process is that you have to, “walk through the valley of weeping.” You will make it through; God is faithful. It’s neither easy nor pain-free, but there and then you meet God. His faithful promise is, “you will continue to grow” – in character, faith, wisdom, confidence, and spiritual development. You learn to know God and yourself better. “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know they are good for us – they help us learn to endure . .” Read Romans 5:3-5 NLT.

An elderly Christ-follower, whose years showed the marks of pain and loss but the countenance of grace, was asked for his favorite Bible verse. Quickly, with little thought but insightful understanding, he said, “And it came to pass!” He surmised that his trouble had not come to stay, but had come to pass! He didn’t have the context right, but he captured the truth. “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5.

What you are experiencing at the moment is not forever, even when your feelings and fear suggest that it could be. In the face of your weeping, God will give you grace to: embrace it, grieve it, express it, then release it and go on stronger than before. It’s a process you have to go through. At every step, you grow stronger; your faith and confidence build; you find a deeper and greater joy. Don’t waste your tears; let them water the joy in your soul.

My prayer for you today is this: in the moment of pain, embrace grace and grow in God.

Devotionals , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Love That Lasts

July 21st, 2010

“Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:8 NIV

“Love never fails; people fail to love.”

My thoughts today are about “a love that lasts.”

A lot of emotions masquerade themselves as love in today’s world, but none of them could be accurately described by today’s Bible verse. Most of what is claimed as love seems fickle, always subject to human foibles and frailties, changing due to whims and moods, circumstances and comparisons, feelings and seasons. When someone fails to love, it is painful. A person feels betrayal of trust, and hearts and homes are broken. The person hurt and disappointed can find it hard to trust love again.

In just days from now, it will have been 47 years since Gayle and I stood at an altar and pledged our love to one another. Sadly, in spite of my best intentions then and now, there are times when I fail to be loving – to speak in loving tones, to act in loving ways, to be as selfless as I could have – no, should have been. So by a person’s own experience this claim of Scripture may seem hard to accept at face value. With what you may have seen and/or experienced, you might struggle to confidently say or believe that “love never fails.” Have you ever felt that love failed? Can’t you recall instances where you have seen your own attempts to love fail?

Love never fails; people often fail to love. That statement might sound like God is saying that no love can fail, but you have seen people’s attempts to love fail. It also may sound like love will never “let you down or disappoint you,” but you may have been let down by someone. I think it might be more accurate that God’s Word is promising that God will never fail to love and God’s love will never fail to be loving, as is true to His own essential nature.

How can that be said so confidently? Because love is not something that God feels, or expresses, or does. Love is what God is! “The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8.  God has promised, “I will never fail you or forsake you.” Joshua 1:5. If God never fails, God’s love can never fail! The Bible tells you the kind of love that never fails.

First, it is true about God’s love, not yours or mine, or others’ intentions to love. Your best efforts will fail unless you learn how to fully experience and faithfully express God’s love.

Secondly, the love that never fails is evidenced by these qualities: “patient, constructive, not possessive, not anxious to impress nor with an inflated sense of importance. Mannerly, unselfish, not touchy, never keeps account of wrongs, finds no joy in unrighteousness, but rejoices when truth prevails. Love knows no end to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope: it can outlast anything. Love is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 JBPhillips. That is the character of love that never fails.

Those qualities of moral character and relational integrity are uniquely the true expression of God’s own character. There is never a moment when God is untrue to Himself, nor a circumstance where He is an exception to His own eternal nature.

Can you learn to be more like God? “Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God . . dear friends, if God loved us this way, we also must love one another.” 1 John 4:7/11. You can have, and give, a love that lasts.

My prayer for you today is to know the true love that never fails, and give that love.

Devotionals , , , , , ,