Today’s Reading: Numbers 28-29; Psalm 56; 1 Corinthians 15:1-34
Trust can quickly become one of those biblish words. That is a word that the bible uses so often that it can quickly and subtly become meaningless to the reader.
As Christians, we hear the question, “Do you trust in God?” often, hopefully. We frame the whole concept of salvation around trusting or putting our faith in Jesus.
That’s a good thing. I don’t want to diminish that at all.
Rather what I want to do is draw attention to the psalm for today: Psalm 56.
One of the stanzas caught my attention for some reason:
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise-
In God I trust and am not afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?”
As I thought over this phrase, the reality is that, today at least, the concept of trust has become dull in my own life.
I can quickly say, “Yes Lord, of course I trust you.”
But the reality is that this psalm quickly reveals the depth of truly trusting in God.
Trust is something that goes far beyond a cognitive level. Yes, I have to come to an intellectual ascent that I have indeed placed my trust in God. But it’s not just at the head level.
Trust that has truly sunken into the heart is a trust that can say, “Even when life is scary and I can’t find my way, God, in you I am unshakable.”
“In God I trust and am not afraid.”
In Jesus, our fear melts away because of His greatness. In Jesus, our fear crumbles under His power. In Jesus, our fear finds no hold on us, because our eyes are totally fixed upon Jesus who has paid it all for us on the cross. He has already faced everything we could ever truly fear (that is seeing God face-to-face and not being in right relationship with Him) and received our penalty and given to us His eternal life.
“In God I trust and am not afraid.”
I don’t know where you are today or where you are at as you read this.
For me I find myself staring often into the face of a fear of failure and a fear of being unwanted.
I fear failure because that feels like (though it’s completely untrue) I am worthless. If I fail, there is someone else who can do my job better than me and can replace me. If I fail, that means that I might not be cut out for what it is I’m doing. If I fail, suddenly I’m going to have to face criticism (the concept that my thoughts and ideas are worthless, a further extension of me).
I fear not being wanted because that means that ultimately I deserve the loneliness that scares me. As an introvert there is some solitude I like. But with Kassy (my wife) away in California for the weekend, I am reminded of how lucky I am to have her and her deep love and care. Being unwanted means being unloved. Being unloved means that I am worthless. Being worthless means that I have no purpose. And not having a purpose means that I don’t deserve to exist.
Obviously, none of that is actually true. God made humanity in His image and likeness (Gen. 1.26-27). That means that He has created us with eternal significance and purpose (to be like Him and be in relationship with Him). But those are the fears that stare at me.
Trusting in God looks like facing those fears in light of the cross.
In Jesus, my fear of failure is disarmed because though He is God, He appeared to fail in allowing His creation to murder Him. Jesus appeared to be the historic failure of God in the flesh. Yet His humiliation in the cross gave way to His eternal exaltation as the King of the universe. In Jesus, I might fail at my tasks, but my failures hold no power over me because the one who holds me is at the right hand of the Father in heaven and has triumphed for me.
In Jesus, my fear of being unwanted is pushed aside, because my God ran from one side of the universe to another, even created the entire universe just to save me so that I could not only be in His perfect presence, but so that I could be united to Him for eternity. His love never fails and though situations might draw out a sense of fear of not being wanted, the reality is that my God has already declared me wanted in Christ.
So, what are you afraid of? Where are you at as you read this?
In Jesus, all our fears melt away because He is the one who holds us, He is the one who paid it all for us, and He is the one who raises us with Him in victory.
Tomorrows Reading: Numbers 30-31; Psalm 57; 1 Corinthians 15:35-58