Developing Trust

Trust in God is a quality I need to continually develop in my life. I’m an anxious person, and I like to be prepared, to know what’s going to happen next, and to quickly resolve uncertainties. However, as Christians we’re often called to live in an in-between state, waiting for God’s Will to be revealed. Here’s how author Brennan Manning once put it:

The way of trust is a movement into obscurity, into the undefined, into ambiguity, not into some pre-determined clearly delineated plan for the future. The next step discloses itself only out of discernment of God acting in … the present moment. The reality of naked trust is the life of a pilgrim who leaves what is nailed down, obvious, and secure, and walks into the unknown without any rational explanation to justify the decision or guarantee the future. Why? Because God has signaled the movement and offered his presence and his promise.”

Here are some of those promises:

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

He will always be with us; He is working everything out for our benefit; we will live with Him forever. Do you trust Him?

Please Write This Down

“When he (the king) takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites.  It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left.”  Deuteronomy 17:18-19

If you go on a Via de Cristo weekend, you will hear a number of talks, some given by pastors, and some by lay people.  When the speaker makes a point that is very important to remember, they will pause and say, “please write this down.” Then they repeat it, slowly, until everyone has had time to add it to their notes. The point is to alert the listeners to pay attention, and remember what is being said.

In the verses above, God tells the kings he expects them to write down his law in their own hand for the same reason.  Writing something down is a way of emphasizing its’ importance.  God wanted every king to take time out of the busy life of a monarch to read His Word in its’ entirety.  He wanted them to remember it, and live by it.  It was worth taking the time to do this.

Sad to say, these days, even we lay people fail to make time for reading the Word of God and writing it down.  After all, if we want a verse, we can just google it (I’m criticizing myself here, because I do this all the time.)  We may be faithful Christians who listen to readings each week in our worship service, but do we build Bible reading into our daily schedule?  Do we write down any of those words?  Do we know the Bible so well, that we can repeat parts of it by heart?

We’re busy people, and we have fancy Bibles and technological tools to “manage” the Scripture.  That’s not a substitute for reading, pondering and even at times, writing it down.  The Bible should be written on our hearts. It’s the only way we’ll have true rest in God. Spend time with God’s Word everyday.  Please write that down!

For more on reading the Bible see these posts:

Martin Luther on Reading the Bible

Spiritual Reading

For more on Lutheran Via de Cristo see these posts:

What is Via de Cristo?

Remembering My Via De Cristo Weekend

Cursillo/ViaDeCristo/3day weekends

 

Life Changes

“It is well for us that, amidst all the variableness of life, there is One whom change cannot affect;  One whose heart can never alter, and on whose brow mutability can make no furrows.”

Charles Spurgeon

Have you ever heard of entropy?  It comes from a principle of thermodynamics and refers to the idea that everything in the universe moves from order to disorder.  This makes perfect sense to me:  it’s what happened when sin entered the world.  Left on our own, mankind gradually disintegrates into more and more sinful behavior.  As we age, our bodies are subject to the results of sin as well–sickness and death eventually overtake what God has “fearfully and wonderfully made.”  The people closest to us, the ones we love and depend upon, will all die.  We will die as well.

Thankfully in life there is one person who doesn’t change;  one person that we can count on forever.  In Hebrews 13:8 we are told:

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

Deuteronomy 31:6 assures us:

“…for it is the Lord your God who goes with you;  He will not fail you or forsake you.”

In a world of change, I need to remind myself every day to choose the unchangeable and focus my mind on the unseen.  I want to be able to say along with Martin Luther:

“Let goods and kindred go, This mortal life also;

The body they may kill:  God’s truth abideth still,

His kingdom is forever.”

from the hymn ‘A Mighty Fortress.’