In God I Trust

In God I Trust

PS 56:4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?

As we stare in the face of a virus that doesn’t seem to relent coupled with disturbing, okay shocking, acts of hatred, prejudice, violence and looting on full display in every news cycle, we are left stunned, angry, numb and tired. We want to be able to move around freely and safely and without a mask again. I truly believe that we also have a heartfelt desire to have the ability and good reason to trust our family, friends, neighbors, employers, law enforcement officers, medical professionals, educators, media types, religious leaders and political representatives. Yes. That’s right. We want to. We do. However, in most cases, there are examples that remind us to be cautious. It is unfortunate, but it only takes a few to cast doubt on an entire associated group.

Where do we go from here? We must begin our journey in fostering and building trust by taking a deep look inside ourselves. It always starts with the person looking back at you in the mirror every morning. MT 7:4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Don’t we so easily call out others but fail to address our personal shortcomings? Don’t we routinely blame the evil of others for causing our bad behavior or failings? Don’t we characteristically cast a wide net of blame toward everyone in a particular group? If you have a tendency to cast a wide net, the label for that is stereotyping, “an over-generalized belief about a particular category of people,” but typically we don’t consider that a bad thing unless it is the group to which we belong. Think about that for a moment. Sort of hypocritical isn’t it. In any case, if you want to trust others, a good place to start is becoming a safe and trustworthy person yourself.

When you build a house you always want to start with a solid foundation. But what is the solid foundation for a family, organization, church or society? It is simply trusting God and His word and putting His word into practice in full obedience. How do I know? MT 7:24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.” If we respond in any other way, our life, our families, our churches and our society will collapse. Again, how do I know? MT 2:26 “And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” But seriously, isn’t this what we are experiencing? Isn’t it why we are seeing evidence of a house built on sand?

It seems everyone has an opinion these days about how to respond to the current pandemic. Along with that, we are consumed with matching hatred with hatred, injustice with injustice and canceling everyone and everything that we disagree with, offends us or causes us pain. I don’t see that in scripture but for the last resort do you? After all, none of us can live under that level of scrutiny. But pastor that’s insensitive and politically incorrect. But pastor you don’t know what I’ve been through. Please understand. I admit, I don’t know what everyone has gone through. For that matter, I don’t know how everyone feels. Not everyone that’s for sure. However, what I read in the “God-breathed scripture” is most important to me even if that puts me at odds with others. What I read in the Bible is love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, forgive 70×7, you will be my [Jesus] witnesses to all people everywhere starting at home, go and make disciples of all people groups, the Lord loves the just, we have the ministry of reconciliation, etc. And let’s not forget . . . visit those in prison, feed the hungry, cloth the naked, etc. But that’s not what I am seeing, but with rare exception, from the average Christian and our local churches. So, isn’t it time to ask God what He wants us to do and how He wants us to do it instead of acting out in the flesh based on our opinion? Why would I recommend that? “In God I trust!” At the very least, that must be our pursuit. So then, as a result of trusting God instead of being afraid, instead of being silent, instead of doing nothing, instead of lashing out . . . how about we all commit to pray and study scripture with a teachable and humble heart and with a devotion to obey God? What if we did?  Can you say, “spiritual awakening and revival?” And let’s not forget to include “reconciliation and healing.”

A Work in Progress,

Pastor Gene