Trust: What is it? What does it mean?
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."
I, for one, have read, reread, preached, quoted and taught on this verse so many times over the years. This verse is given as God is speaking to the children of Israel and foretelling them they will be held captive for 70 years by the Babylonian empire. And yet, Father God tells them the thoughts that He has for them are thoughts of peace, not evil, to give them an expected end.
But what is an expected end?
God wants His children to be overcomers, to fight and win the good fight of faith. I will tell you that I have prayed many prayers that were not answered in the way I thought they would be. Still, I trust God.
I was watching a video recently of a game of trust. A young man stood blind-folded with two of his friends standing behind him. He was then told to fall back and trust them that they would catch him. While I certainly don't advocate that, I do get it. That is real trust or maybe stupidity (you decide). I just know it gave me the "willies" just watching it.
Faith and trust go hand in hand, being rather synonymous. Many times in my life I have needed to take that step of faith, and sometimes it has been a leap of faith. Still, when I pray, I know I can trust God, and He will not suffer me to harm IF I am seeking his will.
BUT, how do I know it's His will? That is a question I am asked over and over again. It all comes back to faith and trust. Sometimes, maybe even many times, knowing the will of God is as clear as muddy water. Still, my faith, my hope, my trust is in the Lord. He promised to NEVER leave me nor forsake me, and I take Him as His word. The scriptures tell us that God is not a man that He would lie.
On Monday of this week, I was in Portland at the VA hospital and came home after my appointment. My wife and I prayed before we left Portland and are we glad we did. You know, don't you. I have been pastoring here in Prineville now for 37 years, and this was the absolute worst I have ever seen the road conditions. Not the worst the snow has ever been, but the roads. It was snowing, blowing and white-out conditions. There were big rigs in the ditch on my side of the road going the opposite way. They obviously couldn't see the road either. Long story short, we made it home safe and sound and enjoyed a nice fire in the wood stove.
Do bad things happen to good people? Certainly they do. But I believe it's not the trial or struggle we face that defines us, but how we go through it. I want my legacy to read that I was a man who trusted God. I do trust my fellow man but nothing like I trust God. I have been lied to, cheated, been misrepresented to, yet I still trust. But God, has NEVER lied to me, cheated me nor has He ever misrepresented Himself in any way to me.
I do try, work hard at, living a life that well represents the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I want people to be able to look at me and say, "Ah, that is what a Christian acts like." I probably have failed to some degree one way or another, but that is not my intent. I trust God, and God has entrusted his glorious gospel and his namesake (Christian) to me. Trust is a two-way street.
Closing with this thought: Jesus was teaching a parable in Matthew 25 on the talents. A man embarking on a journey to a far country called three of his servants together, giving one five talents, another two talents and another one talent (a talent being a unit or weight of currency).
They were to invest their talents. Two of them invested wisely and doubled their investment, and the one hid his in the earth. To the two, the ruler of the house said, "Well done, good and faithful servant, you have been faithful over a little. I will make you ruler over much." The other who didn't invest received nothing.
If you have received God's investment of His dear son into your life, invest Him into the lives of others around you. If you have not received God's investment, please don't waste another day without Jesus. He is an investment that will draw interest. You can Trust God for that, and He will trust His son to you.
Ron Hemphill is the pastor of New Life Bible Chapel. He can be reached at 541-447-6543.