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Where are we Going and Who Can we Trust?

It’s Saturday and a cool rain is falling in West Michigan. Not supposed to get over 50 degrees F. Leaves are turning and dropping. Sort of happy they are too wet and heavy to rake today.

Big 10 football game this afternoon. This year’s underdog University of Michigan plays rival Michigan State.

But for the moment I’m snagged on the thought that– even though so much of our lives are still caught up in the repetitions of daily or weekend routines– we’ve never been here before.

And how could we not feel a bit unnerved by the news of a volatile global economy, deepening recession at home, a bitter election that shows how divided we are, and industry lay-offs that, in one way or another, threaten all of us.

In addition to the question of, “Where are we going?,” there’s another question of “Who can we depend on to tell us the truth?.” National elections have a way of reminding us that trust is a real issue.

That question brings me back to something I’ve noticed about the Bible. I don’t find a lot of emphasis in either testament about trusting leaders whether they are presidents, pastors, or parents. Seems like it has to be less than 100 times that we are told to trust our family, friends, and co-workers.

(Yeh, now I’m trying to pull someone’s leg. I don’t know where to find statements like that–except in the words of Jesus who did talk repeatedly as God does about whether people believe him– John 4:21; 8:45-46; 10:37; 14:11)

Even though it’s obvious that suspicious, untrusting people, bring out the worst in one another, I can’t think of one spiritual leader in the Bible who says, “trust me,” or “trust one another” (with the exception of our Lord who encourages us to trust him– rather than one another).

On the other hand, the Scriptures do teach us to spend our lives learning to be trustworthy, and learning appropriate and healthy ways to entrust ourselves to one another– as a way of entrusting ourselves to God. Even though the wisdom of the Bible teaches us to be faithful to one another– it never (as far as I can tell) encourages us to trust any mere human, institution, or source of security.”

Admittedly, the Apostle Paul does spend quite a bit of time giving his readers reason to believe he is telling them the truth. But historian Luke acknowledges that those who listened to Paul were wise to judge for themselves whether the “New Testament ideas” he was giving them lined up with their knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures (Acts 17:11).

Psalm 146 says it like this: “Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there. When their breathing stops, they return to the earth, and in a moment all their plans come to an end. But happy are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the LORD their God. He is the one who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He is the one who keeps every promise forever” (Psalm 146:3-6).

Now, having said this, I don’t expect you to trust my conclusions :-). So lets think it through together and see what I’ve missed…

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19 Responses to “Where are we Going and Who Can we Trust?”

  1. wretch-like-me says:

    I certainly identify with your thoughts on ‘trust’. For some time I have been trying to reconcile with my own failures and the realization that despite my best intentions, I ‘fall short of the Glory that is God’ and it is only in HIM that I can trust… a ‘sore’ subject for my wife and I. I confess that despite my efforts to be worthy of her trust, I have failed more than once… While she seems much more trustworthy than I, I have learned over the years that she is more disciplined; however, she still has her weaknesses.
    On a larger perspective, whether its local church govt or our nation’s leaders, after doing our best to make informed decisions according to God’s Word, ultimately we place our trust in God ‘Who causes all things to work for the good of those He loves…’ Rom.8:28

  2. bw says:

    Hi, just joined in from South Africa, and yeah we have a few of out own issues to work through as well….

    I think the small phrase in 1 Cor 13 vs 7 in that love “always trusts” is the one that challenges me. We know how Jesus taught us to love one another, and even to love our enemies, and if part of that love is to “always trust”…mmm gets a little hard…. very hard… but spoken by our Lord nonetheless.

    I think that maybe if we take “always trusting” out of loving our leaders then we may become more judgmental and in ways less supportive than what we could be. Not easy, and by no means do we excuse that which we do know of which is not honest and honorable, but in the light of not knowing, then to trust (and to trust one another).

    We know that trusting someone usually encourages them and builds them up, and yeah sometimes it is misplaced or abused, but oh for grace and lots of it please Lord. Jesus knows this is so vital for our own health and growth, and yeah we know we can always trust Him and that He will never fail us.

  3. rokdude5 says:

    From Wrightwood, California –
    Like BW, its easy trusting those who love and trust us but trusting our enemies? When we put a name or two in place of “our enemies”, one can easily think that insanity has strucked us. I know this is much more easier to swallow when we trust our Lord and Savior to protect us from them.

    On the other hand, I also like the notion that we ourselves must learn to be more and more trustworthy. How? by following the Ten Commandments and when we do so, our faith and trust in God will strengthen and we will become more and more like Him.

  4. Mart De Haan says:

    BW, Seems to me that, in 1Cor 13:7, the “always trusts” refers to “always trusts” God. The original word is literally “is believing all.” There’s just enough ambiguity in the text to keep me from thinking it has to be “always trusts other people.”

  5. SFDBWV says:

    Many thoughts are coming to mind but just a couple to consider. 1 Thessalonians ch 5 verse 21 ” Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good.” 1 John ch 4 verse 1;”BELOVED, BELIEVE not every spirit, but try the spirits wether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

    The “truth” as the world tells it must be tested If one reads on in 1 John 4, the way of determining weither the person is telling the truth is clearly explained.

  6. cctouch says:

    I don’t believe Our Lord wants us to put our complete trust in other people. After all we’re all only human. But He does say to put our complete trust in Him alone. He is God; our Savior! He says in His word that He is faithful to keep His promises to us; and throughout the whole Bible we can find passages where He was faithful to the people who lived in that time who lived their lives for Him and put their trust in Him alone. (ex. Abraham, Noah, David etc.) Anyway, if we find ourselves disapointed with the results of the upcoming election; we can rest assured that it wasn’t a surprise to our Lord! And just remember they are only human after all. But God is God and He will never let us down!

  7. SFDBWV says:

    While looking for trust I found this tidbit, for your thoughts; Jeremiah 17:5 “Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, amd maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.”

  8. SFDBWV says:

    From Bayard,West Virginia
    Concerning the first part of your message, Mart.” Where are we going?”
    I am really going to step out here and say that in all my life I have never had to “trust” God more than I have had to these past 9 years. I still trust him. God is the captain of starship earth and as long as I believe that, nothing is going to cause me to worry about what direction we are heading.

    I am actualy somewhat excited, to see what I believe to be “End Time” prophesy being played out in the news daily.

  9. T.Ruth says:

    In the last 7 or 8 years, this topic “Trust” has been my daily question – who can I trust? Thanks to all who reminded me with bible verses that we trust only in our Heavenly Father.
    The next question I then have is how much can we trust people around us, e.g. our bosses, colleagues, freinds or even church members?
    Lastly, can anyone advice what is the difference between ‘trust’ and ‘faith’

  10. sitsathisfeet says:

    Born and raised in the heartland of the midwest, now living in Ca. Enjoyed hearing your description of Michigan where my sister in law grew up, now my brother and her moving to Illinois, after living in Nevada for 30 years! Who do we trust? Sometimes if we’re fortunate, family and friends etc. But ultimately only the Lord provides absolute trust. When all the world and everything in it passes away, His words will will not pass away! Naked we came into the world, naked we shall go. For me a moving passage on trust is John 14:1-4 (NIV) Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going. That’s where my Trust is, Amen.

  11. Ted M. Gossard says:

    Amen. If we trust in any mortal we’re sunk. Our trust must be in God alone, in Jesus.

    I think we do err easily in thinking we have a good person in a position, say politically or wherever, and we think we can rest assured that they’ll do well and all will go well. But we need to pray, and realize they’re as much in need of the Lord and the Lord’s guidance as we are.

    My Anabaptist leanings make me wary of trusting any political figures since I see nationalism as an inherent danger, even if not necessarily a vice. It does say we should honor such and pray for them, and not slander them. But we’re also told not to put our trust in them (Psalm 146
    ). I’m thinking this is a problem both for the religious left and right in regard to politics and politicians, in this country.

  12. chfranke says:

    “Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey.” You all have such an amazing incite in this subject today. It is calming and pleasing to my agitated soul. I’ve been spending too much time with my eyes on the stock market and news than on Jesus. How easily I get distracted and distraught. It is bothersome to me and I’m sure it’s bothersome to Him. Thank you, Mart, and you all for being witnesses and gentle guides in reminding me what direction I want to go; trusting in Jesus, resting in Him, placing all my worries at His feet.

  13. BruceC says:


    I saw a show on TV last week about the CIA spy plane pilots from a few decades ago. The patch they wore said “In God we trust; all others we monitor.” God can be trusted to do what is right 100% of the time. Although there are times it doesn’t line up with our desires of course. There are some folks that I can trust and rely on far more than others but even they will fail at times and we need to recognize that they are as weak as we. One thing for sure is that no matter how things may go here in this world and in our lives; God has promised those who have faith in Christ that they will have a wonderful eternity with Him. And that you can take to the bank!!!

  14. SFDBWV says:

    BW, My King James Bible says in 1Corinithians Ch. 13 vs :7″ Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

    I can see where one could interpet “believeth all things” for always trust. But they do mean different things.

    In chapter 13, LOVE is being defined. If we truly love someone, we want to believe all things for them.Not from them. It is about our heart and where it is. Not necessarily the person of whom is the recipient of our love.

    We must be childlike in character, yet wary as foxes as there are many wolves in sheeps clothing.

    Wretch-like-me, As I reread your comments this morning, I was touched by your struggle. Take courage in that we all fall short of the glory. Our hope remains in Christ alone. I will pray for you and your wife. For “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,” (Philippians 4:7)

  15. daisymarygoldr says:

    Cannot even trust myself with my own life, how can I trust others? It does not mean that we should be always suspicious and not trust others…then life will be miserable. We enjoy relationships and resources as blessings that come from God but do not rely on them or trust even our own insights.

    We should be trustworthy by reflecting the integrity of our heavenly Father. To the best of our ability, we must honor and keep our words, stay committed and faithful in our relationships with people and God….but we are not perfect and we will fail. Hence, it is better to trust God than anything or anyone else.

    Trust is foundational to any relationship. We cannot trust if we do not “know” the person well. God Himself first demonstrated trust when He entrusted the Garden of Eden to the first man. Man breached the terms of that trust (the first sin) and lost the intimate relationship with his Maker. As our relationship with God in Christ, is restored and deepens, we “know” enough about Him… that He is the only Truth, that He is dependable, and that there is none else beside Him.

    When we “know” God, we know “no” fear (Jeremiah 17:7-8)… we then leap out into the unknown by taking a simple step of ‘Faith’ that ‘Trusts’ God to still all our storms- financial meltdown, bitter election, loss of: marriage, spouse, child, job, house and life. Although, satan continues to sow the seed of distrust, Faith trusts God to never fail us or forsake us!

    T. Ruth, we need ‘faith’ to ‘trust’ an unseen God….

  16. Belma Connerley says:

    In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. Several years ago my husband and I decided to give a whole Bible to every customer we had, who wanted us to build them a NEW house. After building one and giving them a whole bible the Lord spoke to me “Except the Lord build the house they labor in vain that build it” Since then He has given me words and I have written poems etc …Here’s [one] I wrote :

    New House
    Help me to build a new house with beams
    Leveled upwards and walls enclosing the heart,
    Windows on the east to see the sun arise,
    Remembering thy promise that can’t be broken.
    Let’s rest, Lord,
    We have all we need.
    Thy grace has built it all,
    Thanksgiving and praise indeed
    To God with awe…

  17. poohpity says:

    I used to trust until someone did something to mess it up so I learned my lesson much to my chagrin. Now through toil and snares have learned that trust is something that can be earned but it takes time to know someone. I believe it is the same with our relationship with God over time we learn to fully depend on Him and His care like a child depends upon a parent(proverbs 3:5,6). God gave us a brain and the growth that comes during our walk with Him we are taught to use it. Actually He wants us to so we can know Him with a trust from experience(that passes all understanding) not a blind trust. I really liked that saying today from ODB, Salvation is the miracle of a moment; growth is the labor of a lifetime. Gosh that is so very true especially when it comes to trust, a healthy trust. Only in knowing someone fully can you trust without question and hopefully that’s how we can trust our Lord.

  18. SFDBWV says:

    Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped, for the evidence of things not seen.”

    As I have read over the responses, I see many hurting people. I see a common thread in us all. We believe and trust is God, we hold tightly to the promises HE has made to us. We trust HIM to take us through a lifetime here of trials and tribulations, to that far distant shore where all of our pain and sorrows will be wiped away.

    As I have went through life I have trusted many people and many devices. All have to some degree let me down, some through no fault of their own. Yet in order to live I must still trust. I would rather be guilty of trusting people than become so cynical as to not be able to love.

    I trust that God will be faithful in all his promises, it is my faith that enables me to believe that.

    I wish to thank you all for the fellowship you have brought into my home.

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