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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

  • 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.