All Posts Tagged ‘trust

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I trust you because


To Heather,

In writing on this topic (‘I trust you because’) it took me a long time to figure out why I trust you – I just do. There are plenty of reasons, here are three:

Promise

You made a vow to me in the presence of God. I know you well enough to understand this makes a difference – that it was made before God.

We are both well aware that it was God who brought us together, and know His warning about ripping apart what He made one. So this is the unconditional fence guarding our marriage, but there is much more than obligation holding us together.

Vulnerability

I know I can trust you because you have already entrusted so much of yourself to me. You have made yourself exquisitely vulnerable to me, mere words from my mouth could crush you. Having opened your heart to me so deeply as to need me in order to function, I know you are not going to walk away or intentionally injure me.

This goes both ways. My weaknesses are blindingly obvious to you and with this knowledge you could have a powerful weapon. Yet for over a decade you have chosen to unload that gun and lock it away to prevent accidental discharge. Your proven record of trustworthiness.

In some situations vulnerability, even when mutual, can lead to fear. Fortunately we do not have a ‘cold war’ in our marriage.

Friendship

We like each other. Our idea of a good time is to sit together with a cup of tea in our wonky cottage looking out over the harbour and just chat, passing the time of day with no particular point to the conversation aside from being together.

That you care about me is evident, your smile when I come home always lightens my burdens. There is no doubt in my mind that you like me and want to have me around, and I hope my enjoyment of being around you is also obvious.

Perhaps an indication of our friendship is our mutual desire in life to simply grow old together.


What’s this all about:

A blog I follow is running a series of posts called Marriage Letters in which they write a ‘letter’ to their spouse with the idea that by enriching their own marriages they also enrich the marriages of those around them. I’ve been enjoying the series and had good intentions of joining, this is my first attempt. The topic for this week is ‘I trust you because’. Amber hosts a link-up on her blog where you can check out letters from other bloggers.

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Quit working

I’m going to quit working and will live by faith. I have come to realize that although I’ve not thought of myself as an anxious person, I do in fact worry a lot about the future for myself and my family. Jesus tells us not to do this so I have decided it is time to take a step of faith and trust God’s promises for provision (see Matthew 6:25–34).

Some history

On freeing the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt, one of the first issues to arise was the logistical problem of feeding hundreds of thousands of people. God took care of this by providing manna each morning (except on the Sabbath) which the people were to gather and cook for food. To ensure the Israelites only gathered what they needed for the day and didn’t stockpile the stuff, God made it go rotten if kept overnight (except on the Sabbath). So they had to go out each day to gather enough for that day. Anxiously hiding away extra ‘for a rainy day’ would result in an awful stink and maggots growing in it.

Written for us

Paul tells us that these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come (1 Corinthians 10:11). We have a big thick Bible with Exodus included in it so that we will learn spiritual lessons from what God has done in the past (see also 1 Corinthians 10:1–5).

Your goal is to get into a manna rhythm. Seek his grace today, be faithful to the tasks in front of you, and trust him for tomorrow (Ed Welch, Depression, A stubborn Darkness p150).

Such a manna rhythm is something that honours God. It is an attitude which acknowledges that all we have comes from Him. It is an attitude of humility, trusting that God knows what He is doing, is faithful to His promises and will always provide what I need as I need it.

Now the rubber hits the road

That’s not to say it is easy though. I prove day after day my mistrust of God’s promises, embracing assumptions which highlight a lack of faith in God by my choices to work at improving myself by human means. Allowing weakness to become an excuse for not fighting for joy. Letting physiology over-ride love.

Changing these things is a daunting mountain. I do try to overcome this obstacle, and this is where I’m going wrong. God is calling me to seek grace daily for the tasks of today. He is not asking me to worry about the mountain, He calls me to follow Jesus. Step, step, step, step. Jesus even calls me His friend. We can chat on the way. What He does require is that I trust Him. Trusting promises such as:

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV).

But I fall and fail. It is so easy to look at my own weakness and failings (sin) and interpret the situation as meaning this promise cannot be true because I have sinned so that settles it. Whereas perhaps it is more like I have given up on enduring, or have not accepted the way out. Giving up too early or hanging around too long can open me up to sin.

God’s promise is that he will never put us in a situation where we have no choice but to sin (Ed Welch, p201).

Sin is not only actions, I have sinful thoughts more often than I do sinful actions. Temptations are not limited to lust or coveting, despair and joylessness can be lure me in also. Whether Satan skewers me with sex or suicide probably makes little difference to him. The roots of sin and temptation go very deep into my heart, it is difficult for me to discern where each temptation originates, this is like guerrilla warfare against my own heart (James 1:14–15, Jeremiah 17:9 and 1 Peter 2:11). It is serious stuff, subtle – but of eternal consequence.

In the mind of God, sin is a much more serious problem than suffering (Ed Welch, p202).

I’m too busted for a DIY job to be feasible, only God can fix my sin. So working at a patch up job is simply making the mess worse, yet there remains a job to be done. My job is to keep trusting in Jesus Christ when my anxious thoughts are wanting to scheme ways to look after myself.

So I remind myself

God is calling me to seek grace now for the tasks of today.


Photo of sleeping construction worker: iStockphoto

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Evil is ruthlessly competitive

For God alone my soul waits in silence;from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
How long will all of you attack a man
to batter him,
like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
(Psalm 62:1–4 ESV)

Waiting in silence

David’s soul is still in God’s presence. He draws near in reverent obedience. This is an active stillness, there is intentionality and purpose involved. There is focus – a fixed confidence in God which stills all anxieties and drives out little nagging concerns. From God alone comes salvation.

Confidence that only partly relies on God is vain
(C.H. Spurgeon)

The attack of evil

Have you ever had a great ‘quiet time’ (or whatever you choose to call it) in the morning, only to begin the day and have everything turn to custard? Perhaps this is what happened to David. “In God alone my soul waits in silence”. Only to be told at breakfast that the butler has sold the sordid details of the Bathsheba incident to the tabloids.

In reading about verses 3–4, I came across this description:

Evil, being ruthlessly competitive, is attracted to weakness, to give a last push to whatever is leaning or tottering. It is also attracted to strength, the target of its envy and duplicity. It is in total contrast to the goodness which spares the bruised reed, is glad “when we are weak and you are strong”, and achieves its ends by “the open statement of the truth”.
Derek Kidner, Psalms 1–72 (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries)

It stands to reason that David, king of Israel, would be the target of duplicity and underhanded attempts to displace him from his position of power.

What about you?

For all who walk with God there will be ruthlessly competitive attacks of evil probing for our weaknesses and fully exploiting every vulnerability.

  • Where does your strength lie?
  • What are your weaknesses, vulnerabilities, hidden things that would be painful if exploited or exposed?
  • Who would like to see you fall or be taken down a peg or two?
  • Why?
  • How do they seek to take you down?

In what ways does evil, attracted by a hint of weakness, try to give you one last push and get you to fall?

Preach to yourself

Evil attacks and David reminds himself of where his hope needs to be fixed, he strengthens his heart in God. At the beginning of the psalm he boldly states that his soul waits for God alone. Now we get to the place I am more familiar with, telling my soul that this is what I should be doing. I have to tell myself (firmly, forcefully) that God is my only rock and my salvation, my fortress, I will not be shaken. If I pause to consider the evil trying to tear my down, I must then remind myself that on God rests my salvation, on God rests my glory. I have no glory of my own, evil cannot steal what I do not claim. My security, my refuge, is God.

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
(Psalm 62:5–7 ESV)

Trust in Him at all times!

Remember that confidence that only partly relies on God is vain. It is no good stumbling around in the twilight dimness of semi-trust. Trust God whether life is going well or disastrously. When we do trust fully in God it is easier to do what is necessary to get to the place of silently waiting for Him; pouring out our heart to Him.


Image of crumbling wall: sk8geek

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Quietness and trust

a fawn lying in grass looking at camera

For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel,“In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
(Isaiah 30:15 ESV)

With each year that passes I become more aware of how little really matters. It is also evident how little what really matters gets valued, and how prized is that which doesn’t matter.

While God has the ability to easily get my attention by overwhelming all the other clamour in my life, He chooses not to. He waits for me to draw aside from the world and its distractions in order to seek Him, then He speaks to my soul.


Image of fawn in grass: iStockphoto

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Simple, not easy

I was listening to Matthew Chapter 7 as I walked home this afternoon and noticed how simply Jesus taught. He did not make it complicated to understand how to be righteous – simply listen to what He said and put it into practise, simple!

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
(Matthew 7:24 ESV)

Simple to understand, certainly not easy to do. In fact, if the path I’m on is easy, that’s a good indication I’m on the wrong path.

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. “
(Matthew 7:13-14 ESV)

The call and commands of Christ are easy to understand but impossible for a sinful man to obey. I must become something I am not – a little child (Matthew 18:3). A little child believes Jesus when He says it is better to enter life with one hand or one eye than to be thrown into hell with two hands or two eyes. A little child does not rationalize away sin or hell, he confesses the sin, trusts Jesus, and walks on with Jesus in obedience. I don’t need more knowledge, I need to know Jesus and live trusting Him completely.

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “
(Matthew 6:31-33 ESV)

Gifts I have noticed this week (145 – 162):

145) The means to dispatch large spiders without getting too close! (i.e., flyspray).
146) My 17 year-old watch that still goes great.
147) My Mother-in-law making my favourite cake.
148) Contemplating God while washing dishes late at night.
149) Being mesmerized by the patterns of light summer rain falling silently on a pond.
150) Gentle ‘plopping’ sounds as the rain gets heavier.
151) Dragonflies hovering.

152) A dog eager for me to throw a pine cone into the pond for him to chase.

153) School camp.
154) A washing machine.
155) warm, sunny days to get washing dry.
156) Memories of my own childhood adventures.
157) A swim for two dogs who are hot and panting.
158) A gentle, cooling breeze (see Jonah 4:8).
159) Warm sunny days helping to burn away the fog.
160) Clean water to drink.
161) A dog who is expert at finding lost tennis balls to play with.
162) Hope in Christ deeper than any circumstance or emotion.
163) A new road layout, no more walking alongside trucks.
164) The simple, brain-clearing rhythm of walking.