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All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us. Hebrews 11:39-40 (NLT)

Trust: To place confidence in and rely on the truthfulness of something or someone.

Trust has to earned, usually over the passage of time. The enemy wants you to believe that during those times when God is silent it’s because he is either unable to provide the answers you need or is able but simply doesn’t care. God’s silence leaves us feeling abandoned and questioning why? Why, when he promises to be with us always, does he leave us when we need him the most? Why, when we seek his power to handle life’s most difficult problems does he seem distant or non-existent?

In a word, the lie the enemy wants us to believe is that God’s silence indicates Apathy. The lie comes to us in different ways. Religion tells us that God leaves us because we have sinned. As sinners before an angry God he refuses to listen to us. In order to offer us some relief religion gives us a list of rule and regulations, dos and don’ts that will hopefully appease him.

The humanist version of the lie is that IF there is a God he is only available to those who help themselves. This version of the lie puts the onus of our success emotionally, physically and spiritually on us. We fail to achieve. We try harder and fail more miserably. Once again the negative spiral continues. The deeper it goes the more desperate we feel.

The version of the God is apathetic lie given to us by society is that we are crazy for even seeking him. He’s dead after all. The Bible is nothing but a meaningless set of stories and outdated writings. Society tells us that science and education are the answer, not a distant concept of some supreme being.

The second aspect of trust is that it is earned over a period of time. Take a look a few other people who trusted God when he seemed absent, distant or apathetic.

  • Noah built the ark and warned a people that had never seen rain that it would soon rain and a flood would come. Finally, God’s promised judgment took place, but only after Noah and his family suffered verbal abuse for their actions.
  • Abraham was promised a son and yet that son didn’t come until he was long after child-bearing age. When the son finally came, God called on him to execute this ‘son of promise’.
  • Joseph waited for God’s promise to deliver the Israelites fromEgypt. He never got to see the fulfillment of God’s promise, yet he never lost hope.
  • David was anointed king but was subjected to humiliation, verbal and physical attack and attempted murder for years until he was finally able to ascend the throne.
  • Job lost his family, his money and his health. He was maligned by alleged friends and his wife. Yet even though God eventually restored him to health and gave him more wealth than he had before, no explanation was given for the struggles he endured.

The writer of the book of Hebrews reminds us all that many have gone through life enduring trials that seem insurmountable. They lived holy lives of faith and trust yet never saw God’s promises fulfilled in their life times. Our human nature leads us to think that God’s promise of blessing will happen in our lifetime, but the real blessing comes after we leave this earthly shell we call a body.

The Truth Statement in the battle for trust is: Trust in God allows us to live at peace in present difficulties with hope built on the future.

PRAYER: Father God, during the times of darkness and struggle I sometimes lose sight of the fact that you never promised my life here would be easy. During the times you seem distant keep me from listening to the lies of the enemy. Empower me with your Spirit to trust you regardless of earthly struggle. Amen.

[From the series: “Lies that Keep Us from Loving Ourselves”

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October 2011
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