Jeremiah 17:7-9 – “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (NIV 1984)
My Musings – God is trustworthy. Like a tree planted by a stream that provides a constant (never-failing) source of water. The tree has no fear of the things it normally should fear (heat and drought), and that experience should have taught it to fear. Why? Because the stream (our “Living Water”) has never failed it, even in such difficult times.
So if God is trustworthy, why are we so often incapable of trusting Him? Not because of His failings, but because of our hearts. This text states that “the heart [by nature] is deceitful above all things and beyond cure [absent God’s intervention, of course].” Because it is in our nature to break trusts (deceive), we find it difficult to understand someone who by His very nature is incapable of deceit or of being untrustworthy. Because of our nature we are very suspicious, wondering when He is going to pull that proverbial chair out from under us (because often enough, that is what we would do).
And we tend to think, because He has not always answered us in ways we think He should or when we think He should, that these are instances of when He has broken trust and failed us. It is easier for us to believe He failed us (was untrustworthy), than to believe that He has something better, or that the timing is not right, or that it was actually us who failed Him. In so doing we are measuring Him by our standards, when His ways are higher than ours and His thoughts are higher than ours.
My Advice – “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known [trustworthy] God” ― Corrie ten Boom. For the true measure of trust is to continue trusting, even when circumstances appear to indicate that the trust has been violated. Don’t trust the circumstances. Trust the God who you know will never break trust.
1 Peter 1:6-7 – Though now you have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trial. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – One reason we face trials (and there are many) is to refine (remove impurities) our faith.
My Advice – Endure hardship, knowing that God will use it to refine your character and faith.
James 2:14, 17 – What good is it my brothers if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?…faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by actions is dead. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Good actions or good deeds cannot result in salvation. But salvation, which is by grace, should produce good actions and good deeds.
My Advice – Do your best to make your faith alive by doing what is right, good and decent.
Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – We hope for things we do not have. But if we have faith we are sure we one day will. We can be certain of things we cannot see, if we have faith. If we have faith, we do not have to see to believe.
My Advice – If your sureness is based upon only what you have, not what you hope for, and only on what you can see, it is not much of a faith. Trust God to fulfill your hopes and give you certainty in the face of uncertainty.
Hebrews 6:15 – And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Sometimes answers will come swiftly. Other times, not so swiftly. Good things come to those that wait.
My Advice – Be patient if the answer is slow in coming. The time may not be right. This calls for patience. Sometimes the answer is no. Because our motives were wrong, it was not good for us, or God has something better. This call for faith.
Hebrews 4:14 – Let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Wouldn’t it be nice if we held as tightly onto our faith as we do to some of the sinful habits that we don’t want to let go of?
My Advice – Hold onto your faith tightly. There will be blatant and subtle, direct and indirect, expected and unexpected attempts to make you let loose. Be on guard.
Philemon 6 – I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Witnessing is more than just how we “show” our faith by how we live our lives. It is also about how we “share” our faith in words. People need evidence (show) and testimony (share) in order to reach a verdict about accepting Christ.
My Advice – Don’t be afraid to share your faith with others. Some will reject, some will ridicule, some will hate. But none of this is directed at you. And remember, some will accept Christ, and that is a great thing to be a part of.