To Trust in Jesus
"I said in my alarm, "All men are liars." (Psalm 116:11). Now that is a broad, sweeping accusation! If you're human, then you're a liar. It occurs to me that the Psalmist did not say, "All other men are liars" so he is even including himself in this. I would imagine that many would tend to think that maybe he overstated his case here, perhaps for emphasis.
But the context suggests another solution. The Psalmist is discussing the dependability of the Lord. God is absolutely trustworthy in all circumstances. When it comes to your soul and your eternal well being, in whom do you place your absolute confidence. Well, in that arena, no human being is trustworthy. We are all fallible. Many men think themselves "wise" and "expert" but it would be foolish to place our confidence in them in such matters. Think about it. The wisest people of our own generation (and our generation is the "wisest" ever, isn't it?) cannot even agree on life's most basic questions. When it comes to life, we find failed promises, broken contracts and misjudgments. When it comes to the soul, we'll find men making empty promises, ignorant statements and giving perhaps well-meaning but faulty advice. And this is the Psalmist's point. There are some things that we should only go to God about, and accept only His word and counsel, and the salvation of our souls is one of those things. Do not go to man for the answers; go to God.
"'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus"
The old hymn suggests the sweetness of the peace that comes from trusting in Jesus. He loves us and will not forsake us. We trust in the Father as we trust in the Son, for you cannot have one without the other. He deserves our confidence (Titus 1:1,2; 2 Corinthians 1:18-22). We commit ourselves to Him because we believe in Him. We believe He has both the desire and the ability to bring our lives to their very best possible conclusions. In fact, with Him, our lives have no conclusion at all. "Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies..." (John 11:25).
In both Testaments, the theme is expressed by this same statement: "The righteous shall live by faith." (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17). We are happy, spiritual people only to the extent that we have put our trust in God.
Trust In His Justice
When facing persecution of any kind, we must trust in God's justice. When treated unfairly, we must remember that God hates injustice of every sort. He is deeply concerned that we treat others fairly (Romans 12:17-21).
One of the most difficult things in discipleship is responding to unfair treatment graciously and righteously. The first impulse is to "get even" because we do not want someone to get away with mistreating us. But we need to recognize that God is just. Nothing goes unnoticed and nothing will be unaccounted for. Trusting God means leaving it to Him to take care of the matter, and not repaying evil for evil to anyone.
Trust in His Wisdom
As we make daily decisions, this is accomplished in at least two ways. First, we must become familiar with His word, which is His counsel on making correct choices. If we must consult human experts, we do so with the knowledge that their advice is correct only in so far as it complies with the counsel of the Master Advisor who created all things (2 Timothy 2:15,16; 19).
Secondly, we pray in faith, asking for help in applying His word to our daily living (James 1:5,6). I may seek advice from godly men and women I respect, but always with the understanding that their counsel is correct only to the degree it is compatible with the Scripture.
Trust in His Grace
I also need to trust in God to be forgiving. Yes, I really, really need this because I am less than perfect. Oh, I can find people who are even further from perfect than I am, but that does not justify my own mistakes.
Some say they think that God would never forgive them because they do not deserve it. They are right; they do not deserve it. But they are also wrong, because the gospel of Christ is for the saving of people who do not deserve it (John 3:16; Romans 1:16; Acts 2:36-38).
Trust in His Providence
When Isaac asked his father, "Where is the sacrifice?" Abraham answered "God will provide..." Every good gift comes from God. He knows how to give the things we truly need. He knows how to comfort in times of loss. He knows how to save the soul. "Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow" (James 1:17).
It is a sign of a lack of confidence in God and His providence when a believer worries and frets about his needs (Matthew 6:33,34). Jesus once asked, "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!" (Matthew 7:11). We are sinners, but we manage to care for our children. God will care for His as well.
Trust in His Compassion
We live in a fallen world, and this means we will face adversity. One must not assume that God is detached at such times. In fact, this is when the faithful are most aware of His presence."It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, because that is the end of every man, and the living takes it to heart." (Ecclesiastes 7:2). If we live by faith, God will carry us through.
Trust in His Power
We need confidence in God's power to save us in eternity. Of all the benefits God gives us, this is the chief. Away with cynicism and doubt. Hopelessness and despair are no longer an issue. "All things are yours." Everything. The Father is happy to give them. (1 Corinthians 3:18-23; 1 Thessalonians 5:23,24). "Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen." (Ephesians 3:20,21).
By Jon W. Quinn
From Expository Files 8.12; December 2001