Wednesday, 17 July 2019

T The restoration of God's people

Learning to trust again

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Trusting people. We all do it in our lives. We all trusted ourselves, our decisions, our insights etc. Most of us have been told that trust is the basis for a relationship. No relationship without trust. So many force their selves, or are being forced, to trust the people they are having a relationship with. Others trust voluntarily. But no matter the situation, we have all trusted people and many are still trusting people. There are many forms of trusting. A few of them are:

  • Trust in the things people say
  • Trust in the things people promise
  • Trust in the worthiness of people
  • Trust in the reliability of people
  • Trust in the integrity of people
  • Trust in the character of people

Trust makes us confident in a person. We accept that person as truthful and place our hope in the things they do, say or promise. To trust someone is giving credit, honor and praises to a person, while voluntarily depending on that person. But it does more than that. According to the standards of this world, we put trust in the middle and build everything around it, such as our identity, our (self) acceptance,  our love, our safety and our freedom. They say trust is build. They also say trust is the hardest to get and the easiest to lose. But fact is that at some point trust is always somehow violated. When everything we consider as valuable is built around trust, then what do we have left when that trust is violated? In the worst case scenario, we have nothing left. No identity, no (self) acceptance, no love, no safety and no freedom. How can we tell if we trust in a person and if that is the basis of our relationship? By simply taking the trust away and to see what is left. 

When you look at the third chapter (“A violation of trust”) and this one, it seems like the topic of trust doesn’t really fit in this theme about sin, forgiveness and repentance. But that’s only at first glance. When we’re thinking about trust and about how to learn to trust again, we need to ‘change our minds’ on this topic as well, which means we need to repent, as we’ve learned earlier. We must redefine trust and use the Word of God as the only standard for our lives. Here’s a quick reminder to refresh your memory on this topic. 

He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the Lord will be prospered. He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.
Proverbs 28:25,26

Do not trust in a friend; Do not put your confidence in a companion
Micah 7:5

It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.
Psalm 118:8,9

Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
Psalm 146:3

Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us.
2 Corinthians 1:9-10

These are just some verses that talk about this topic, but throughout the whole Scripture God shows us that we shouldn’t trust ourselves, our parents, our family, our friends, not even our spouse. The Word makes it very clear that any form of trust in flesh or in man is equal to our heart departing from the Lord. So God doesn’t take that lightly. 

Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord.
Jeremiah 17:5-7

Give yourself a few moments to think about this and to let this sink in. Think about all the times that you’ve put your trust in man and how relationships were defined by that trust. When the Holy Spirit started to walk this road with me, it totally shocked me to see on how many areas and in how many small matters I had put my trust in myself or in other people. I had no idea how far it went, until He opened my eyes for it. I was filled with regret, wishing that I would have known this much earlier. Without realizing, I had lived under a curse. Now why was trusting in man such a bad thing again?

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.
Jeremiah 17:9-10

Right, it is because of the heart. There it is again. Trust is giving someone control of (areas of) your life, whether that is you or someone else. Trust is surrendering control. Like mentioned before, to trust someone is giving credit, honor and praises to a person, while voluntarily depending on that person. So summarizing we can define trust as a form of worship. And whatever you worship is your god. That means that whenever that is not God, it is an idol. No matter who it is.

Learning to trust again begins with the right definition of trust and the role of trust in our lives. Relationships aren’t built around trust. They are built around love. Love is the center and around that everything else is built. So when trust used to be the center, we need to ‘renew our minds’. Otherwise many disappointments will come back over and over again. Otherwise we’re not able to have Godly relationships. The mission is: Love everyone. Trust no one, only God. That is also one of the reasons why we have to test everything, each and every word that being taught. Including this message. If we trust anything or anyone else but God, we are being easily misled. 

Like I’ve said before, we have all trusted in people and in ourselves. That is nothing new and it doesn’t make you an exception. The only exception is that you are now able to see it. I trust the Holy Spirit will open your eyes as you are reading this. That means you are about to enter a new road and you have a lot to gain. But fact is that violation of trust, or let’s just call it betrayal, many times leaves us with deep and serious wounds. How do we deal with that and how do we get over it? That isn’t so hard as it may seem. We choose to love God above all, we choose to love ourselves and we choose to love our neighbors with the love that God gave us. Then we renew our minds about trust, by deciding to trust only God from this moment on and to trust no one else anymore. That is handing over the control to Jesus. When He has control, He can and will deal with your broken heart and all the wounds that are left. 

From this moment on we build our relationships around love. The only trust that is involved is our trust in God, that He will do what He promised to do. The kind of love we need to build our relationships around is the agape love of God. Like everything else, this is built as well. It starts with a decision. We choose to love a person with the love that God has for us. That type of love is selfless, sacrificial and unconditional. It is the type of love that asks or demands nothing in return and goes as far as laying down our lives for that person. Needless to say, that is not something you have in you by default. Yet is has been made available to you. But we have to start by choosing for it. Choosing to love with this kind of love. As we’ve learned before, this love is one of the fruits that the Spirit of God produces in our lives. So again, it is not a work of our own, but His work in us. We simply choose to let Him produce it in us, while denying our own feelings that are not in line with His Word. We choose based on the Truth of God, not based on our emotions. 

Should Jesus still trust Peter? Not according to the standard of trust of this world. Not after the three times of betrayal. But trust wasn’t the standard He used. It was love. Once love is our starting point for relationships, with God and with people, there is one sort of trust that will remain standing. Our trust in God. But also in regard to trusting God, it is very important to have the right expectation, in order to avoid new disappointments.

The Word says that we are only to trust God. What it doesn’t say is that that trust will indemnify us from trouble or pain while we are still in this world. In fact the Bible tells us many times that we will face tribulations and pain. This can be physical persecution, as we see in many parts of the world today. Brothers and sisters are being tortured and killed because of their faith in Jesus Christ. But there are also many other areas of tribulations and pain. That is the point where our trust comes in again. While love is the center of our relationships, trust will be one of the things involved in the relationships. But this time it is our trust in God that becomes involved. We love with the love of God, while trusting only Him to do the work in you and in the ones you are in relationship with. 

Trusting God doesn’t mean you signed up for an easy ride, but you did sign up for the greatest finish you can imagine. When we choose to trust God, we set ourselves to work through all the hurts when they are rising. We must at all times remember that it is not God Who causes the tribulations in our lives. But many times He allows it to happen in order to form our character. Our trust in Him means that we know that His intensions for us are nothing but the best. It is also not about never having a negative emotion again, but it is about knowing that you can handle anything that comes your way. 

We know that only God is always completely consistent, integer, competent, sincere, reliable and committed. Our trust in Him is the acknowledgment that He is faithful and trustworthy. Because of that we can make His Word the standard for our lives. Without complete and utter trust in Him, it is impossible to maintain His Word as our standard. So we need to work on trusting Him? No. Trust is a decision as well. Even trusting is something no one is able to do on their own strength. Just as with love, we need to choose for it and we let God build the trust in our hearts. Only when God builds trust in us it will become a steadfast and unmovable trust in His faithfulness, goodness, mercy, love etc. 

When trust in man is no longer a condition for a successful relationship, there are no barriers anymore. After all, the love of God is never aimed at ourselves, but always towards the other person. The love of God for us in unconditional and selfless. That is the kind of love that we need in our relationships as well. Only that kind of love is able to approach those who have sinned against you and hurt you, with compassion instead of condemnation. That is the kind of love that will keep giving grace, from an attitude of compassion, so that this other person can reach the state of restoration and healing as well. The heart of God, his ultimate motivation and character, is to safe, heal, deliver and to restore. When God starts to work in us, that is the kind of heart He wants to produce in us as well. The aim is always complete and utter restoration.

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