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Tuesday: Trust — 25 Comments

  1. Ten hours ago I was given the opportunity to make a life altering choice which will have serious consequences both potentially good and bad. My overnight prayer has been for God to hear me and to guide my decision.
    Proverbs 3:5 is God's answer to my prayer- I will trust in Him with all my heart. My subconscious is telling me what is right and my developed conscience is weighing up the situation. Thank you to Phil for his timely article on habits as this has helped me to understand how and why I have made decisions in the past and how to make the right decision now.
    Please pray for me that as I make this difficult decision that my trust in Him will not waiver- I will commit my all to Him.

    • Hi Jane

      Looks like there is a small and growing 'army' of people assembling from within the ssnet community to uphold you in prayer in accordance with your request!

      In difficult situations like yours, I find myself re-drawing on a particular quote from Ellen White that may add to your encouragement and resolve to "'not waiver".

      For those who are entering situations because they are seeking to make the Kingdom of God their priority, Ellen White affirms that God's "... promise is that all things needful to them for this life shall be added. Worry is blind, and cannot discern the future; but Jesus sees the end from the beginning. In every difficulty He has His way prepared to bring relief. Our heavenly Father has a thousand ways to provide for us, of which we know nothing. Those who accept the one principle of making the service and honor of God supreme will find perplexities vanish, and a plain path before their feet." (DA 330.1)

      • Thank you Phil and everyone who has supported my prayer request. God is so good - I appreciate the strength that I feel from my SSnet family.
        I hope that my decision will be of a great benefit to many and that God will open up a new pathway for the furthering of community outreach. God bless and thank you.

  2. It is true that it’s easier to trust in God concerning the things that you cannot control. But what about things you can control? What choices might you need to make in which your trust in God will determine which way you do choose?

    Anyone who can assist in giving some advice on the last part of the question.

    • Trusting in God is about being with Him all the time. It is to be in communion with Him. Like developing a friendship... You can exchange information without any preconcept, even small things... This may probably help us to always make the right decision! And even when it seems that the decision turn out not right, God can always help us to learn from Him... Counciousness of His constant presence may be the answer! For He knows the future!

    • Hi Helen. I was confused by this statement in the lesson as well. Besides my choice to surrender to the Lord or go my own way, I can think of nothing and no one I control.

      It seems that the control some people believe they have is only an illusion. God controls everything besides my choice to accept/reject Him (Isaiah 40:12; Jeremiah 31:35; Matthew 6:25-26; Daniel 4:32; Hebrews 1:3; Daniel 5:23 ...and the God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways..."; John 5:17; Job 38 - 41).

  3. Proverb 3:1-8 When God said that he will make our life straight, what does this mean?

    Trusting God

    Someone once said that when we trust in God, that is the first step to contentment. And trusting in God, has to happen before we can have any type of godliness. Just like a baby trusting his parents

  4. Thank you for your comment on Proverbs 3:5 Jane. I too have to make a life-changing decision. I know that there is a need to trust in God with all my heart to make this decision and lean not on my own understanding. Without the Holy Spirit of God, I'll never understand the things that happen in my life, nor the things that happen from day to day. I may not understand why such and such happens, but says God, "...So are my ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isa 55:9. Who knows but God the plans He has for my life if I am obedient.

  5. Always when we have an important decision to make, we sometimes feel that we can’t trust anyone, forgetting even to turn to God. But God knows what is best for us. He is a better judge of what we want than we are. We must trust Him completely in every choice that we make. Never belittle God given ability to reason, and should not trust your own ideas. Never be wise in your own eyes but be willing to listen to and be corrected by God’s word and wise counselors. Bring to God your decisions in prayer. Use the Bible as your guide, and then follow God’s leading. He will direct your paths by both guiding and protecting you.
    This needs total surrender to God.


  6. There is another side of this trust issue that we need to consider.

    When I think of my unchurched and atheist friends, I find that many of them have lost their trust in God. But that trust has not been lost in intellectual conviction or temptation for a profligate lifestyle. Rather it has been a loss in their trust of Christians and Christian leadership. As I have mentioned several times recently, in Australia we have recently had a Royal Commission into institutional handling of sexual abuse. While we can indulge in finger-pointing and blame, the whole episode points to the bigger issue that as Christians we are often not trustworthy.

    The findings of the Royal Commission are an indictment, not only in the sexual abuse issue, but in our attitudes and trustworthiness on a whole range of issues. There is no room for moral grandstanding because we are "God's chosen people."

    The miracle of the risen Jesus being alive today is untrue if we are not trustworthy. Most people will hear about trust in God, if we reflect his love by being trustworthy ourselves. We have a lot of work to do (and not a lot of talking) if we want to rebuild that trust in God.

    • I'm curious Maurice, do the failures of men reflect in any way on your trust in God? If not, do you consider it might be no different with others? We have the promise of the Holy Spirit who will "convict the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgement". Our failures might lead those rejecting those convictions of the Holy Spirit to excuse themselves, but they fool no one, especially the One who will judge them justly.

      While others might fail around us, our faithfulness will affect those who we are able to influence. If given correctly, the gospel will turn all away from trusting in any man, and with the psalmist will say "it is better to trust in the Lord than to trust in man [or princes]"(Ps 118:8,9).

      Trusting any man has no place in the everlasting gospel.

      • I agree that it is better to trust God rather than men. However in the cut and thrust of real life there are those who lose their faith in God because of the action of men. I have worked for the church for long enough to see folk lose their faith because of the actions of others. It is a little too easy to say they have not listened to the Holy Spirit and have gone their own way. It is not for me to judge their motives but rather I need to think of my responsibility.

        I believe that we are called on to let the Holy Spirit work through us and if that is true then our lives must reflect the love of God. If we betray that trust/responsibility we will be held accountable.

        It is a topic worth further discussion but unfortunately the day is just beginning here in Australia and duty calls. I will see if I can expand what I am saying more fully later this week.

      • Those who already have a strong, tested faith will not lose their faith because of the actions of people.

        However, those who are still young in faith and those who are just reaching out after God will often lose their faith in God because of the behavior of those who claim to be His representatives - particularly those with positions of responsibilities in the church. This has been a source of heartache for me as I have observed this happening in two generations of my own family.

        If individuals could have no influence on the faith of others, I don't think God would have commissioned humans to share the gospel. The corollary seems to be that if we can influence others to have faith, the opposite is surely true as well.

        The Holy Spirit works on individual hearts, and He often uses people through whom to work. On the other hand, people can also thwart the work of the Holy Spirit. I don't understand how God is going to sort things out at the end. I just trust Him to do what is best and right for all concerned.

        • Maurice and Inge, I do not disagree with what both of you point out as the reality, but please realize that looking to the failures of others, no matter how high their position, will never excuse one soul who turns from the Holy Spirit's convictions. Men cannot convict, as they would simply fail to be effective, which is why it is not our work. Yes, those who "hold the truth in unrighteousness"(Rom 1:18) will experience the wrath of God for their unbelief which will effect many, but those who acknowledge the truth and exercise faith cannot be moved by the worst that men might do as history has revealed for centuries.

          It is my belief that anyone who blames others for their own unbelief are no different that Adam and Eve when laying the blame on anyone else but themselves for their unbelief. King Saul did the same, while King David freely confessed, repented and sincerely prayed for a clean heart and right spirit.

          Peter and John were not moved by the threats of those in higher positions than our GC leaders today, while Judas excused his unbelief by the display of humility and position of servitude witnessed in Jesus when washing His disciples feet. Unbelievers will always look for a scapegoat. And I would also point out that all those atheists you often refer to are already swimming against a powerful current of evidence that none can honestly deny, yet most will deny in unbelief. The reason, according to Paul, is they "love not the truth"(meaning, they know it's the truth) "but have pleasure in unrighteousness". They love self more than God and others. It's that simple according to scripture. All who receive condemnation will be "speechless" in the judgment, and all will acknowledge the justice of God in their final condemnation.

          For those of high position and experience who are unfaithful, I pray they realize the solemn warning in Rom 1:18.

          My final comment on this lesson would be that trust is personal and will never be affected by others except where unbelief is exercised instead of faith. "...and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."(1 John 5:4) And this lesson is on trust, and not about the many excuses that most will give for their choosing unbelief.

          • A lot of what you say is true Robert and I agree that we should not blame the faults of others for our decisions. However, I am looking at the issue from the perspective of those who have been affected by Christians (for example the victims of sexual abuse by people of responsibility). Many of these folk reject Christianity on the basis of he way that they have been treated. While it is true that what they have experienced is not Christianity, it has been so traumatic that they no longer want to have anything to do with religion. I don't believe that these folk are seeking a scapegoat. They have been badly scarred by their experience. While I have specifically mentioned the sexual abuse situation, I have seen many cases, too close to home of folk who have been badly treated, or simply ignored to dismiss their loss of faith as simply a case of scapegoating.

            The second issue that we need to think about is that atheists are not simply swimming against a powerful current of evidence. I have many atheist friends as a result of my career in research and have had many interesting discussions with them. Not all atheists are as intensely and vitriolically anti-religious as Richard Dawkins. Our discussions have been respectful of one another's beliefs. One thing that I have learned from them is that most of my associates have high moral values and remain true to the "principles of the cosmos, or life, or nature, or whatever" with no expectation of "salvation". It is simply the right thing to do. (Listening to some Christians talk, one is excused for thinking that we behave ourselves so that we do not miss out on eternal life. That seems very self-centered when you are discussing ethics and morality with atheists.) They are not looking for excuses to live a selfish or hedonistic lifestyle. They simply do not believe God exists. We do have some interesting discussions about design, ultimate causes, and the origins of altruistic morality. They do not have pleasure in unrighteousness. My preference is to be respectful and non-judgemental of these folk. They are my friends and understanding them has helped me understand myself a lot more. They do not fit the stereotype we often use to characterize atheists.

          • Maurice, this discussion is more fitted to Wednesday's topic on influence, and it is worthy of our solemn reflection.

            I realize what others say and perhaps do, yet the Bible does reveal truth as I understand it, and it does tell us that the evidence of God is undeniable until the soul hardens their heart. None are able to escape the wooing of God's Spirit and confront it's entreaties every day. The longer one persists in denial, the greater their blindness until they "shall believe lies"(2 Thess 2:12), and will no longer hear that call to repentance and faith.

            Your basic focus is proper in being faithful witnesses, yet the reality is often far from this as many have experienced. This is why Jesus has uttered such powerful and solemn warnings. A millstone about one's neck while being tossed into the sea is not a pleasant sight to imagine. Yet this would be better than harming another soul with a wrong influence. Many "religious" souls will at last wish for that millstone, which is tragic to consider. Yet, all who are lost will have chosen that outcome, regardless of the excuses they frame. This the Bible makes clear. Read the Proverbs and it becomes clear that not one lost soul will hear: "I know it wasn't your fault, but...". And being a moral person without faith cannot save anyone. There is only One Name by which we can be saved.

            As for looking for the Blessed Hope; what's wrong with that? Those who have this hope will be like Him in this life. This world is NOT what God wanted for us, but we make it what it is by choice, until we "repent and believe the gospel", including moral people. Once truly converted, our influence will reveal a heaven on earth for those who welcome it, while for the impenitent, it will seem like hell. Just ask Cain or the Sanhedrin of Jesus' day, who will soon wish for those millstones.

          • Maurice, you write,

            most of my associates have high moral values and remain true to the "principles of the cosmos, or life, or nature, or whatever" with no expectation of "salvation". It is simply the right thing to do. (Listening to some Christians talk, one is excused for thinking that we behave ourselves so that we do not miss out on eternal life. That seems very self-centered when you are discussing ethics and morality with atheists.)

            I think there may be many surprises in heaven. I consider it not unlikely that some atheists will find themselves in heaven to their utmost surprise and delight while some professing Christians who served God in order to gain heaven may find themselves outside - because the foundational law of heaven is the law of self-renouncing love (what Phil calls the principle of beneficence, and the atheists lived by it, while those Christians did not.

        • Hi Inge. While I agree that we are co-workers with Christ (1 Corinthians 3:9), I also agree with what you have previously stated (i.e., "only Jesus saves").

          If someone is saved (or lost) because of me, that would make me their savior. That can't be true since I can't even save myself.

          When we neglect the duty God has given us (to lead others to Jesus), He has thousands of other ways to draw His children to Himself including using rocks (Luke 19:40) and donkeys (Numbers 22:21-39) if necessary. Recall that not even Noah, Daniel or Job could save anyone (Ezek. 14:14-20).

          I believe all will be judged by their own acceptance or rejection of the Gift of God (Romans 6:23). When we fail in our duty to teach others of God's love in Jesus, we will be held accountable for failing in our stewardship. That said, God will not punish others for our sinful neglect of duty (Deuteronomy 24:16; Ezekiel 18:20).

  7. I was worried about how my church family might receive a testimony I planned to share. As I studied my lesson this morning, 1 Corinthians 4:5 put my mind at ease: "Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and reveal the counsels of the heart." I trust God completely to use my testimony to His glory.

  8. I am afraid I do not necessarily agree that it is easier to trust God in the things that we cannot control than in the things we can control. I actually find it the other way around in my life.

    I am not saying that this will be the case for everyone in every situation, but I just wanted to raise a comment and invite others to say what they find in their experience...

    • Phil, I wonder if the author(s) were meaning that it is easier to be inclined to lean towards "trust" in those situations. Look at how many get "religious" when things go bad, someone gets sick or dies, or losing a job, etc. When all is going well and we feel we are managing things quite well, God is too easily forgotten.

      I believe we either trust God in all things or we don't trust Him with anything, even if calling upon Him for help whenever trouble finds us.

      • Thanks Robert. If that is the kind of scenario the authors had in mind, I would agree with that general tendency.


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