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Monday, December 7, 2009

trust and confidence


For our lesson today I'd like to combine a couple of thoughts for you to consider that involve "trust" and "confidence." To see examples of these two things we only need look no further than the news broadcasts of the last few days. Unless you've been in outer space (and I'm not sure, maybe it was even there) you're no doubt familiar with the latest happenings that the news media continually blasts at us.

Things such as "health care, Cap & Trade, the Afghan war, bank failures and unemployment percentages." And, as far as "trust/confidence" is concerned, the constant updates on the affairs of Tiger Woods serves here also. That's just a few that came readily to mind & fitting to our thoughts here. I see these as things that both involve "trust" and are things that seemingly matter greatly to a lot of people.

When you look at those "things" in the news that I just mentioned, aren't they the sort of "things" that people put a lot of trust in? They "trust" the government to take care of them. They "trust" in their riches and "trust" in the banking institutions to protect it for them. A lot of them "trusted" in their jobs and have since found that "trust" to have been misplaced. In that regard, the latest numbers being reported is three million now unemployed. And how about poor old Tiger? Is it just me or do you see infidelity as being a breach of "trust?"

You know, we're going way out on a limb when we place our "trust" in other human beings, aren't we? I don't care if it's huge entities like governments or corporations or just individuals, I believe that we put a lot more confidence in them than we should. "Confidence" is a good word to use in this regards. In reality, that's what we're doing when we "trust" our worldly things to others. Saying that we're "confident" that they're worthy of our "trust."

I'd like to remind you of something said in God's Word that directly relates to what we're talking about here. Before I cite it to you, I'd also like to remind you of a phrase spoken by President Reagan in regards to the signing of a nuclear treaty with Russia: "Trust but verify." The passage from the Bible I'm going to give you now is found in Psalm 118:8-9, but I'd appreciate it if you "trust" what I'm writing here, but "verify" that I'm correct in my citation of it.

"It is better to put trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes."

I think that you can easily see that the words "man" and "princes" in that passage would cover both the areas of businesses/individuals and government. Now let's carry our thoughts on over from the secular side to the spiritual. In the secular, we're only talking about our earthly "things." A misplaced "trust" there can only cost us materially.

But, when it comes to "religion." When it comes to the eternal salvation of our "most precious commodity" - our soul, do you really want to place your "trust," your "confidence" in what some person or "religious entity" tells you is what God wants you to do? In this realm we can also use Pres. Reagan's advice and "verify" IE: STUDY God's Word ourselves and see if what we're being told is correct and sufficient to our "trust."

I'm reminded of an old TV show emceed by Groucho Marx entitled "You Bet Your Life." Think about it a moment - "trusting" your soul to what someone other than God says is the same as "betting your eternal life" on that person. I don't know about you, but I see that as the most serious wager a person can make.

If you want to think of it in the nature of wagering, wouldn't you want to "bet" the home of your eternal soul on "a sure thing?" And, I think we've already seen that, when speaking of earthly beings and entities, there is no sure thing in this world. There is no "sure" place wherein to place our "trust and confidence." Just like the Psalmist said, (in paraphrase) "you can't bet (trust) in another person or entity of higher power."

There is only one place we can place our "trust" for the salvation of our souls and that's in the One who gave us them to begin with. (Eccl. 12:7) There is only One place where we can have "confidence" that if we "trust AND obey" our soul is assured of its home with God for eternity. We can have the same "confidence" shown by the Apostle Paul when he said in 2Tim. 1:12 "...for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."

Well, I guess that, as long as we're breathing this earth's air, we have to "use" the businesses and governments of our world with our "material" lives, but never forget that these things are only temporal (limited by time) in nature. We may not have a choice in some of these earthly entities, BUT, when it comes to things "eternal" we do have a choice. And we had better make sure that we place our "trust and confidence" in the only One worthy of it.

Allow me to tie two more Bible passages together for you as a way of closing our thoughts today. Again we turn to the Psalmist for these passages.

            "Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him." (Psa. 2:12)

And then

            "Those who trust in the Lord are as secure as Mount Zion; they

              will not be defeated but will endure forever." (Psa. 125:1)

Ron Covey

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