It’s Monday Grace!
Who can I ever trust?
Betrayal cuts deeper than most wounds. It comes to us in many forms and from various sources. But, when an enemy tricks us or betrays us, we almost expect it. When it comes from someone we have trusted or loved, it rattles our sense of identity and peace.
What must a person think of me to lie to me? How low and worthless am I in his eyes? How can he sacrifice me to make himself comfortable? When he works to turn my friends against me, does he understand my pain and grief? Is he so cruel, or am I so meaningless in his eyes?
Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.
If you can’t trust your friend, or church, or family, or spouse, who can you trust? And it is difficult to estimate the cost of the loss of that trust. It changes us. It shakes our foundations.
Not only do we lose the ability to trust friends or other loved ones, but we lose something of our ability to trust ourselves. How could I ever have been so gullible, so blind, as to trust that person? How could I not have seen the duplicity or lack of commitment? Was I so needy, so weak, so foolish?
And the church? Christians who turn their backs in my time of need? Leaders who blame me for the things others have done? Doctrine that makes everything my fault and gives me no hope for peace or success? Where do I go if the church has betrayed me?
“And, again, Pastor Dave, you will just say that I should look to Jesus.”
And, again, you would be right!
Let me give a rule of thumb for human relationships: Never judge the Lord by His people. It just isn’t fair to Him. Our flesh will continue to be active as long as we are in this world. We may be learning to live by the Spirit, but it is a process of growth. This is what Paul meant when he said in Romans 7 that he did things he didn’t want to do and failed to do what he really wanted. The flesh still called for attention and still contributed to his decisions. The day was coming when Paul would be free from this body and this flesh, but it was not yet.
So, even Paul would agree that the Lord cannot be judged by His people. And, of course, there are many in the church and in our lives who are not His people. Jesus cannot be judged by those who remain in their sins. Nor can He be judged by those who continue to struggle with the flesh. Because Jesus is God, He stands alone in His perfection and alone in His faithfulness..
Now, to be fair, I know there are some people who think that God betrayed them. I would submit that they have not known Him truly. If all you know about the Lord is what the legalist church has taught or the unfaithful believers have presented, then you have not known the Lord.
When I began to look at Jesus through the eyes of the Spirit and grace, I began to understand the truth about His love for me. From the beginning, He loved me. From the moment of creation, His plan was for me to be with Him forever. You too! He loves you. Sin might have damaged this world and hurt our ability (and willingness) to love God, but it never changed His ability to love us. He made a way for us to be reconciled with Him—through Jesus. He paid the price of that reconciliation. He initiated our redemption, paid for it, and called us until we finally responded. He loves us!
This is the Lord I began to see. And I found that I could relax in His presence. I love to think of Him and continue to be amazed that He thinks of me. And I am learning that I can trust Him.
Trust is not an easy gift to give when someone has broken it. Betrayal, especially when it has happened repeatedly, moves us to hold back trust in the secret place of our hearts. We wall ourselves up against anyone who could reach into that secret place. But Jesus is already there. He knows. He understands.
Take First Corinthians 13 and substitute “Jesus” every time you see the word “love.” If God is love, and His love is made flesh for us in Jesus, then we can do this without twisting the meaning of the text. When you believe that He loves you, you begin to see that you can trust Him. He is patient and kind and endures through all things with you. He does not think evil of you. And Jesus will never fail.
Before you ever expect yourself to trust others again, learn to trust Jesus. Then, as you trust Him, He will guide you in your relationships and protect you from the pain you have known. In fact, as you trust Him, you will find that you don’t need to trust others nearly as much. You will understand their struggles and their compromises. You will see them through His eyes.
It’s ready! Listed on Amazon!
Those who read here know that I believe the greatest expression of God’s grace is found in Jesus. So, when Jesus taught the people, what do you suppose He wanted them to understand? He wanted them to know the power and the desire of the love of God for them. His message was not about what they should do for God, but what God had done and was willing to do for them. His offer of salvation and Heaven could be summarized in two words: “Follow Me!”
The Sermon on the Mount is an amazing message of God’s practical grace for the lives of His people. It presents an offer, a free gift, of everything God wants His people to have. It all is found in Jesus.
This is a big book, over 450 pages, all for the purpose of showing that the Sermon on the Mount was a message of love. Rather than a list of new rules given by Jesus, the Sermon reveals the heart of God.
This is not a Bible commentary. It is written in the same conversational style you know from this blog. The theology may be deep, but the reading is straightforward and simple. I believe you will enjoy this book!
Listen: get the ebook if you have a Kindle. It’s only $10. My guess is that this is the best $10 book you will get for your Kindle. If you don’t have a Kindle, you should be able to read it on any computer or tablet or even phone with the Kindle app. And, if it doesn’t work for you, just send it back!
The book is a chunk, but the print is clear and large enough to enjoy. The cover photo is one I took from a boat on the Sea of Galilee to show the approximate place the Sermon was delivered.
And let me know what you think! Leave a review for others. Reviews are important for Amazon sales. Send me a note with your thoughts or questions. You know how to reach me.
While you are on Amazon, type in my name to see the other books I have listed. You might be surprised!