Tag Archives: trust

I am okay

Words of Grace 

 

What do you say when you have had a hard week? When things have piled up against you and any one of them seems like too much? Sometimes the most you can say is, “I am okay.”

One of my favorite passages from Paul is in 2 Corinthians 4:

We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—

In other words, it’s been a tough week, but we are okay.

Not destroyed. We may not be able to see hope right now, but we trust it is there. We may not feel great about ourselves or the life around us, but we not in despair. We may not know how all of this will turn out, but we are still looking up.

Most of us don’t need to feel great all the time. We understand that we are in a battle against an enemy. We understand that there is competition for our place in life. We understand that the others around us have crummy days. We understand that society is broken.

I think regular people can take a lot. I know that those of us who have the presence of the Lord and the promise of His everlasting love can take even more. To be okay simply means that we are not destroyed by whatever we are going through. We will not be destroyed because the Lord is with us and will never leave us.

I might not have a smile sometimes, but I am okay. I might not have the time or the strength to lift my hand in sacrificial service, but I am okay. I might not be able to see a way out of my trouble, but I am okay. I am not destroyed and I will not be destroyed.

I am okay because Jesus loves me. I am okay because this world is not my final home. I am okay because I am fully forgiven and accepted. I am okay because I am never alone.

No, I refuse to say that everything is wonderful when I don’t feel that way. I have to be honest and admit to my pain or my struggle. But I also know that I am okay . . . and I want you to know that as well.

In 1870, Horatio and Anna Spafford lost their only son to scarlet fever. The next year, Spafford lost almost all his financial assets in the Chicago fire. Then, in 1873, Mrs. Spafford and their four daughters left for Europe while Horatio stayed back to try to recover some of his business. The ship had an accident and the four Spafford girls drowned. Only Mrs. Spafford survived.

Out of that series of tragedies, came the words to a wonderful song, “It Is Well with My Soul.” It was Horatio Spafford’s way of telling people, including himself, that he was okay.

 

I am okay

Jesus loves me

He will never leave me nor let me go

I am safe in Him

I am okay

 

 

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I am not alone

Words of Grace  

The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.    Psalm 121:5-6

 

We just experienced something that reminded us of the presence and activity of God on our behalf.  It was fairly simple, something the world would call a happy coincidence, but we know better.  We believe that God, once again, intervened in a small thing in our lives and revealed His kind hand.

How often does this happen?  Frankly, I don’t know.  I probably miss most of those times.  But I am privileged to see it once in a while, like the shadow or the movement in the woods that tells me my Protector is there.  And, most of the time, that’s enough.  I don’t need to hear His voice or see His face.  I just need to know that He is there.

Do you realize that the continual presence of the Lord on behalf of His people is promised in both the Old and the New Testaments?  Psalm 121 is so clear and so encouraging; and then we have the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:20, “I am with you always!”

He who watches over the sparrows, knows all about you and what you are going through.  He knows your pain and your struggle.  He knows your fear and worry.  He knows and He loves you.  He is with you.

And His purpose will be accomplished in your life.  In the midst of disappointment, distraction, interruption, and failure, you can trust that He is still at work for you.  Even when things don’t go the way you want them to, trust that He knows and He is with you.

I am not alone.

I am not forgotten.

The Lord knows me and loves me.

The Lord is with me.

I am not alone.

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I am Wise

Words of Grace

One of the most common things I hear around me is people saying how dumb they are.  “Oh, I’m so stupid.”  “I never do that right.”  “My brain doesn’t work.”  I make such stupid decisions.”

But if you are so stupid, how can you ever make a wise decision?  Many people believe they can’t.  They need a teacher to tell them what to do.  They need preachers or elders or counselors.  Then, if the teacher says something they don’t agree with, they just tell themselves that the teacher is wise and they have to trust him.

What if I could convince you that you are wise?  Wouldn’t you say that someone who has wisdom is wise?  If someone were to ask you to estimate your net worth, would you tell them only what you have in your pocket or purse?  Wouldn’t you count everything: bank accounts, investments, property, etc?  If the man standing next to you has seventy-five cents in his pocket and seventy-five million dollars in the bank, would you consider him rich or poor?

You see, what you have full access to is yours.  You have the wisdom of Christ in you.  He is your Wisdom and that makes you wise.

But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God–and righteousness and sanctification and redemption–1 Corinthians 1:30 (NKJV)

It doesn’t matter whether you feel wise or even if you always make wise decisions.  The truth is that wisdom belongs to you.  If you feel that you need to make a wise decision, just ask.  That’s what the Scripture says.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 (NKJV)

 

I like that verse because it adds the fact that God will not accuse us of being stupid when we ask.  He will not judge us negatively for asking.  Whatever we need, especially wisdom, we receive freely from Him.

So you are wise.  Don’t hesitate to stop once in a while to ask the Lord what He thinks, then trust Him to lead you by His/your wisdom.

I am wise.

I have the wisdom of the Lord.

I can ask Him anything and wait for an answer.

Jesus is God’s wisdom in me.

I am wise.

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What to do?

Grace 101

What do you do when God is silent?

Yes, I think there are times when God is silent.  I really don’t think that happens often, but I think it does happen.  So let me put in my caveat first and then talk about God’s silence.

You see, most of the time God is not silent.  We are just not listening.  I wrote about that before.  Sometimes we just need to shut up and listen.  We go to Him with our problems and dump the load on Him, almost as though we expect Him to jump at our command.  In those times, His silence is our own fault.

And sometimes we try to paint God into a corner.  He has to solve our problem in a certain way.  Anything else would be unacceptable or unrecognized.  Maybe healing is what we want, but healing isn’t the only good option.  Maybe that new job or new love seems the best to us, but there is a better one out there.  By telling God what He must do, we set ourselves up for missing His answer.

But there are those times when we pray in submission and come to Him in quietness and we still hear nothing.  In those times we are to wait.  Trust that something is happening.

Sometimes children come to their parents in tears, maybe even screaming, and parents are supposed to help.  But, in order to help, the child has to stop screaming, stop hyperventilating, and simply calm down.  We tell them to “take a deep breath,” and we do nothing until they are ready to receive.  There is great value in that deep breath.  The world gets crazy.  Evil and danger press in, trying to overwhelm us.  Yet, it rarely is what we see; and taking a deep breath, pausing to settle our hearts, changes our perspective.

So, when God is silent, take a deep breath.  Calm your heart.  Yes, there is danger and you are worried.  Yes, you are upset.  Yes, you feel that you need an answer right away.  But you won’t be ready to hear until you settle into the rest He has already given you.

Then you may begin to understand that He has already given you the answer.  You haven’t been able to hear Him because you haven’t accepted the answer He has given.

Or you may see that your request is misguided.  Not wrong.  He knows your heart and your fears.  He understands what you ask, but His best is something different.

And maybe you will see that your heart has been wrong.  You have forgotten that He is God, wise and strong and wonderful.  The best thing that can happen is for you to step back and stop demanding your way.

In all of these, God may simply wait.  Your stress and confusion are stopping you from hearing Him or accepting His answer.  So He waits for you.  In fact, when you don’t hear from Him, ask Him if He is waiting for you.

The point in all of this is that grace allows us to find peace when God is silent.  Trust in His love and His power.  Trust in His wisdom and authority.  Trust that He is able to do what is needed and wise enough to know what is needed.  Believe that He hears your prayer and loves you.  Then rest.

No, it isn’t easy.  The craziness pushes and threatens.  But ask Him for peace, even though you don’t yet have your answer or your miracle.

Ask Him to help you rest in Him.

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Look Back

Grace 101

 

Chuck Swindoll once said something like, “If you want to see how God is leading you, look back.”

Frankly, I never found that to be helpful.  When I look back over the path of my life I see evidence of uncertainty, compromise, and foolishness.  I see the mistakes I made and the cruelty of others and what seems like a lot of random events.

I do see the hand of God.  I see His protection and provision.  I see His work in circumstances and people.  He was certainly there and at work.  But to look back and say that was the leading of God seems strange.  God was not responsible for the fleshly choices I made.  God was not responsible for the things others did to me.  God was there; but, if He was leading, I wasn’t often following.

The Family Circus has been a popular comic in the newspapers for over fifty years.  Written by Bill Keane, it presented basic Christian values and a perspective on children and family that many enjoyed.  The comic is still written, now by Jeff Keane, and is still carried in syndication.  Those of us who raised families during the years of the comic’s popularity in the local paper saw a lot of our own families in The Family Circus.

One of the things I remember so well, and was used in the comic many times, was the fact that the children rarely moved in straight lines.  If told to go somewhere, Billy or Dolly or Jeffy would wander all over the place on their way to their appointed destination.  On any path there were distractions and obstacles that made the goal questionable.

That’s more what I see when I look back.

But maybe there is something in what Swindoll said.  God was always there.  His love was never removed.  There are points where I can see it so clearly.  He could have rejected me, maybe should have by my fleshly standards, but He never did.  He was always there.

So, perhaps we shouldn’t look back over our path expecting to learn anything more than the fact that God has always loved us and has always been there for us.  When we wandered far from Him, He was still with us.  When we did things our own way, rejecting Him and His way, He was still there.  When we found the pain and struggle of our sin or the sin of others, He was there.  He might have allowed us to go through some difficult times, but we were never alone.

David wrote something I have held onto for a long time.  In Psalm 37:25, he wrote:  “I have been young , and am now old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging bread.”  I was not always righteous, but when Jesus came into my life I found Him faithful.  He has protected and provided.  He has always been there.

And here’s the point: If He was always there with you in the past, He will always be there with you in the future.  You might not be able to see a direction or destination based on your path, but you can trust that you do not walk alone.

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Peace

Grace 101

High blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, heart attacks—all of these serious health issues are related to or seriously affected by stress.  There are many more, of course.  Some of the more “modern” diseases, those which are difficult to diagnose or cure, may be caused by stress.  Add to that the health issues that come from behavior precipitated by stress—smoking, drinking, over-eating, etc.  Stress is hard on us.

The Lord designed our bodies to respond to attack or danger in certain ways.  Blood pressure, digestion, conversion of sugar to energy—these things change so that we are better prepared to fight or run or endure.  But when our minds see danger where there is none, our bodies still prepare.  Stress is usually the perception of danger.

Think about the last several times you suffered stress.  Was there real danger?  Did your body need to prepare for fight or flight?  You might have had to make decisions, even serious decisions, but did your blood pressure need to go up?  Probably not.

A good deal of the struggle we suffer comes from our perspective on the things of life.   We can look at the same situation different ways.  From one position, a job loss feels like we are being thrown into the sea without a life jacket or raft, doomed to failure and death.  From another, that same job loss opens the door to a whole new life, one with more opportunity to fulfill our dreams.  Much is affected by how we look at these things.

So, if you continue to sort through what was given to you in salvation, you will find a precious, but under-valued and under-utilized gift, the gift of peace.

Over and over God says that He gives peace to His people.  Yet, I have found so many believers who live without peace.  They live in fear of the future, fear of God, and anxiety because of sin.  They long for peace, but live in stress.  Sadly, they go to church and, instead of being told of the peace that is their gift, they receive more stress.

But the Lord offers peace.  Peace in the midst of any trouble.  Peace for the future and the past.  The call that some teachers bring, the call to worry and fear, is a lie for believers.  We are called to peace.

And this is not the deceptive peace of the world.  You know what I mean.  Just don’t think about the trouble.  Just focus on the good in life.  Block out all negative thoughts.  That’s what the world offers.  In fact, that’s about the best the world offers.  And we always know the trouble is still there.  And we are still inadequate to face it.

The Lord gives us peace in Himself.  We face a world bigger than us and trouble bigger than us.  But nothing is bigger than He is.  He doesn’t push us out into this difficult world to fend for ourselves.  He is with us—always.  He is with us Himself, in person, in relationship.  We face nothing alone—ever.

So we have peace concerning our future because our future is secure in Him.  We have peace concerning our past because He has healed and redeemed our past.  We have peace in the most difficult of circumstances because He is with us.  That’s the amazing promise He gives to His people.

I know that there are times when we fear.  Peace is not the absence of fear.  Peace is the security and assurance we have in the midst of fear.  One of the most powerful verses in Scripture is Psalm 56:3 .

“Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.”

That’s peace.

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Check the Receiver

Grace 101

 

“Something’s wrong with the receiver!  I can’t tell if anyone is there.”  Some of us remember when a broken telephone was a big deal.  Today we almost take for granted that some of our calls will drop.  But 30 years ago calls didn’t drop unless they were very expensive overseas calls.  And, to be honest, if you still had a phone from the phone company, very little ever went wrong with the phone.  Telephones were relatively simple appliances and were made tougher than almost anything in the house.  So when the receiver went bad, it was a big deal.

Of course, the idea that something might be wrong with the receiver was not limited to the phone.  Televisions were just fancy receivers—ones that sometimes didn’t receive anything.  Radios had receivers that could go bad.  Even people had bad receivers sometimes.  People?  Well, of course, some can’t hear and others don’t listen.  So, in a sense, the receiver is broken.

You have probably had a conversation with someone who is hard of hearing.  They say something to you and you answer and they can’t hear.  For them, it seems like a one-way conversation.  Sometimes that happens on the cell phone, doesn’t it?  You begin to tell a story and, by the time you are finished, the other person is gone.  The call dropped and you have been talking to no one.  When you reconnect, the other person says, “I lost you just as you were starting your story.”

Many Christians, if they are honest, will admit that prayer is sometimes like that.  They bring their requests, tell their stories, but there doesn’t seem to be anyone on the other end of the line.  They end their prayers wondering if they were ever heard.

The natural response to this one-way prayer seems to be to try to fix the transmitter.  We assume that something is wrong with getting our message to God.  So we try to be better on our end.  We work harder, confess more, and come up with formulas to increase our spirituality.  Maybe God will hear us if…

And some teachers will tell us that we are praying incorrectly.  We have to use certain words or a certain posture or even a certain volume.  If you really want something, they may say, you have to repeat it over and over.

But the problem isn’t the transmitter, the problem may be the receiver.  If you pray for forgiveness, receive the forgiveness.  If you pray for wisdom, receive the wisdom.  If you pray for assurance, receive the assurance.  The Lord is giving you what you need, but you may not be receiving it.

If I can push the illustration further, I think that sometimes we mess with the transmitters so much that we turn the receiver off.  We assume from the beginning that we have to do something in order to be heard by God, so we focus on what we have to do and we don’t listen for His answer.  The formulas, standards, and rules become so important that we dismiss the love of God in favor of our manipulation of God.

So when Jesus taught His disciples about forgiving others, the disciples were challenged.  They asked Jesus to increase their faith.  They understood that it was difficult for them to receive the truth of His teaching and apply it in their lives.  Their receivers were broken.  So they asked for more faith.  And Jesus told them about the authority of God.  He told them that the things of this world are under God’s authority and they were also.  In other words, the authority and character of God was the key.

They didn’t need a lot of faith.  They just needed enough to see that God was strong and good and wise.  They just had to know they could trust Him.  If they asked Him for something He already said He would give them, they simply had to trust in His authority and power.  If He said He would do it, He would do it.  If they asked Him for something He had not promised, they could come in faith trusting that He would hear them and do the right thing.  It didn’t take a lot.

Do you find it hard to accept that you have been forgiven?  Check your receiver.  Trust in God’s authority and promise.  The problem isn’t in what you do, your transmitter.  The problem is that you are not believing the Word of God that says you have been forgiven.

Do you find it hard to trust for the future?  Check your receiver.  Your future is in the hands of the Lord who loves you.  He says many times in Scripture that you can trust Him.  Believe in His authority and power.  Believe in His love.

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What I know about you. . .

. . . you are safe!

 

What if I lose my job?  What if this strange feeling is cancer?  What if I said the wrong thing and she’s mad at me?  What if I forgot to pay a bill?  What if the car has problems?  What if I bomb this test?  What if he is seeing someone else?  What if I have an accident?

Life is full of what-if’s.  Worry, anxiety, is the expression of the flesh’s fear of not being self-sufficient.  We simply are not smart enough, strong enough, or influential enough to control everything in our lives.  We feel unsafe because we aren’t in control.

Some people compensate for their fear by setting up all kinds of rules and standards and contracts in their lives.  Others become aggressive or narcissistic.  Still others go through their lives dependent on someone else, who also is not able to control life.  And some just live in fear almost every day.

But we were never made to be self-sufficient.  The Lord created us to be dependent on Him.  If He were a normal person, you might think that was a bad thing because normal people are undependable and self-serving.  But the Lord is faithful and gracious.  He really does care about us and He will protect us and deliver us.

In fact, the plan from the beginning is that we would live our lives in close relationship with Him.  He would provide for us and we would have a life without fear and worry.  Sin took that life away from us, but Jesus gives it back.

The normal life of the believer is one of safety and assurance.  I know that we often view our circumstances out of our flesh, the system of living we designed when we were apart from the Lord, but the flesh doesn’t see the truth.  The flesh is always afraid because it doesn’t trust anyone but itself and knows that it is unable to control everything.  But when, in the Spirit, we are able to look at the Lord and see reality, we understand that nothing can hurt us.

The Bible is full of little stories designed to give us encouragement.  In 2 Kings we read the story of a great army from Syria that had come to capture Elisha.  Elisha’s servant was very much afraid.  But Elisha knew the truth.

And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”
So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
And Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.   2 Kings 6:15-17

The army of the Lord surrounded Elisha to protect him.  There was no danger.  (You might want to read the rest of the story for yourself.  Some impressive faith!)

What if you and I could see the Lord’s protection or provision gathered around us?  What if we could see that check coming that would bail us out just at the last moment?  What if we could see the angels of the Lord surrounding our home or our car?  What if the Lord opened our eyes to what He does on our behalf?  What would happen to our fear?

Yes, I understand that bad things happen.  Actually I have to qualify that.  I understand that things come into our lives that are uncomfortable and don’t fit with our plans. The things that come into our lives, however evil they may be, are only the ones the Lord allows for good in our lives.

How can cancer or job loss or physical abuse be good for us?  That is a very reasonable question and it is hard to answer from the outside.  But I have seen too many people in the midst or in the aftermath of terrible suffering who sing praises and give thanks to the Lord.  Those who suffer find that there is One who stands with them and loves them.  And the love of the Lord is greater than their pain.

The bottom line is that the people of God are safe.  If you lose your job or have an accident or get sick, the Lord will walk through it with you and, if you let Him, He will bring much good even through the suffering.  You can trust Him.

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10

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Telling Secrets

Will you love me if I tell you my secret?
 

Why do we share our secrets?  Those who seek to control us often hold our secrets over our heads.  Well, maybe these facts aren’t really secrets, but they are things we don’t want advertised to others.  Failures, fears, desires—these are things that betray our vulnerability and often open us to manipulation.

One of the surprises I learned as a pastor was how many people would come to me and tell me their secrets.  I didn’t ask and I didn’t need to know, but they wanted to tell me.  I used to wonder why they told me those things.  Then I began to understand why people tell their secrets. 

Often people tell their secrets as a test to see if the other person will still love and respect them.  Once the “real you” is revealed, then you will know whether you can trust that person with your love and loyalty.  The problem, of course, is that when you tell them your secret you are already trusting them.  You have already given them the means to hurt you and you have no real right to be angry when they betray you.

Another reason people share their secrets is to bind the other person to the relationship.  Instead of seeking love by sharing secrets, this is demanding love because secrets have been shared.  The one who shares the secret thinks, often in error, that he or she holds some power over the other person.  If the other turns away from the relationship, he can be castigated as a traitor or a user. 

A secret is a burden.  It weighs on the bearer and we want to be rid of it.  When we share a secret it can be an invitation to help us carry the weight or it can be an attempt to shift some of the burden to another person.  This is why we often begin to understand that the person who shares her secret wants the secret to be known.  A secret that has been revealed is no longer a burden.  It may be a shame or a challenge, but the weight of the secret is gone.  Often those who tell others their secrets subconsciously want those secrets to be revealed.

But revealing a secret so that the weight is gone is different from revealing it so that others can use it to hurt or manipulate.  When we deal with legalists or narcissists, those secrets are often stored away to be brought out at times when they want to control us.  They become threats over us or revenge against us.

So why share your secrets?  I understand that there are times when this is necessary.  A church needs to know if you have a conviction of child abuse before they put you in almost any leadership position.  A prospective spouse should know about the child you had in a previous relationship.  There are times when sharing truth about yourself, even painful truth, is important.  But you are under no obligation, even as a Christian, to share with anyone who does not need to know. 

Jesus knows and He still loves you.  He watched you do whatever you did and He loved you right through it.  He invites you to bring your burden to Him.  You might be surprised at how your burden is lifted when you come to Him and just tell Him what He and you already know.  Tell Him your feelings associated with the secret.  Tell Him the pain you feel, or the anger, or the fear.  Tell Him even if you think you would probably do it again under similar circumstances.  He knows and He cares.

For the most part, let your secrets be between you and the Lord who loves you.

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Educated Trust

“Trust but verify.”  We understood these words, even applauded them, when Ronald Reagan used them to refer to his position on the Soviet Union.  But in our personal relationships in family, church, or work, we seem to think that the phrase involves a contradiction.  If I trust, I shouldn’t have to verify.  Right?

I will be honest.  There are people I will not trust again, primarily because I will not give them the chance to be trusted.  I will be kind to them, perhaps even friendly, but I won’t trust them.  At least I won’t trust them in the way they want or expect to be trusted.  I know too much now. 

But that knowledge allows me to continue a relationship with them, changed but still active, in spite of what they did.  In fact, my expectations of them now factor in what I have experienced.  And that is how we begin to move forward to trust again.

You see, trust is opening your heart to another person.  It is placing certain expectations in the relationship.  When you tell someone a secret, you expect they will respect you and keep what you have told them to themselves.  When you learn that your secret has been shared, perhaps in a cruel way, you learn something about that other person.  You learn that the other person either does not respect you or is not able to keep your secrets.  That information is good to know.

You also learn something about yourself.  You have a need to share, a need to connect with someone, a need for love and care.  But when you beat yourself up and think of yourself as stupid or weak for sharing, you deny the need of your heart and you hurt only yourself.  Just because that other person was untrustworthy does not mean that you are foolish or pathetic.  Put the sin and weakness where it ought to be.

We say, “Fool me once shame on you; fool me twice shame on me.”  But that lesson is limited to that one person.  There are others who won’t try to fool you.  There are people who will love you.  You can trust them, but trust them in an educated way.

One of the little known facts in the Bible is that Jesus did not trust the people He loved.  In John 2:24, Jesus is in Jerusalem during the Passover.  There are people all around Him.  They have seen His miracles and they claim to love Him.  They say they believe in Him.  But, the passage says, He did not trust them. 

Well, the text actually says that “He did not trust Himself to them,” or “He did not entrust Himself to them.”  Why?  “…because He knew them.”  Think about that.  He loved them enough to go to the Cross for them, but He did not trust them because He knew them too well.

Two things:  First, you are never called or expected to entrust yourself to another person.  There is nothing I can find in the Bible that suggests that we should place our hope or our expectations in another regular human.  The problem, of course, is that others are like us.  They sin, they lie, they maneuver for advantage, they hurt the people closest to them.  The flesh is incredibly self-serving and others are expendable from its perspective.  Anyone can hurt you.  The only One who loves purely is the Lord Himself.  Entrust yourself to Him and not others.

Second, educate your trust.  See others truthfully.  When you tell a secret, know that holding a secret is hard for almost anyone and the right circumstances can compromise the tightest lips.  When you want to place your hope in a person, know that he or she will probably fail you.   See people as they are, not as you want them to be.  You can’t really expect anything consistent or pure from them.  That’s not a statement of despair or anger, but a statement of reality. 

So, friends will fail you.  That does not mean that you shouldn’t have friends.  It means that you should let them be regular people.  Some will be mean and maybe you should stay away from them.  Others will just be weak or foolish.  Love others and receive love from others, but never expect that love to be unconditional or pure. 

I said yesterday that trust is a gift you give to yourself.  Entrust yourself to the Lord, who loves perfectly and completely.  Then trust others in the way they should be trusted—as friends and family members with weaknesses and fears and compromises just like you.  Don’t be afraid to receive the imperfect love others offer.  It’s all they have.

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