Sunday, June 14, 2009

Our Tendency

Here is another section from chapter 9 of my book.

Not only do we have the privilege of growing up in Christian homes, we also live in a wealthy country. We do not face many of the challenges that are common in this world. We eat three meals a day and have no experience with severe hunger. We live in safe and comfortable houses and do not know what it is like to be homeless. Most of us live in safe neighborhoods and do not fear crime or harm as we play in our yards.

The struggles we face are relatively simple compared to those of many people in this world. If we get sick, our parents take us to the doctor. If we struggle in school, our mom or dad help us study for the next test. If we need advice, we stroll into the kitchen and ask our parents for their counsel.

But even minor trials are opportunities to learn to trust God. When we have a big test in Spanish, an interview for a part-time job, a sprained ankle, or just been cut from the basketball team, we have opportunities to learn to trust our heavenly Father. It is through these types of situations that God prepares us for more significant challenges in the future. They provide the first steps in learning to trust God on our own.

The key is to make sure we trust God. As church kids we often trust our parents, our pastors, our teachers, and ourselves more than we trust God. Because we seldom experience significant trials on our own, we tend to look to the godly individuals in our lives for support and guidance to the neglect of looking to God.

Don’t misunderstand. Our parents, pastors, teachers and friends are wonderful resources that God uses to help and guide us. We need to take full advantage of their wisdom and counsel. We would be crazy not to. But we must realize that God is the one we must ultimately trust and God is the one who directs and leads. He uses many different means to do this—the Holy Spirit, the Bible, and godly individuals in our lives—but he controls them all.

Jerry Bridges says, “Another pitfall we need to watch for is the tendency to trust in God’s instruments of provision rather than God Himself. In the usual course of events in our lives, God provides for our needs through human means rather than directly…But these human instruments are ultimately under the controlling hand of God. They succeed or prosper only to the extent God prospers them. We must be careful to look beyond the means and human instrumentalities to the God who uses them.”

We need to develop a personal conviction to trust God above all else. When trials come, our parents’ faith won’t give us enduring trust in God. Likewise, we can’t look to the godly adults in our lives to carry us through every trial. Only God can do that. Trust has to spring from the depths of our own convictions about him. We can be confident that God will use our parents and other godly individuals to help us, but we have to learn to ultimately trust God himself.

The goal of this chapter is to help us learn why God is worthy to be trusted and how to trust him in every circumstance of life.

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