Where Is Our Trust?
Our money in the United States of America declares “In God We Trust”. This practice was established some years ago and as of yet is still placed on our currency.
Ironically, at the time this practice was adopted was a time in America’s history that was fraught with division and fear, when the conscious of the nation felt that no were was trust to be found except for in God alone. The vast majority of the population urged the Treasury to print these words on our currency.
That ‘Trust in God’ was used to attribute faith in the currency being printed and minted in the USA.
The irony comes into play when you fast forward to now when the trust of the people is at best dubious and predominately not being attributed to God, regardless of what is claimed by people in surveys and polls.
If anything it seems that what has replaced God as the standard of ‘trust’ is money itself. If we are to live like this then should we start etching on the cornerstones of our churches the words “In Money, We Trust” so as to return trust back to God where it belongs?
I don’t really believe so.
What needs to happen is that we need to return to our first love.
Write to the angel of the church in Ephesus:
Thus says the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand and who walks among the seven golden lampstands:
I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil people. You have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and you have found them to be liars. I know that you have persevered and endured hardships for the sake of my name, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you:
You have abandoned the love you had at first.
Revelation 2:1-4 (CSB)
Let me step away from focusing on the USA as a point of reference and refocus on us as people and our churches.
I find it difficult not to say that we have not become the ‘church of Ephesus’. We may say that we trust God, but in the way, we conduct our lives and the edict by which we govern our behavior says we serve a different master. Our trust in God has been thwarted and now replaced with a trust in self, government, society, money, and things.
We find ourselves with so many things replacing God that we don’t know what to believe and who to trust!
We demonstrate our trust by whom we choose to serve. Do we serve God or ourselves? Do we serve money? Is our purpose to draw things to ourselves?
A Personal Note
I’ve been forced to take a hard fast look at priorities and trust while I’ve been separated from work for these last two months. Our savings account was zeroed out a couple of weeks ago, and as I was writing this message this morning a notice came in from the bank telling me I was overdrawn.
Instantly I thought that meant that some automatic payment had hit and drained what is left in our checking account past dry. I immediately logged in to see the status and found that it was not the checking but the savings account that had been zeroed out which was over-drafted.
The bank in question had not closed the saving account and at a zero balance had charged a service fee to it of $5 which was not there. So I will have to contact them today because it should have been closed a few weeks ago.
So while things are not good financially, they are better than I perceived just moments ago.
The point of telling you this is to allow you to understand that trust is most valued when trust is all you have. I can’t trust in money, because it runs out. The things I own are not going to feed me, nor are they going to get me to job interviews (with the exception of the car if I have gas in the tank).
Since being out of work, I have wanted to understand God’s purpose for this. I have managed to continue to trust and have faith in Him and His desire to provide for me and my family. This hasn’t always been easy, but it has been refreshingly enlightening, to come to a fuller dependence on His grace and providence and I will never again be able to stand on those pinnacles that I built for myself, regardless of my financial standing.
It wouldn’t be right. Money is not what I trust. The only trust I can vest my faith in is God and perhaps this is that reason that I was looking for.
Where Do We Invest Our Trust
If the evidence of the age we live in were not enough to tell you that placing our trust in the things of this world is an aberration of stability, then it must be that you cannot see the futile nature of the pursuit of wealth.
Don’t misunderstand that statement. What I am saying is that the pursuit of wealth for the sake of being wealthy is a road to nowhere. It is good to prosper as a result of your labor and efforts, but when the results of that effort become the measure by which you appraise your progress you fall victim to it.
Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory.
So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (CSB)
If we can see it, feel it, hear it, taste it, and yes, spend it; it all is temporary. It decays, diminishes, and dwindles away.
Paul was precise in that anything of this world is temporal. There is nothing here that will be here at some point in the future. You could secure the entire world and it will become lost to you at some point.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
Matthew 24:35 (CSB)
We err when we don’t take the Word seriously. This is one of the many passages that the modern Christian seems to glaze over not taking stock in what Jesus is saying to us.
Bottom-line is that there is nothing you can vest our trust in but God alone. All things will pass away, but the Word will not, it is indelible.
Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 (CSB)
Paul also said that our faith without works is dead. Faith must be put into action to have meaning. Trust is the vestment of our faith. You cannot have faith if you are not going to cloak it in trust. Where you place that trust is where your faith is.
Something else Paul told us was this:
Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love — but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 (CSB)
Faith, hope, and love are what is left after everything else has passed on into oblivion.
Love – God first and the greatest. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We aren’t really considering God, if we don’t love all of God. He wants us to share that love He shares with us to others, especially our brothers and sisters, but also friends, strangers, and even our enemies.
For this is what love for God is: to keep his commands. And his commands are not a burden, because everyone who has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith.
1 John 5:3-4 (CSB)
“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another.
John 13:34 (CSB)
Hope – Though all things pass away as stated above in Hebrews, we are offered by God the gift of eternity through His Son Jesus Christ. This hope isn’t just for when we pass from this earth and join with Him, this hope is with every morning and every evening from the point that we surrender our lives to Him so that He may cleanse us from our guilt and stain.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9 (CSB)
Faith – The action verb for all our hope and all our love. For our faith is where we take that which we know and demonstrate it in the placement of our trust. Repentance and obedience is an act of faith. They demonstrate that we have placed our trust in Jesus, because by our faith in His ability and willingness to absolve us of our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness, as noted above in 1 John 1:9.
For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — not from works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (CSB)
It’s the grace of Jesus combined with our faith in Him that we are saved from the eternal punishment we are due because of sin. Not only do we avert the punishment but we are given a reward for doing so.
What criminal wouldn’t turn themselves into the police if they knew that in doing so, the judge would dismiss them telling them not to commit their crimes anymore and THEN hand them a reward?
I would have to surmise that it would only be the ones that didn’t get a clue in their cereal box this morning.
While there is nothing we can do to earn this grace, we demonstrate that faith that gives us that grace by acting on it, that’s trust.
Faith in action can accomplish more than we could ever imagine.
I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13 (CSB)
Faith in Jesus –> Trusting in Him –> Enabling all things to be accomplished through this faith working through us.
Where is our trust? For me, it is “In God We Trust!”