Premium Times (Abuja)

5 January 2014

Nigeria: Article of Faith - Can God Be Trusted? By Femi Aribisala [2]

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Trusting God does not always mean we will understand what he is doing or why he is doing it. The wise man counsels: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes." (Proverbs 3:5-7).

Work of faith

What we are called to do is to stand on the word of God, irrespective of whatever situation we find ourselves. We are not to trust God for things. We are to trust God in all things. God is not only good when the going is good. He is the same yesterday and today and forever when the going is bad. We mouth vain platitudes that "God is good all the time." But then we nevertheless feel betrayed when times are bad. Peter trusted Jesus to walk on water. But when the waves turned, he doubted and began to sink. The disciples trusted Jesus to cross over to the other side. But when the storm arose, they doubted and complained that he did not care if they perished.

Trust in God is not inherited: it is learnt. It does not come as a result of a fictitious "completed work of Christ on the cross." We learn to trust God by trusting him. For us to learn to trust God, he has to put us through some hair-raising situations. If God did everything when we want the way and when we want them; we would never develop real trust in him.

How much work do we have to do when we are trusting God? James says: "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." (James 2:26). What then is the nature of the work of faith? Sometimes it is not doing what we would normally do. When we put our trust in the Lord, we don't have to scheme to get a husband. We don't have to backstab to get promoted. We don't need to be evil to get ahead. We don't need to hoard in order to keep. God gives his beloved sleep.

God is trustworthy

Don't believe the lie: Jesus did not become poor that we, through his poverty, might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9). We don't need Jesus to become rich: we need him to become poor. God cannot be trusted to make us rich. He can be trusted to meet our needs. He will, indeed, give us the desires of our hearts. (Psalm 37:4). But that means he will determine what those desires should be. God cannot be trusted to give us another man's husband. He can be trusted to give us ours. He cannot be trusted to give us the world. He can be trusted to give us his kingdom. God can be trusted to meet and exceed only our righteous expectations.

As long as our prayer this year is "Father, thy will be done," we will not be disappointed. As we carry our crosses in 2014, we should be mindful of Jesus' example at Gethsemane where he prayed: "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." (Luke 22:42).

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