Tag Archives: #Trust

Do You Still Trust Me?

OK, I’ve strung you along for three posts. It’s time to reveal where this is going. Do you Trust God? This simple question has numerous answers. What appears to be a Yes or No response is actually much more complex.

You might say “No” because you believe God exists but you are not sure you can put absolute faith and belief in something or someone who allows you or others close to you to endure pain. This is a fair response. People have wondered for centuries how a good God can allow evil to exist in the world He created and sustains. Please recognize this approach assists people in trusting the god of self. It tacitly communicates that the person’s agenda and viewpoints are more keen and on target than any views that could exist outside of self. We say that we should not have physical difficulties because a good God will not allow that to happen to us. My loved one should not have died because that is not what I wanted. I would have passed that test if God would have helped ME. I do not mean this next statement to be taken with a mean spirit. You are the “god” of your life. You are only using “God” as a place to channel the hurt and pain you have experienced from difficult life circumstances.

Another response to “Do you Trust God?” could be to say, “I don’t believe in God!” This approach means you have chosen something else to put your trust in. Maybe you believe a life force exists in all living beings that is supernaturally synced together like James Cameron’s “Avatar.” Another possibility is that you have placed yourself at the center of your life. Your trust is in yourself and you alone. How is that working out for you? The next time you experience hardship, heartache or loss remember this post. Relying upon self provides short-term sustenance and long-term wanting. Self cannot fill the void people have because all of us are wired for relationship.

I choose to Trust the Lord. Life continues to send encounters my way that create confusion. I will never be haughty enough to believe I have the answer for every question life creates or that my finite mind can handle all the information I would need to reconcile these many questions. The evidence God has provided in the Bible and through the experiences of my life are more than enough to over-shadow the questions I have not figured out and may not determine in this lifetime. May God give you the courage and faith to make the Lord your Trust. Trust me, it will be the best decision of your life!

Do You Trust Me Now?

Last month I wrote about living in a society that is devoid of trust. Trust has significantly eroded in America. Think about what has happened to labels. I used to be able to read labels such as Democrat/Republican, Conservative/Liberal, Lutheran/Presbyterian/Methodist/Mennonite and actually have an idea what they meant. Recently I read how the Food and Drug Administration in the USA requires all ingredients to be listed on the labels. However, if something is sprayed upon the bag that holds the “food” then this does not need to be listed. What!?! That is correct.

Trying to avoid BHA, BHT, and other harmful chemicals? They may be present even if the label doesn’t say so. Who is labeling the packaged food you eat? Who sponsored the advertisement you just read or heard? Who made the clothing you wear? Who endorsed the curriculum children are being taught in local schools? What did that news station just say? Who owns them again?

I think we can agree that the American Trust environment has taken a negative turn. However, buckle your seat belts ladies and gentlemen- it could be much worse! I am writing you from a hotel in Lagos, Nigeria. It is almost four in the afternoon and one of my hosts has been in line since early this morning in the attempt to buy gasoline so he could drive me around the city after several days of intense teaching and training. Nigeria, one of the globe’s greatest oil producers, bows at the mercy of corrupt politicians. One was recently caught stealing four billion dollars! It now takes two hours to drive less than forty miles. Bus sized potholes wait to wreck your vehicle and line it up with those abandoned as roadside ornaments. I was instructed to ride in the center of our van so criminals would not be attracted to attack me or those in our van because of my white skin. Each night, my host pleaded that I lock my hotel room door and bolt it promising not to leave and not to open the door for anyone until they returned in the morning. The trust situation may not be good in the USA, but it can get much worse!

We may not know who or what to trust as we traverse the cultural landscape. There will ultimately always be some situation that is more bleak and dire than our own. So in the midst of this uncertainty, let’s begin by defining Trust. At some point I’ll provide Webster’s definition but limited WiFi and rolling blackouts here in Lagos have eliminated this modern convenience.

For now we will say that trust is a person’s ability to put absolute faith and belief in an object, person or statement. I trust a chair will hold me because I believe and have faith that it will do so. I trust my wife to support and love me because she has done this consistently for more than 23 years. This is Trust. Sure, people sit on chairs that break. People have spouses that leave. The action of the one receiving trust does not in the moment diminish the attitude of the one who is trusting. For instance, I trust fully in the chair up to and including the final moment that it decides to collapse.

This brings us to the inevitable question- How can I trust God? I have an answer for you. Many will find it surprising, even infuriating, but you’ll have to wait until next time. Fortunately, because of extended time in my Nigerian hotel room, that message is already written!

Do You Trust Me?

Twenty-five years ago I sat in the movie theater amazed by an animated film with flying carpets, a blue genie and an exciting plot line. Disney’s Aladdin captured the attention of a generation with its encouragement to consider life differently through the song “A Whole New World.” So many teachable moments exist in Aladdin but two brief scenes combine to create a prophetic question haunting school halls, church children’s wings, public play grounds, shopping malls, and all electronic media devices. Twice in the movie young Aladdin reaches his hand down to Princess Jasmine and echoes this prophetic question, “Do you trust me?”

We live in a culture devoid of trust. Think about what we have seen unfold before our eyes. Things began to unravel for me when Jerry Sandusky, previous defensive coordinator for Penn State’s football team during the Joe Paterno (winningest coach at Division 1A of all time) era, was found guilty of molesting children in 2012 through the non-profit organization he started. The unraveling continued when Bill Cosby, 1980’s TV icon and comedian, was tried for his own list of inappropriate actions with women. Other situations came into public view, but nothing has compared to the last few months. Hollywood power brokers have been exposed, news anchors have fallen, and athletes are facing suspensions and litigation. While this has taken place, the second largest US terrorist event took place in Nevada when five hundred people were injured and fifty-nine killed by a shooting spree at an October Las Vegas concert. One month later twenty-six people were killed by a shooter at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas. Walk into almost any public school today and you are likely to find metal detectors, full time police officers and drug dogs. Enter most modern churches and find security systems with pictures on name badges for staff and printable name tags to make sure children are being picked up by the proper adult.

The answer to Aladdin’s prophetic question from a quarter century ago? ARE YOU KIDDING!! NO!!!!! We now live in a society without trust. This is how bad it has gotten. Each year our family at Thanksgiving enjoys watching the Macy’s parade. The very last parade moment is when Santa comes on a sleigh waving to the thousands of people lining the parade route and the millions watching on TV. This year, “perfectly” framed behind Santa as he appeared on the screen was the Victoria’s Secret billboard. I CANNOT EVEN TRUST THE HOLIDAY PARADE!! My spiritual life did not need to see this billboard and my boys certainly did not need it either. Do you Trust me? asks the media. No way! Do you trust me? asks the politicians that publicly call each other names. Do you trust me as a mentor and a hero? say the athletes. Do you trust me? says the North Carolina school teacher who graduated from a Christian University and then is fired two months after being hired because of a sex romp with a seventeen year old boy. Do you trust me? says the church that invests so much time building its bunkers to prove and protect its theology that little teaches their people that the true church is bigger than just them! Should it bring us great surprise when many children, teens and adults say “NO” when someone talks to them about God and says, “Do you trust Him?”

What does Trust even mean to the average person in 2017? How do we live in a culture devoid of trust? How can we share about Christ with people and invite them to trust Him when trust is not available for view in the public eye? Tune in for my next several posts and I’ll let you know how, but one question first . . . Do you trust me?