Pastor Mike Schumann
Which is easier for you: obedience to God, or trust in God? Ask the question in another way, Is it easier for you to obey God — to do what he has asked you to do, or to trust God — that He will do what he has promised to do?
I think for many of us, obedience to God comes more easily than trust in God. And I don’t necessarily mean trust in the salvific sense, trusting God for our salvation. Rather, I mean trust that God is who he says he is, God will do what he says he will do, God, personally, loves, cares, and works for you like he says he loves, cares, and works for you.
Trust in anyone is a difficult thing, for trust takes things out of our hands and places them into another. It’s a difficult thing to do. And trusting God, the one whose hands we do not, right now, physically see, physically touch, to give our lives, our worries, our hopes, our fears, into His hands is a really difficult thing to do.
And it always has been.
I imagine it was a difficult thing for Noah to trust God that he was not just hammering away at this gigantic boat for no reason — as if God were just making sport of him.
I imagine it was a difficult thing for Abraham to trust he’d indeed have a son, and that God would take care of his son even as Abraham walked up the mount to sacrifice him.
I imagine it was a difficult thing for the Israelite people, who had been exiled into Babylon, to trust God when he said, through the prophet Jeremiah, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
What does God give his people, especially those for whom trust is difficult, as reason to trust him? Many things, but the greatest, the pinnacle of all trust ability, is this: The death of his son. God, through Paul, says in Romans 8:32, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” In other words, If God were ever to change his mind and withhold from you, if he were ever to revoke a promise and so prove un-trustable, it would have been here…but he didn’t. He gave his son as a sacrificial lamb to be poured out for us.
God is trustable.
And this reminds us of our need to confess. For all the times we have struggled to trust in God. The times we’ve not given our lives to him but held on, preferring self-trust in our efforts, our character, to his own. And for all the other ways, this week, we’ve sinned, fallen short, failed to live like Christ in the world, for all of this, we come to our father in a time of silent confession, now.
If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
Therefore, to you who have confessed with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, I say in Jesus Christ, your sins are forgiven (Romans 10:9).