As we come to an end of this study on trusting God, I wanted to take a closer look at where we’re placing our trust. If we are going to Trust God, what is it that makes Him trustworthy? As we all know trust is something that has to be earned and developed over time. In order for us to trust in someone, we have to know that they are honest, truthful, reliable, gracious, consistent, fair, understanding, caring, empathetic, sensitive, and more.
The scripture or Bible passage for this week is primarily from John 1:1-14. Go ahead and read through it a couple of times and jot down the things that jump out at you.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-14 NIV
We trust God for many different reasons, but this verse breaks a lot of it down into two words: grace and truth. God’s grace is one of the main reasons we “joined up”. At some point in our lives we heard the good news or truth of God and believed. We were drawn in by it. We decided that God and Jesus were the real deal. Our hearts were transformed. We placed our trust in the One that was full of grace and truth.
As Christ followers, we are expected to imitate the One in whom we’ve placed our trust by being full of grace and truth ourselves. We are supposed to be full of it. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. However, sometimes we are full of a lot of other things that are polar opposites of grace and truth. Sometimes, we are full of anger, judgment, criticism, hatred, and violence, just to name a few. Sometimes Christians, including me, get it wrong. At times, we fail miserably in the grace department. Being full of truth or opinion is usually pretty easy, but being full of grace and extending it to others is the hard part.
How many of us have had fits of road rage? Taken out our frustration on a waitress or a store clerk? Attacked someone verbally in person or on social media that didn’t share our opinion? How many of us have written someone off, refused to associate, or canceled them out of our life because we didn’t agree with or approve of them. Cancel culture is not a new thing, but thanks to the media it now has a catchy-trendy name that increases ratings. One of the main reasons we have placed our trust in God is because He didn’t “cancel” us out.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (NIV)
For many years the United States was known as a Christian nation, “one nation under God”. Our currency is imprinted with the words “In God We Trust”. For most of this nations existence, the “God” in whom we have placed our trust and positioned ourselves under was primarily the God of Christianity. However, this is no longer the case. I’m not complaining. Religious freedom and free speech are part of what makes this country great. I’m glad that we can choose what to believe and whom we worship. I hope it will stay that way.
As I stated previously, we are living in a post Christian America. Church attendance is declining drastically. Today the word “Christian” or “Evangelical” is no longer a term of endearment. Those terms are now loaded with negative baggage. Animosity towards Christianity is growing. Is it because we aren’t living “full of grace and truth”? How have we contributed to our cultures negative perceptions of Christianity?
As long as humans draw breath, there will always be division and disagreement. We all have biases. We all have different “truths” that we live by. For Christians, our primary source of truth about God came from eyewitness accounts passed down from generation to generation, and then the written word, the Bible-God’s word. Without it what do we have? Of course, we don’t worship or place our trust in a book. We place our trust in the God proclaimed in the book. God is the good news. He is the truth. John tells us that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1 NIV)
“For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” 2 Peter 1:16 NIV
For many, the Bible is a combination of history and myth. There is some truth to it, but it is not absolute. Some of its teachings are considered outdated and irrelevant in our current culture. It’s historical, doctrinal, and literary accuracy have been questioned, dismissed, and deconstructed to the point where some no longer believe it or trust it. Peter and others faced the same skepticism and doubt about their testimony and version of the truth. Peter says in verse 16 that he and others didn’t just make this stuff up. “We were there! We witnessed it!”
“So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body,” 2 Peter 1:12-13 NIV
If there is no truth in which we can be “firmly establish”, then what is there? Without truth there is no foundation for life and relationships. If God is incapable of dispensing truth accurately, should He be trusted, and why should we take Peter’s word for it?
Basically, it all boils down to what we are willing to believe and whom we are willing to trust. Are we willing to live in the tension and vulnerability that trust requires? Does trusting God mean the absence of doubt and uncertainty?
Scripture: John 1:1-14; Romans 6:1-2; Ephesians 2:8-9
- What is a truth that’s helped you this week?
- Where did you grow up? How would you describe the culture of your hometown? How did it affect your understanding of truth?
- How do you go about deciding what you believe is truth? How did you come to think this way?
- Have you ever changed your mind about what you believed was truth? What cause the change? How did others respond to you?
- Why do you think grace is something we sometimes struggle to give others?
- How do you think our lack of grace affects our cultures perceptions of Christianity?
- Who are some of the people you’d like to get better at extending grace to? How could that play out?
For additional study go to www.go2.lc/trust for the “In God We Trust” Bible Plan using the Bible App.
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