Thursday, March 26, 2015

How To "Get" Trust and Keep It

Joshua 14:6-15
Now the men of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, "You know what the LORD said to Moses the man of God at Kadesh Barnea about you and me. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, but my brothers who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt with fear. I, however, followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly. So on that day Moses swore to me, 'The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.' "Now then, just as the LORD promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the desert. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I'm just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said." Then Joshua blessedCaleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. So Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite ever since, because he followed the LORD, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly. (Hebron used to be called Kiriath Arba after Arba, who was the greatest man among the Anakites.) Then the land had rest from war.
Joshua and Caleb were the only two spies that gave a good report when Israel first came to the Promised Land, therefore they were the only two that were adults at that time that were allowed to enter the Promised Land after the forty years of wandering (Numbers 13 and 14). In the above passage, Caleb was likely referring to physical strength, however  what is notable is that the strength of his faith in God was just as strong at the age of eighty-five as it was when he was forty. He was still willing to take on the giants and their strongly fortified cities because he still believed that the victories would be won by God’s strength and not his own.

Wow! What faith! What amazing possibilities are available in learning or receiving such great and enduring faith for the remainder of this life (Mark 9:23-24)! Oh, what joy it would be to finish just as strong, if not stronger, as when we started. The key is to maintain focus on the Lord as the source of our strength (Psalm 28:7) and not on our own perceived wisdom, the wisdom of the world or our circumstances. God cannot be contained or restrained by our limited vision (2 Chronicles 2:6).

Joshua and Caleb could have whined for forty years. After all, it wasn't their fault that the Israelites were wandering in the desert. They could have adopted a "holier-than-thou" attitude toward the other Israelites. Instead, they maintained an humble spirit and continued to serve their people (Numbers 14:6, 14:24, Joshua 5:14, 7:6, 11:15). I don't know if we can grasp this concept today. Our culture says, "Every man for himself" or "Every woman for herself". We have lost the ability to walk together, win together and lose together. When we do all this together, the times of rejoicing are sweeter and the times of sorrow do not become so unbearable. We are weak and we need each other. When one is down, the other can lift up (Ecclesiastes 4:12, 1 Corinthians 12:14-27) .  However, our ultimate source of strength is in God. We must surrender to the fact of our complete dependence on Him for every breath, every thought, every feeling, and every action.

So, what you do you need to do to grow in such faith? (Matthew 21:22, James 1:5) What will your prayer be as you seek God’s strength? (Psalm 31:1-5) What needs to change in your perception of God and the magnitude of His strength and wisdom? What will help you to stop looking through the limited scope of the vision of the flesh and begin looking through the vision of the Spirit? (Ephesians 1:18-21

My son is anxious. He gets it from me. He constantly questions me and my wife regarding common daily tasks, such as picking him up from school, because he is worried that we will forget him or he is worried that we have forgotten something regarding his care.  I find that it bothers me when I tell him I will do something and then he questions me about it several more times. It pains me because I feel like he doesn't trust my commitment to take care of him. I have asked him at times: "Have we ever forgotten to do that before?" I want him to see that there is a pattern of faithfulness. Imagine the shame I felt when I realized that I do the same thing to God on a regular basis. 

I can't tell you how to "get" trust in God. But I can tell you that He is always faithful. He has never failed. His faithfulness has never been the result of my worry or lack of trust. His faithfulness is one of His many attributes (2 Timothy 2:13). So, go ahead and try it: trust Him and relax. Notice, I didn't say to test Him; trust Him. You'll find peace and receive blessings that are as abundant at the end of life as they were when you first surrendered to His salvation. If you have not yet surrendered and received His salvation, then let that be your first act of trust. If you need help with this, email me. I'll be glad to visit with you (

For God's Glory,
Chris S. Sweet

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