What Saith the Scripture?
In God We Trust
Or, The Freedom of Believing in Someone Who Has Never Failed
"For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified...
that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the Power of God"
by Katie Stewart
Believing that God exists is a First Truth. Scripture affirms
that Jesus is "the True Light, which lighteth EVERY man that cometh into the
world" (John 1:9).
Life begins with this Truth. "In Him was Life; and the Life was the Light of
men" (John 1:4).
So it is, that, it is in God we trust. Numerous are those born into our world
who grow into adults, and somewhere along the journey, eventually deny this Truth.
"Broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in
thereat" (Matthew 7:13).
Those who choose to "believe a lie" (2Thessalonians
2:11) are those "to whom is reserved the blackness
of darkness for ever" (Jude 1:13), and live their eternity to grudgingly admit their fatal choice.
"That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things
in Earth, and things under the Earth" (Philippians
Faith in God Almighty is simple in concept and practice because the LORD is Absolute in every sense. He is easy to believe! And it is for this reason, that rejection of Him is the greatest crime of all. "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more" (Luke 12:48). And this quality of being Absolute, if received in faith, is not only the Greatest Blessing Of All, but also the easiest to obtain. "Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God MUST believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).
The ease of believing God does not lie in the stature of the flesh, but in the Excellence of the Absolute One upon Whom faith is targeted, "that no flesh should glory in His presence" (1Corinthians 1:29). "26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence... 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified... 2:5 that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the Power of God" (1Corinthians 1:26-29; 2:2,5). There is freedom to live, to grow and develop, when you can believe in Someone Who Has Never Failed.
"Faith, mighty faith, the promise sees,
And looks to God alone;
Laughs at impossibilities,
And cries, "It shall be done."
-- Charles Wesley
So Simple, Even the Young Excel in It
The LORD Jesus said, "1 Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven? 2 And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. 4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 18:1-4). I once talked with a grandfatherly gentleman who had been a professing Christian since early boyhood. We discussed this passage, especially verse 3, and I was surprised to hear him apathetically admit that he didn't know what the verse meant. Of course, this indicated to me that unbelief had hardened this man, and he had forgotten the child-like nature of true faith in Christ Jesus which is essential in obtaining Eternal Life. "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven" (18:3). "For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee... Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is" (Isaiah 41:13; Hebrews 11:6). As we advance in physical years, it is logical to expect that we would grow less tender about how children view things. It is logical-- however, sadly so, for there is profound beauty in innocence. "Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy Power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: Thou hast the dew of Thy youth [i.e., we are as young dew drops in the morning of His Power]" (Psalm 110:3). But in spiritual years, if we are true professors of a faith which resides in the Person and Work of Christ, we will grow in God's Wisdom, with our moral sensibilities growing in child-like appreciation of God's Holiness, and thus becoming "conformed to the image of His Son" (Romans 8:29), and enjoying the pleasure found in the child-like beauty of His Holiness. [Please read "The Beauty of Holiness" -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Fellowship/The.Beauty.of.Holiness.html -- and "How to Promote the Beauties of Holiness" -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Fellowship/The.Beauty.of.Holiness.2.html --.] "Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye [as innocent as] children, but in understanding be men" (1Corinthians 14:20). Young children don't understand complexity, and that's exactly why they can do so very well in exercising faith. "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 18:3). [Please read "Suffer the Little Children to Come Unto Me" -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Jehovah/Little.Children.Come.to.Me.html -- and "How to Lead Your Child to Jesus" -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Jehovah/Lead.to.Jesus/Lead.Your.Child.to.Jesus.html --.] Faith in the Almighty is simple in concept and practice because the LORD is Absolute in every sense. He is Straightforward and Pure, and the very young can associate with Him completely. "Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled" (Titus 1:15). The very young don't clutter their faith with the dubious reasoning which cripples adults. Their understanding about faith is pure-- and simple. The beautiful thing about faith is its simplicity! Even "a little child" (18:2) can operate perfectly in faith. "Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right" (Proverbs 20:11).
Purity of faith, which is so essential to the operation of faith, is obscured by a life that is insensitive to the LORD. Jesus Christ can try to set that person in His midst, even on His lap, as it were, and an insensitive professor of religion won't even recognize what they've lost when the Precious LORD sadly departs their company. "How often would I have gathered [MY] children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" (Matthew 23:37). Jesus taught us this lesson, using a young child as our comparison, to impress upon us our need of "humble" dependence and innocence. "Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven" (18:4). He used the word "humble" because it is the opposite condition of pride, which man cultivates in his search of self-importance. "Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him" (Proverbs 26:12). Only in simple humility can the "greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven" (18:4) be found. In fact, I can say with All Authority, that ALL who reside in Heaven have this simplicity of faith or else they could not have been "converted", nor have "enter[ed] into the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 18:3). There is no excellence in the flesh. Christ Jesus is our Greatness! "For in Him we live, and move, and have our being... for we are also His offspring" (Acts 17:28). It is in His Person and Atonement that we come to find our purpose for being. "Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto Me: for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 19:14).
What Can Be So Hard About Believing God?
All right, so the LORD is Invisible! But even when He was here on Earth, in a physical body, as the Apostle John said, "which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled" (1John 1:1)-- a body just exactly like our own-- did that make it easier for men to believe that He was actually The Very GOD Almighty? Not really, for "they all forsook Him, and fled" (Mark 14:50). And which one of us would dare deny our own personal part in His Death upon that Cruel Tree, "Who His Own Self bare OUR sins in His Own Body on the Tree" (1Peter 2:24)? Faith in the Divine does NOT RELY on the physical. That's not really our problem in taking God at His Word. As Christians, it is "reasonable service" (Romans 12:1) that we "walk by faith, not by sight" (2Corinthians 5:7). Clearly, "No!" The fact that our God is Invisible does not make Him Unbelievable. So, why does mankind doubt Him?
Could it possibly be Jesus' Reputation in honoring His Word that hinders our trusting Him? NOT even possibly! "For Thou hast magnified Thy Word ABOVE ALL Thy Name" (Psalm 138:2), which is saying a tremendous lot, since "God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is ABOVE every Name" (Philippians 2:9). In all reality, His actual Name IS His actual Word! "His Name is called The Word of God" (Revelation 19:13).
It is most emphatically NOT the LORD's Reputation as "The
Faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His
Commandments to a thousand generations" (Deuteronomy
7:9) that is to blame for man's skepticism. It is totally
man's blame. We humans are a stiff-necked and proud lot. Proud of what, is the puzzle,
for what claim to fame do we deceptively think we have right to? "Which of you
by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?" (Matthew 6:27) and, "Behold, Thou
hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before Thee: verily
every man at his best state is altogether vanity" (Psalm
39:5). "But we are all as an unclean thing, and
all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our
iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away" (Isaiah
64:6). Who are we, not to believe Him? "Whom hast
thou reproached and blasphemed? and against Whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and
lifted up thine eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel" (2Kings 19:22).
The Story of How A Very Great Man Was Humbled into A Very Simple Faith
From 2 Kings, chapter 5.
"1 Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper. [How humiliating to a "great" man!]
2 And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman's wife. [The LORD uses this "little maid", a lowly "captive" slave from a despised enemy country, to advise and be the source of help for this "mighty man". For, "26 not many mighty... are called: 27 but God hath chosen the... weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence" (1Corinthians 1:26-29).] 3 And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy. 4 And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel.
5 And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment. 6 And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy.
7 And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me.
8 And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.
9 So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. 10 And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. [Naaman arrives as a man of importance, with "his horses and with his chariot", only to find that Elisha won't even acknowledge or esteem him enough to come out and stand before him or to greet him personally. Elisha sends a messenger. And even the message itself appears simplistically insulting.]
11 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the Name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. [To condescend to this Israelite in coming to him in the first place, was humiliating enough, but to endure what Naaman considered to be gross insensitivity to him personally, and to his life threatening problem, offended him greatly. This uncomplicated solution was an insult to his intelligence and stature. And yet his own servants, observing everything firsthand, beseeched him to listen.]
13 And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?
[A great man doesn't mind being asked to do great and difficult things. He thinks it is a compliment to his ability and reputation that people would expect him to accomplish the impossible. But with such an impossible situation as that of being healed of leprosy, surely he would think it a cruel joke to expect simplicity to be of any value! And yet, in the face of it all, and in front of all, Naaman humbled himself, just as we have seen other Old Testament "mighty" men do.
- King Nebuchadnezzar-- "20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: 21 and he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the Most High God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that He appointeth over it whomsoever He will" (Daniel 5:20-21).
- King Rehoboam-- "And when he humbled himself, the wrath of the LORD turned from him, that He would not destroy him" (2Chronicles 12:12).
- King Hezekiah-- "humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them" (2Chronicles 32:26).
- King Manasseh-- "12 When he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, 13 and prayed unto Him: and He was entreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD He was God" (2Chronicles 33:12-13).
- And the eternally-greatest king of all, King Jesus-- "6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 and being found in fashion as a man, HE HUMBLED HIMSELF, and became obedient unto death, even the Death of the Cross" (Philippians 2:6-8).]
14 Then went he down,
and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God:
and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
[God's reward of health was given to Naaman in response to Naaman's repentant humility
and demonstration of faith. "For the Son Of Man... shall reward every man according
to his works" (Matthew 16:27).]
15 And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the Earth, but in Israel" (2Kings 5:1-15). "The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day" (Isaiah 2:11).
"Not by works of righteousness which
we have done,
but according to His Mercy He saved us,
by the washing of regeneration,
and renewing of the Holy Ghost"
There is freedom to live, to grow and develop, when you can believe in Someone Who Has Never Failed, namely, The Immutable God, Who said, "I change not" (Malachi 3:6). In God we trust. "The Just LORD is in the midst thereof; He will not do iniquity: every morning doth He bring His Judgment to light, He faileth not" (Zephaniah 3:5). He it is Who is "Strong in Power". "Lift up your eyes on High, and behold Who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His Might, for that He is Strong In Power; not one faileth" (Isaiah 40:26). "For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified... that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the Power of God" (1Corinthians 2:2,5).
In God we trust! The simplicity of believing God, of trusting in His Character and His Word, is MADE EASY BECAUSE HE IS WORTHY of our trust. [Read "How to Trust God" -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Fellowship/How.To.Trust.God.html -- for more help that is directly related to this topic.] He is ALL we will EVER need, and He will NEVER FAIL us!
In our country, the USA, our money has printed upon it,
"In God We Trust." And in the times in which we live, though we don't see
it very often, we can find the Wisdom of the LORD being exercised in life's daily
choices, where "strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those
who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil"
To them, "Knowledge is EASY unto [them] that understandeth" (Proverbs 14:6). But there
is soon coming a time like none other, when "ALL the ends of the world shall
remember and turn unto the LORD: and ALL the kindreds of the nations shall worship
before [Him]" (Psalm 22:27). "For the Earth shall be FILLED with the Knowledge of the Glory
of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea" (Habakkuk
2:14), "and the LORD shall be KING over ALL the
Earth: [and] in that day shall there be ONE LORD, and His Name ONE" (Zechariah 14:9). To that easily
understood, yet adorably wonderful Promise, we can only shout, "Come quickly.
Amen. Even so, Come, LORD Jesus" (Revelation
Maranatha! [Greek, for "Our LORD Cometh!"]
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