Trust may be one of the greatest challenges for the human species. The reason why trust is so hard is it requires us to depend on someone or something else. It also goes against our natural preference for security and hence control. Trust is also hard because it calls us to walk in the realm of the unknown. The Bible has much to say about trust, especially trusting God by walking in faith.
I was thinking, meditating, on the nature of walking by faith and trust. It hit me, that for the follower of Jesus, it is something that should be getting easier and harder at the same time. It gets easier to trust God as we walk with God through the challenging times of our past. But it also gets harder because the Lord keep allowing greater challenges to bring us to greater faith in Him. Both sides of walking in faith are incredible when we consider that they reflect God’s unrelenting commitment to working in us!
The godly Apostle Paul reminds us of this tension of walking in faith. He writes simply, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7) Clay jars would be the ancient equivalent on our modern plastic containers. We are not taking about special China serving bowls but common everyday Tupperware. And just like today, the focus is not on the common everyday container, but the contents. The power of God’s working in your life!
We all celebrate the good stuff of a growing faith, like answered prayer, but struggle with waiting upon the Lord’s answer. Trials are part and parcel of almost all answered prayers. Paul reminds us of the process that produces godly character with the words afflicted, perplexed, persecuted and struck down. This is the part that we do not like, or maybe it is just me. It is, however, absolutely necessary to help us become dependent on our Creator. This continual process can be discouraging if we lose sight of God’s masterpiece, His working in you. Paul reminds us of God’s continual involvement with the words, not crushed, not driven to despair, not forsaken and not destroyed. Just like a master chief, our Master controls the inputs to help us grow in Him. The trials, His enabling and the time are perfectly blended for our maturity!
The challenge is that all too often we fight what God is doing in our lives, and that often makes the situation for us much worse. The end point is that God has promised to bring us to maturity in Him. The result is that walking in faith does becomes easier from past lessons learned, but is also becomes harder as the Lord works to bring us to the next level of faith! “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,” (2 Corinthians 4:16–17)
-Pastor Joe Parkinson