In God We Trust…Really?

“In God We Trust”
Most US Currency has this familiar phrase printed on it. The irony is comical and convicting all at the same time. We carry currency that says “In God We Trust” but so many times I view my life and ask the question “Do I really trust Him?”

I have discovered over the years through personal experience and talking with others that we as Christians have trust issues. We find it hard to trust God with many of the details of our lives. Relationships, finances, jobs, school.. etc.

A thought struck me the other day, which addresses this issue of trust-

We trust God with our salvation, but why not everything else?..

Consider that for a moment.
We trust God with something eternal, but can’t trust Him with something that is temporary.
When you accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior you essentially said-
 “God, I trust that what You say is true and now my salvation is secure.”

The magnitude of trusting God with our salvation is unmatched!
Nothing we face in this life compares to that decision.. But even still, we struggle to trust Him.

Why is that? Why do we struggle to trust God with all aspects of our life?
Here are a few reasons I thought of

Pride– Our sin nature manifests itself as pride in this case. We believe that we can handle the other aspects of life. God was good for salvation, but He can sit on the sideline for everything else.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
Proverbs 3:5

Ignorance– We are ignorant of the fact that God wants us to trust Him with all things. We deceive ourselves and think that God is not concerned with all of the aspects of our lives.

Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.  
1 Peter 5:7

Earthly Trust Issues– Sometimes we allow the earthly trust issues that we have with people influence our relationship with God. Maybe it is a trust issue with a parent. Maybe it is the fact that you have been burned over and over again by close friends. Regardless of what caused it, you have unresolved trust issues that influence your relationship with God.

In God I trust and am not afraid.
    What can man do to me?
Psalm 56:11

So how do we remedy this?

Pray– Pray for opportunities to trust God more. Pray for faith to trust God more. Talk to God and build a relationship with Him!

But I trust in your unfailing love;
    my heart rejoices in your salvation.  
Psalm 13:5

Be Informed– Ignorance is never an excuse. Regain a BIG view of God. Constantly challenge your view of God. Never settle for a small view of God.

Teach me knowledge and good judgment,
    for I trust your commands.
Psalm 119:66

Resolve Earthly Trust Issues– This may be one of the more challenging things to do. If you have unresolved issues, then you must address them. They are affecting your walk with Christ.  They are robbing you of the abundant life Christ promised. They are decreasing your effectiveness in reaching others. Plain and simple. Unresolved issues are a disease that will tear you apart if you let them. 

Love..always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  
1 Corinthians 13:7

 In closing my hope and prayer is that you will trust God with all of the aspects of your life.

– B



Jesus Christ: The Author of Freedom

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:2
July 4th, 1776
Independence Day.
  For over 200 years, July 4th has been synonymous with freedom for Americans.  We wave our American Flags, launch fireworks, cook BBQ, and honor the sacrifice of those who fought and died for our freedom. Last month as I was celebrating this day, I sat down and asked myself a few questions-
What is freedom? What principles define freedom?
Freedom is defined as “Absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government.”
When I think about the freedom I have as an American, I can’t help but consider the tremendous price that was paid to secure this freedom. As I think about it more, I consider the freedom I possess as a Christian. There are some principles of freedom that apply in both circumstances.
Freedom Is Not Free…it requires sacrifice
Have you ever stopped to really consider the statement “Freedom isn’t free”.
Its one of those statements that is so abused and overused that it is now cliche.  Its one of those feel good statements that we say on a holiday or when we hear that soldiers have died overseas.
If freedom isn’t free, then what is it?
Have you ever stopped and really considered the cost of freedom?  Sure, the cost of freedom can be measured by wars, money, and lives.  But I believe it can be summed up in one word: Everything. The cost for complete freedom is everything. Consider what it cost Christ to set us free? Everything.
Freedom Only Lasts… as long as you are willing to fight for it
As Christians, we know all too well the bondage of sin in our lives.  There is a misunderstanding that goes something like this: I am saved now, so I wont have to deal with sin.
We still fight our sin nature, even after we enter into a relationship with Jesus.
Notice what Paul says here
We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.  I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.  And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.   
Romans 7:14-20
I know this is a confusing passage, but this is what I gather from this- We battle against our sin nature on a daily basis. We know what is good and what is not. We seek to do good, but our sin nature prevents this sometimes. We are slaves to our sin nature.
Our sin nature is still there. And, our sin nature is at war against our Spirit. We must engage in this battle daily while also resting in the grace that Christ provides.
Freedom only lasts as long as we are willing to fight for it.
And perhaps the most important principle of freedom..
As Free Individuals…we are obligated to free others
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.  Galatians 5:1
Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 1 Corinthians 9:19
We weren’t set free just to be complacent and do nothing. We were set free to free others by introducing them to Jesus Christ.
In closing I encourage you to consider your freedom.
And in light of your freedom, I encourage you to stand.
To fight.
To pursue those around you.
To give everything… so that they might be free.

Random Thoughts- 7/31/12

I am back with another edition in the Random Thoughts series. You can see the previous entries here and here.

If you follow sports at all, you know that the NCAA dropped the ax on Penn State for the Sandusky Scandal. The scandal itself was truly terrible and it is my hope and prayer that things like this would never happen… But in my opinion the sanctions leveled by the NCAA were too much. The fact of the matter is that the NCAA is punishing people who had no involvement with the situation. This was a CRIMINAL event and most of the people involved are either dead or have been removed from the institution.

The players, coaches, and fans that are currently with the team had nothing to do with the scandal.
And when you consider the financial ramifications of this decision, it becomes even harder to justify. Most athletic departments rarely break even, and now with these sanctions, Penn State will be in a challenging position financially for many years to come. 

In situations like this, I think it is best to take a step back and consider the long term implications. It is easy to point the finger and cast the stone, but consider who you may be striking with that stone.

I am reminded of something I heard in basic training from Drill Sergeant Slaughter:

“For the sins of few, many will be punished”

 In this case, I think the NCAA is punishing many for the sins of few.

Another news story that has captured my attention is the tragic shooting that took place in Colorado. Without going into too much detail, a man by the name of James Holmes entered into a theater and killed 12 people (and wounded 58 more). He was armed with various weapons including an assault rifle.

Naturally, people who are against weapons used this as an opportunity to revisit the debate on gun control. I could see where gun control would be a good idea in theory. Theoretically if you limit guns, then people wont have guns, and nobody will get shot.

The problem with this is that in reality, it simply wont work that way. It misses the point.
Guns are not the issue. Guns do not kill people. Guns are not inherently evil.

As a child growing up, I was around guns all the time. They didn’t bother me at all. As a young man, I have had the opportunity to train on various weapon systems and use guns that most people only get to shoot on Call of Duty. And this is what I know- A gun is just a machine…No different than a car in many respects. When operated by a reasonable, competent, and safe individual they are harmless. 
And just like a car, when they are operated by an unreasonable, incompetent, and evil individual they are extremely destructive.

You cant control evil men. What you CAN do is educate the public and ensure that people have the opportunity to defend themselves against evil men.

Chick Fil A is fantastic.
But apparently their support for traditional marriage is hateful and anti-gay. I wont dive into this issue too much because I am preparing another entry to address this topic, but here is my question-
You ask a devout Christian about his view on marriage, and are surprised when he affirms the Biblical definition of marriage.. What did you think he was going to say?!

Music update-

Instead of giving my Top 10, I will just say this-

Everyone needs to listen to the new Cornerstone album from Hillsong Live.
Here is a preview-
1) Cornerstone
2) I Surrender
3) Beneath the Waters

And finally,
I turn 24 tomorrow. Wow, where has the time gone? I thank God for His provision for these 24 years and trust in His faithfulness into the future.  I thank my family and friends, you are all a blessing and I love you very much.

Thank you and God Bless.
– B