We need to trust in something bigger than ourselves
What can we trust in times like these? Who can we trust? Job loss and airline failure are serious unexpected problems. Can we maintain our levels of tourism? Will there be enough for us? We are constantly bombarded by our media describing the perils of our days and what our leaders know, knew and should have known.
Our political leaders are experts in attacking each other, and once elected, they seemingly heap law upon law in a futile attempt to solve what they perceive to be our problems. It is interesting that humans are unique among all living creatures since we alone can make rules.
I recently listened to interviews of people being asked what they trusted when they faced a decision. Most said they trusted their heart or inner being to help them make the right choice. Alas, the Bible tells us that our heart or inner being is deceitful above all else; it is not trustworthy and is desperately wicked. We should not trust ourselves or our feelings. We need something better.
Some said they relied on science and its principles to make decisions. And surely scientific thought has value. But if, for instance, we trust in the science of evolution, we rely on things that are changing, since nothing is constant and all the life we know is changing into something that we do not know. If evolution is true, we are on our way to being something better or worse than what we now appear to be. If we are evolving into something better or good, then we are on our way to being gods; if the opposite is true, we are on our way to peril.
If there is no good or evil, we are evolving from nothing into something that doesn't matter, a big neutral. We surely cannot trust in the science of evolution. Science might help us in some situations, but there is no scientific solution for our hurts. Pills developed in a laboratory might mask them, but they are still there.
I have watched us continually outstrip our mercies with newfound needs. Our power to enjoy can easily consume all our joys. We are left with surprise as our only pleasure, and surprise lasts only a moment. Some possessions are wonderful to have, but our desire for more and more can only be truly satisfied when we become God and possess the world or our idea of what that is. Possessions are nice while they last, but they are not to be trusted.
One man said he relied on his own ability in times when it was necessary to trust something. I hoped that he was able far beyond the norm, but even so, how able can one man be? I have made so many mistakes in my life that I dare not trust myself. No, I need something greater than just me.
Why do we need something to trust? The answer is twofold and the answers enfold each other: First, we know that things are not the way they are supposed to be, and second, we want them to be the way they should be.
Scripture tells us this intended state of affairs is called God's Shalom, a place where everything flourishes, all is wholesome and everything and everyone is filled with delight. We were created for Shalom, to doubt ourselves and to trust in our Creator. Instead our world tells us to trust in ourselves, to doubt our Creator, and in so doing, we trash Shalom. We are on the wrong path. We have trusted the wrong guide.
Our only hope is to reverse our direction, to trust in God and to follow Him. If we do that, then we shall experience His Shalom, and life will have value and people will be valued.
The Rev. Murray Hohns is an associate pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship.