Tag Archives: trust

Trust and Try

trusttry copy“Put your trust in God, my boys, and keep your powder dry!” This maxim for soldiers in battle is attributed to Oliver Cromwell but according to Wikipedia is from an 1834 poem by William Blacker. Yes, soldiers should pray (and most do) but they should also do what soldiers are supposed to do.

Working hard without much praying reveals our lack of faith. Praying hard without putting forth much effort exposes our laziness. I’ve erred both ways. As a preacher I’ve known times where I’ve realized I stood before the congregation to preach without giving the situation as much prayer as I should have. There’s been other times I’ve prayed real hard because I hadn’t worked on the sermon real hard!

It’s not a matter of balancing prayer and our own personal effort. It’s a matter of going all out with both, praying as if it all depends on God and working as if it all depends on us.

Oswald Chambers wrote that we should establish “the habit of recognizing God’s provision for us.” Along with this habit we should establish the habit of making a good effort.

We’re to both trust and try, trust in the Lord and try ourselves. It’s like walking; it’s best if you use both legs. A step of faith is also a step of putting forth effort; it’s the only way you can take a step of faith.

“Trust in the Lord and do good…” (Psalm 37:3)

The Alphabet of Faith — “Q” is for QUESTION

We continue our  series on the Alphabet of Faith with “Q” as our letter of the week. And, yes, there’s not that much from which to choose. My choice among the meager options?

“Q” stands for Question!

Dealing with questions is a big part of life. We both ask and answer a lot of questions throughout our lifetime. We ask questions for information – “What time is it?” We ask questions when we have doubts – “Is that safe?”

Non-believers in God have few questions because they have no supreme authority to ask, there are no answers; things are the way things are. It’s we people with faith in God who have the questions.

We can ask good questions and the wrong kind of questions. Questions can communicate an accusation, a demand for an explanation. “Son, why did you get in so late last night?” a parent might ask. There’s a lot more going on here than an expression of curiosity! We can do the same with God. “Lord, what are you doing?” can mean we’re calling God on the carpet, that we’re demanding an explanation. This is not a good idea! It’s interesting that in the great book of suffering, the book of Job, it is God who asks the big questions! God says to Job, “Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.” (Job 38:3)

As a pastor I’ve often heard it said, “When I get to heaven I have a lot of questions for God.” I’m thinking that won’t be the case. When we see God face to face, experience His infinite love and wisdom, we won’t even care about our questions. If He were to say to us upon our entering heaven, “So, I understand you have some questions?” I think we’re going to reply, “Never mind.” More completely understanding God will be answer enough!

There are, however, good questions to ask God, each and every day, right now, for that matter. “Lord, what do you want to teach me?” “Oh God, what would you have me say and do in this situation?” “Holy God, what am I blind to in myself that you want me to see?” Even a sanctified curiosity in a difficult set of circumstances can prompt an appropriately posed question of, “Lord, what in the world are you up to in this situation?” and then be open to His sharing a glimpse of His mysterious ways, if He so chooses to answer.

This has been but a brief reflection on the role of questions in the life of the person of God. Did it help? 🙂