At the end of Jesus’ parable of the unjust judge, He posed a thought-provoking question. “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). While true faith produces many fruits, one that is sometimes used nearly synonymously with faith is trust. So perhaps, in the context of this article, the question for us in our day is whether mankind will still be placing their trust in God upon the Lord’s return. It would appear that this is diminishing.
It is not that men are unconcerned about security, but it is so often sought for from the wrong sources. Moreover, many of those who felt secure have found that their feeling of security was misleading. The tragic happenings of 9/11 caused many people to reevaluate their own personal security. Economic meltdowns and reversals have made many to feel financially vulnerable. We are told that we are destroying our planet and what dire consequences global warming will bring. People realize that many of the things and institutions they had confidence in have let them down. Jesus warned in Luke 21:26 that this would be one of the signs preceding His return. He said, “Men’s hearts [would be] failing them for fear” (Luke 21:26).
So in today’s world, with so many fears and uncertainties, where do men turn? Some surround themselves with armored vehicles and bodyguards to protect their lives. Many dollars are spent on security systems to safeguard one’s belongings. Insurance can be purchased to protect one against nearly any type of financial loss. Others go to great lengths to preserve their health, at times finding themselves hardly able to enjoy life. Some people become extreme environmentalists out of fear of what is happening to the earth that we inhabit. Properties and dollars are accumulated to try to prepare men for any eventuality. Yet none of this brings security.
It is a paradox that all the things that seem so real and enduring to the natural man will one day pass away. On the other side, everything that has real and lasting value is unseen and cannot be perceived with our five senses. However, it is in the unseen where true security is found.
To find real security, we must let go of everything—our possessions, our dreams, our families, our health, and even our lives—and place our trust in the eternal God. This will cause us to seek heavenly things that do not need insurance and which will not rust or decay. It will help us to face the questions and decisions of life with eternal values as our foundation.
Misplacing trust, which belongs to God, is idolatry. We look back to the children of Israel after being led out of Egypt and see how soon they looked to a golden calf of their own creation as something in which to place their trust. God had miraculously delivered them out of Egypt and brought them through the Red Sea, but so soon they felt insecure. We would wonder at their folly. However, as we reflect back on our own lives, we can also see God’s deliverance and His making a way for us when there seemed to be no way. Yet we, also, at times, find it hard to trust our future to Him. Like the children of Israel, we seek to find security in that which our hands have accomplished, which could be our perceived goodness, our ability to provide, our financial setting, our position, or many other places. This is always futile.
There would be few better examples of true security than that of an infant in the arms of a loving mother. Such a child is nearly always secure. He or she feels the love and care that is showered on them. Fear of the future is unknown. They recognize when someone else is holding them and sometimes find it frightening. But the voice and touch of their mother again soothes and restores their security. This feeling of security will result in a devoted love for their mother.
It pleases our Heavenly Father when we, likewise, place our complete trust in Him. Jesus reminded His listeners during the Sermon on the Mount of the fowls of the air and the lilies and the care they received. He taught His disciples to ask their Father to provide them with daily bread. While some of our brethren can pray from the heart for their daily bread, few of us in North America make that request with much fervency. However, we still should very much feel our need of Him to supply our needs, both physical and spiritual. It should be real to us that we have no other place to go. Our security is not determined so much by the conditions surrounding us as it is by where our anchor is secured. Likewise, our love will be on that which brings us security.
Today we do well to ask ourselves where we find our security. Job, in the midst of his great test, told his friends, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15). Such trust surely brings honor to our Father and enables one to feel safe and secure in His care.
Stewardship Coeditor, Deacon Kim Buerge, Ithaca, Michigan
From Messenger of Truth, Stewardship Column, No. 5, March 7, 2012