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11/11/15: Do not trust in people – only in God

Published: Wednesday, 11 November 2015 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord.  That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes.  They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. 

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.  They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”  Jeremiah 17:5-8

This is a very difficult Bible passage, because it teaches something that is the exact opposite of what we learn in this world.  Sometime during our life we believe that placing our trust in other people is necessary for a well-adjusted life.  We trust our parents, we trust our spouse, we trust our banks, and we trust our governments (maybe I am stretching it a wee bit with the government!)  When you hear God’s Word says NOT to trust in any man or woman, something in you rises up and says, “No! We are suppose to trust others.” 


Read the Bible passage above again, and you should see why God says we cannot trust others. The theological basis for not trusting others is that everyone has sinned (draws strength from the flesh) and falls short of the glory of God (heart has turned away from God.)  In other words, no matter how hard you try to live up to all of your promises to others, your dreams that you share with others, or your shared goals to reach a common objective, all of us will experience failure. Either you will fail someone or someone fails you. 

If anything, to try to live up to lists of “things to do” usually results in others being disappointed in us.  We can easily become disappointed in ourselves.  It is for this very reason that Christ has made you free from all lists, promises, goals, etc.  For example, if you are feeling the guilt or shame of letting someone else down, you cannot possibly be in God’s will, because your focus is on yourself.  Let it sink into your mind that you will fail others and God. God expects it and says so in His Word. He continues to love you just the way you are.  However, his may not be true to those that you fail.

What is happening in the verses above is an encouragement for you to identify where you place your trust.  Do you trust the business you work for to provide your wealth?  Do you trust your spouse to always be there for you and to remain faithful?  Do you trust your children not to do drugs?  In all these things, God is saying to put your trust in Him.  Why?  He is always faithful, truthful, loving, forgiving, etc.  Human beings are not. 

If your trust for your happiness is placed in people and not God, you will be disappointed.  This is kind of like managing your expectations of others.  You can expect people to fail you.  I know this sounds negative, but it is the spiritual truth.  This does not mean that you love them any less.  It does not mean that you are waiting on them to fail so that you can say, “I knew it! You are a failure.”  NO!  This is to prepare you to minister to the person who has failed.  They need to know that God loves them unconditionally and you do too! The book of Hosea is recommended as examples of people’s failures and God’s unconditional love. I would hope you take the time to read this book.

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