Trusting God

knowing christI’ve been reading (and re-reading) a book called Knowing Christ. Ryan Wampler and I agree that it’s a book that has helped both of us love and worship Jesus. With Good Friday upon us it seems right to meditate on the death of Christ and specifically one of the last things Jesus said before he died…

Luke 23:46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

 

What you may not know is that Jesus is repeating a verse he’d learned in the Old Testament…

Psalm 31:5 Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.

There’s so much that we could stop and dwell on here. Jesus didn’t live by supernatural power. He didn’t bypass the struggle with sin. Like us he was tempted in every way and he fought against sinful temptation by putting his trust in God’s promises. In his moment of darkness, grief, loneliness, and pain he entrusted himself to his loving Father.

Jesus didn’t call us to a life of faith and then somehow live above it. He lived by the same faith that he commends to us.

Jesus’ trust in his Father was so evident that even his enemies acknowledged it while mocking him.

Matthew 27:42-43 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”

The question for us today (and every day) is can we join Jesus in committing our life into the hands of our loving heavenly Father?

A dad asks his son to trust him and jump from the side of the pool into his outstretched arms. Eventually the child realizes that his dad keeps his promise to catch him.

Have you learned to trust God? Have you learned that he keeps his promises. Always.

Trust is at the heart of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. If you won’t trust him, you can’t follow him.

The Bible is full of stories of people failing to trust God’s wisdom, strength, and goodness. Adam and Eve failed to trust him and ate the forbidden fruit. The Israelites didn’t trust him and shrank back in fear of the giants living in the Promised Land. Solomon didn’t trust him and made alliances with foreign powers. We’ve all failed to trust God. We’ve all experienced the misery of trusting ourselves more than him.

Jesus trusted the Father’s plan from the very beginning. He trusted his Father when he was ignored by his family, endured hostility by his enemies, betrayal by a disciple, faced unjust courts, denial by a friend, and terrible beatings on the way to a cruel death. How did he keep submitting himself to God? There’s this amazing phrase in the book of Hebrews…

Hebrews 12:2 For the joy set before him he endured the cross…

Jesus trusted that the joy of obedience to the Father was far greater than living for himself. Submitting himself to the Father was pure joy.

Jesus went to the cross to pay the penalty for all of our failures to trust God and to make a new way for us to live. We can jump unreservedly into the pool knowing that our Father is always trustworthy. He always keeps his promises. He never fails us.

Lord Jesus, into your hands we commit our lives. We surrender to you alone. Amen.

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