The Difference Faith Makes
God calls us to a life of trusting in Him not because God’s ego will be boosted if He can recruit more followers, but because our lives are enriched tremendously through a life of faith.
That’s the point that is made in the opening verses of Psalm 125: “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people both now and forevermore.”
The focus here is not how strong or consistent or courageous our faith is, but how dependable and good is the One in whom we put our faith. It is not that we will be unshakeable if we can learn to hold onto God tightly enough; it is that we are unshakeable because God surrounds us now and forevermore with His care and goodness.
Eugene Peterson points out, “We wander like sheep, true; but He is a faithful shepherd who pursues us relentlessly. We have our ups and downs, zealously believing one day and gloomily doubting the next, but he is faithful. We break our promises, but He doesn’t break His. Discipleship is not a contract in which if we break our part of the agreement He is free to break His; it is a covenant in which He establishes the conditions and guarantees the results.” (A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, p. 85)
J. Alistair Brown shares a helpful illustration: “The 3-year-old felt secure in his father’s arms as Dad stood in the middle of the pool. But Dad began walking slowly toward the deep end, gently chanting, ‘Deeper and deeper and deeper,’ as the water rose higher and higher on the child. The lad’s face registered increasing degrees of panic, and he held all the more tightly to his father, who, of course, easily touched the bottom.
“Had the little boy been able to analyze his situation, he’d have realized there was no reason for increased anxiety. The water’s depth in any part of the pool was over his head. Even in the shallowest part, had he not been held up, he’d have drowned. His safety anywhere in that pool depended on Dad.
“At various points in our lives, all of us feel we’re getting ‘out of our depth’—problems abound, a job is lost, someone dies. Our temptation is to panic, for we feel we’ve lost control. Yet, as with the child in the pool, the truth is we’ve never been in control over the most valuable things of life. We’ve always been held up by the grace of God, our Father, and that does not change. God is never out of his depth, and therefore we’re as safe when we’re ‘going deeper’ as we have ever been.”
That’s the message conveyed to us in the opening verses of Psalm 125: God surrounds us with His care, and that care will never fade away. We can live in peace because God holds us securely.
Another benefit of a life of trust is that as we trust God, He will lead us in the right way to live.
Psalm 125:3-5 states, “The scepter of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous, for then the righteous might use their hands to do evil. Do good, O Lord, to those who are good, to those who are upright in heart. But those who turn to crooked ways the Lord will banish with the evildoers. Peace be upon Israel.”
Henry Ward Beecher stresses, “The strength and the happiness of a person consist in finding out the way in which God is going, and in going in that way, too.”
Ted Koppel adds, “There’s harmony and inner peace to be found in following a moral compass that points in the same direction, regardless of fashion or trend.”
That’s what a life of trusting in God does. It points us in the right direction regardless of fashion on trend. It leads to a life of greater strength and happiness.