Links Daily Devotional

Tests of Trust

Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you. (Proverbs 20:22, NIV)

Golf, you may have noticed, is a statistician’s haven. If you can dream it up, you can probably do the math and call it meaningful.

Some of the modern stats don’t have much to do with you and me. “Strokes gained putting,” for instance, depends on comparisons against the field. It employs the laser technology used to measure putts down to the inch, and it draws on some very big databases. Good luck compiling all that when you’re playing with your buddies.

But there are other stats that make perfect sense. The “bounceback” stat is a thing of beauty. It measures how well a player scores on a hole immediately after making a hash of the previous one. That’s something we can all relate to. It feels good to get a measure of revenge so soon after the game has taken a nasty bite out of your round!

Wait, did I just do that? Did I turn a fun idea like “bounceback” into the sinister act of revenge?

It’s not really the same, of course, and that’s a good thing, because God’s take on revenge is not a positive one. In fact, he establishes our willingness to back away from revenge as a litmus test for our trust in him. In our proverb today, as well as in Leviticus 19, Deuteronomy 32, and Romans 12, God takes the role of avenger for himself alone. The question is, Will we let him do this? Are we patient enough to hold our tongue, unclench our fist, and walk away?

In truth, God wants nothing more from us than to trust him. That’s written simply, with an all-encompassing word. In practice, it requires real determination.

Every test of humanity as we read of it through the pages of Scripture, provokes this question of trust: Would Adam and Eve trust that they were fine without the knowledge of good and evil? Would Noah and his sons and their wives trust that the rains would come and their decades of work would have value? Would Abraham and Sarah trust that a child would come to them? Would Abraham trust that God’s hand would intervene on the mountain with Isaac?

All this in just the opening chapters of God’s Word. Sometimes the tests were passed, often they were failed. Never have they ceased.

You and I live in our time, but also in God’s. And God’s time spans the ages. His desire for our trust has not gone away. If we take up that desire, we can draw on the promise of God that he will deliver us from our greatest struggles.

Jeff Hopper
July 1, 2015
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