Tonight, I was a part of a group that discussed the matter of trust. Who do we trust? What do we trust? Can we really trust? If God is truth, shouldn’t we trust Him? What if we didn’t trust God? Could we be a Christian and not trust God? How can we trust when we have had our trust taken for granted? These are all great questions to ask and explore. What I took away from the night – and I ask you to test it out for yourselves – is that trust is something that can only happen when a relationship is established through continual and intentional community. It can only happen in an environment where we are able to be most like ourselves and not like we normally are in new situations. Finally, trust can only happen when we are willing to abandon our will and place ourselves in another. With respects to our faith, I have come to recognize the importance of trusting God. With other relationships, I trust those I have known for many years – my close friends. When I think about Paul, I can only imagine how strong his trust was in God to maintain a positive attitude in his circumstance. Lord knows it would not be easy. Paul’s trust in God is worth considering when we read his letters. You can almost feel it as you read the words off the pages.
“Holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice wit you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.”
Paul understands that holding on to the Word will result in not laboring or running in vain.
Paul likens himself to a drink offering from Numbers 28:7 – it is a sacrifice that he is happy to offer.
Paul calls us to be glad and rejoice with him.
I think sometimes the reason we don’t read the Word of God as much as we could or should is because we don’t realize how it will affect us when we read it. It has the ability to change us from the inside out and to create in us a pure heart. It has the ability to shape us and mold us into the kind of people we were made to be in Christ. If we really understood the importance of reading the Word, we would do it more and see the benefits more often in our day-in/day-out lives.
Anytime I build a tower of blocks with my 1-year-old nephew, he comes over and knocks it down. It doesn’t matter how many times I do it he will knock it down again and again. That is what kids do at that age. What if you were building something bigger though that costs more time, effort, sweat, blood, and tears and someone knocked it down? I am sure you would be upset, as I would be. Paul doesn’t want to labor in vain or run in vain. He is working hard for a purpose. If there is no fruit to his work, it is no different than a man who built a tower out of play blocks and his nephew knocked them down a moment later.
Even if these things were to be knocked down like block tower, Paul is okay with that. Cause it is God who built it and has a right to knock it down. Paul then says that he would rejoice. We should rejoice with him because God is in control of our circumstances. That is what makes God different than us.
I am learning to be more thankful for all that God does in my life. I hope that my walk with Christ produces good fruit and that I too have not labored in vain. Am I willing to be a drink offering for someone else’s faith? I am not there yet, but I am working on it. It is probably something we all could work on from time to time. For God’s sake, let us continue to become more like Him in Word and in deed. God bless.