I sometimes wonder if the angels and the host of heaven don’t just look at the Church and say to themselves, “WHY? Why has God chosen these as His intended Bride? They struggle in their faith, they struggle to get along together, they struggle to witness, and they even struggle to get to Church. Why has God chosen these?”
The truth is, though we must never make excuses for shortcomings as individuals or our corporate witness, that none are perfect, and there is no perfect church this side of eternity. The wonder of it all is that God still loves us and still loves His Church. Personally I suspect that when the host of heaven compares the truth of God’s great love towards us against our frailties, they must continually praise and glorify God for His unfathomable mercy towards His Creation.
If that is the case then I also believe that whenever we as individuals and as corporate fellowships truly walk in Christ and portray Christ to this world, that again the host of heaven must glorify God. In fact there must be a roar of celebration in heaven greater than that which is generated by a crowd gathered in a stadium to celebrate the achievement of a particular athlete or team!
Notice though from our verse that the condition that fosters this praise and glory in heaven is the exhibition of TRUST. Trust at one level is SURRENDER, or a giving of oneself to another. Now there are different levels of trust exhibited in this world. Whenever someone gets in an elevator trust is exhibited to arrive safely at the correct floor. Whenever we get on an amusement park ride we are trusting that the thrill of that experience will not turn sour. Whenever anyone gets on a plane they put their trust in the ability of pilots and technology to get them safely to their destination. I am sure that 99.9% of flights reach their destinations in complete safety, but we all know that once in a while this benchmark human achievement has a tragic turn of events. These experiences are significant for us because in each scenario we surrender control to someone or something else; we have no control of the elevator, ride or plane. Trust in this sense is not only surrender but it is also a complete surrender of CONTROL, and that is actually the scariest but most fulfilling level of trust that we can exhibit or experience.
As believers in Christ we take both of these aspects of TRUST; surrender and control, to another level, and that is what makes us different and even perhaps makes us appear strange to the world. This is because the “WORLD” only trusts it what it can “see.” But as Christians we trust in that which isn’t perceived by the world – the GOODNESS of GOD. It is that trust in God and His goodness that results in HIS praise and glory and which in turn confers on us INCREDIBLE AMOUNTS OF HOPE, because we know that whatever the day may bring us, good or bad, we have GOD on our side – GOD Who is in full control and WHO will never let us slip from HIS grasp.
Our TRUST in Christ is not theoretical; it is worked out in continuum, day by day, one situation at a time. Every time we are faced with a situation that is outside of our control, that we have not planned and prepared for, or that we feel we are out of our depth in, we have a choice; to either TRUST in Christ and so yield to His leading, or to trust in ourselves and in our own abilities. Guaranteed when we do the latter we will be responding in the flesh again! Anger, resentment and anxiety will always rise up in our hearts when we take back control and work to the modus operandi that we used to walk in before we knew Christ as LORD. But when we can recognise these as symptoms of the flesh trying to have its own way then we can resist these reactions and place our TRUST in Christ Who works all things according to the counsel of His will.
OUR PRAYER FOR TODAY
Heavenly Father, Thank you that we have been predestined according to the purpose of Christ, who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who trust in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. Enable us today by the indwelling power of Your Holy Spirit to learn to TRUST You more, and may every situation that comes our way today become an opportunity to show our TRUST and FAITH in Your goodness.