Jeremiah 17:5-6 ESV
Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
and makes flesh his strength,
whose heart turns away from the Lord.
He is like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,
in an uninhabited salt land.
Right now we have a whole lot of people telling us a whole lot of stuff which is “all over the map.” And, every one of them wants us to believe them. So, there is both legitimate information out there and there is also a lot of disinformation out there, and sometimes coming from the same people.
So, who do we believe? Who is telling us the truth? If it has to do with biblical truth, we can know what is true and what is false by studying the scriptures in context. But, if it is just people’s words about the economy, or the toilet paper supply, or information about a novel virus, or information about their plans and procedures, we may not be able to tell unless we personally experience it ourselves, and even then we might not be sure.
So, what do we do when we don’t know if we should believe people or not? Or, should we just readily believe people in positions of authority over us just because they are assuring us that what they are telling us is the truth?
The scriptures actually do give us a lot of insight into answering that question. For one, we are not to put our full trust in any human being.
We are never to just blindly trust anyone, no matter who they are or what positions they might hold. Why? Because they are mere humans, and therefore they are subject to error and to failure and to deceit, too.
Also, we might end up putting our faith in human beings over God, and we may end up following after man in place of God, because we believe man over God, or we believe man without even checking with God to see if what we are believing is actually true or not.
And, a whole lot of people are doing this, too. They are followers of the flesh of man instead of being followers of Jesus Christ, while they are claiming that they are Christ’s followers, too.
So, we need to not believe everything we hear, especially if it is coming from the media and from our politicians, and even if it is coming from some pastors or many pastors. For there is a lot of false propaganda out there being spread regarding our Lord, regarding his gospel of salvation, and regarding what is really going on in the world, too.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
So, what do we do with all the information that is being thrown at us on a daily basis via the media, our politicians, and perhaps some pastors, too? We take it to the Lord in prayer. We don’t automatically believe it just because someone says it, no matter who that person is.
Just because it sounds true doesn’t mean it is true. Deception comes from lies cleverly disguised as truth. And, we pray for discernment, because the lies are very clever. Sometimes we have to read things very carefully, for if we do so prayerfully, the Lord may show us the lies in what is being said.
The main point is that our faith and trust needs to be in God and not in human beings who are subject to failure and to deceit. It doesn’t mean we go around distrusting everyone or calling all people liars. That is not the point. The point is that God is to be the one in whom we trust for all things and on whom we rely, and whom we follow.
We look to God for our strength, our hope, our joy and our direction for life. And, we test everything coming out of the mouths of humans, and we ask for wisdom from God so that we don’t fall prey to deception, and so we are not caught in the enemy’s traps.
When the Lord is our trust, and not man, and not the things of this world, then we can be at peace even when “all hell” is breaking loose all around us. We don’t have to fear what is maybe going to happen to us, because God is in control, and he is watching over us, and he will carry us through whatever comes our way, and he will guide our steps all the way if we will rest in him.
Jeremiah 17:9-10 ESV
The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?
“I the Lord search the heart
and test the mind,
to give every man according to his ways,
according to the fruit of his deeds.”
The human heart is very deceitful, so this is why we have to put our trust in God and not in man, and not in ourselves. We can’t trust in our flesh or in our feelings, either, for feelings come and feelings go, and they can be so deceiving. We may feel good about something or someone and we may be completely wrong. Even “nice” people can be deceptive.
So, we need the Lord to search our own hearts and to show us what is in our hearts for we may be deceived into thinking we are on a good path when we may not be on a good path. And, we need to ask the Lord for wisdom to know who the deceivers are out there so that we don’t fall into their traps.
Jeremiah 17:12-14 ESV
“A glorious throne set on high from the beginning
is the place of our sanctuary.
O Lord, the hope of Israel,
all who forsake you shall be put to shame;
those who turn away from you shall be written in the earth,
for they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living water.
Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
save me, and I shall be saved,
for you are my praise.”
The Lord needs to be our sanctuary always, but especially in times of crisis. We need to not turn to other “gods” to make us feel good or to block out what we don’t want to accept. Our solace is also not in all the things we can accumulate. Things will never bring us joy or satisfy the deep longings of our souls. They may bring us some temporary pleasure, but they are all going to perish. They have no eternal value to them.
So, during this time of uncertainty in our world when we don’t know from one day to the next what the rules will be, or what we will be made to endure, we need to put our hope and trust in God, and not in the things of this life which may soon disappear.
We need to trust in the Lord in all things, no matter how bad things might get, and no matter what turns this present situation may take, which could be anything. And, we need to hold on to the Lord and not to the world. And, we have to stop believing the lies, and we have to start being discerning. We have to ask God for wisdom and then we need to follow him in his ways.
We need the healing touch of God in our lives. We need to have his peace, his joy and his wisdom. So, we need to surrender our lives over to him and not follow the ways or the words of man. Don’t let humans get you all worried over what might happen next. Trust in God! Rely on him for your strength. He will see you through this, and good will come from it.
Put on the armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil schemes against you. And, don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God. Rest in him.
Soldiers of Christ Arise
Lyrics by Charles Wesley, pub. 1741
Soldiers of Christ, arise, and put your armor on,
Strong in the strength which God supplies, through His Eternal Son.
Strong in the Lord of Hosts, and in His mighty power,
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts is more than conqueror.
Stand then in His great might, with all His strength endued,
But take, to arm you for the fight, the panoply of God;
That, having all things done, and all your conflicts passed,
Ye may o’ercome through Christ alone and stand entire at last.
Leave no unguarded place, no weakness of the soul;
Take every virtue, every grace, and fortify the whole.
From strength to strength go on; wrestle, and fight, and pray;
Tread all the powers of darkness down and win the well-fought day.
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