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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Royal Gorge bridge

Royal Gorge bridge

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"The Blessing Of Trusting God"

"But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him" (Jeremiah 17:7).

Several years ago we went to a family reunion in Colorado and while we were out that way we visited several notable tourist sites throughout the state. We drove to the Royal Gorge where the world's highest suspension bridge crosses over.  I parked the van on the west side of the canyon although we were heading east. We slowly approached the bridge on foot and, with a knot in my stomach, proceeded to walk across. My fear is not really heights but being near or looking out over any edge. Well, as you already know, I made it across safely and we visited the various attractions on the east side.

We rode the world's steepest incline railway down into the canyon and back up, and crossed the gorge in the world's longest aerial tram suspended by what appeared to be a thin wire. My confidence was rising! By the time I walked back across the bridge toward the van I could finally look over the edge.  But I still had my biggest challenge; driving the van across the bridge.  I could either do that or backtrack about fifty miles.

I put my trust in a lot of brilliant engineering, quality materials, competent construction, diligent maintenance, conscientious inspections, and ultimately in God.  My confidence grew as I saw many others going on before me safely. I carefully drove across and was so grateful to be back on solid ground on the other side!

Our daily text was written by Jeremiah in the historical context of the Southern Kingdom's final years.  God's judgment was imminent and Jeremiah was one of the faithful prophets proclaiming this unpopular truth.  But the terrible message of judgment also had within it a tremendous message of hope: "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him."

When we look around and consider all the things that are blessings in our lives we may fail to think of our trust in the Lord as a blessing. People outside the faith would consider their possessions, health, and perhaps other people as blessings in their lives.  Those of us who believe and follow Jesus Christ would certainly consider these to be blessings, but we would put the tremendous dimension of our salvation in Christ at the top of the list in addition to every blessing associated with that.  Of course that would make the list infinitely long!  In fact God has "blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3).  We will continue to  calculate our blessings in this life and all throughout eternity!

What a tremendous blessing it is to place our trust in the Living God.  The line from an old hymn declares, "Those who trust Him whol-ly find Him whol-ly true."  Even as my trust in the reliability of the bridge was not an unproven trust, how much more so is the trust I have placed in my Lord and His Word.  His claims can be tested and have been by millions throughout the ages.  Indeed, "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him."

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, the great blessing in trusting You is the confidence we walk in as we look to You for everything that we have need of.  Jeremiah draws the contrast of those who depend on humans for strength and have stopped trusting in You.  They don't even know about the good things that You can give.  They are like a bush in a desert that grows in a land where no one lives, due to the heat and bad soil.  But we who have placed our trust in You have found You to be faithful.  Instead of cringing fear we walk in confident faith because it is not in ourselves that we trust but in the Living God who is trustworthy in all areas of our life.  Now, give us grace to trust You even more,  in the name of Jesus we pray,  Amen.

Note: Yesterday we did not prepare a daily encouragement message due to being out of town.

Stephen's Note:  One of the most helpful books I have ever read on trusting God is a book simply titled "Trusting God" by Jerry Bridges, who happens to be one of my favorite writers. I also enjoyed his teaching ministry many years ago as a student at a continuing education class at Gordon-Conwell. You can read an excerpt of the book online.

Trusting GodTrusting God  By Jerry Bridges / Nav Press - Do you find it easy to trust God---until adversity strikes? When life clouds over, do you suddenly begin to suspect that you only imagined his care for you? Bridges uncovers three essential truths about God: He is completely sovereign; He is infinite in wisdom; and He is perfect in love. Building on these three rocks, Bridges shows how we can learn to trust God, even when we don't understand what He is doing. 215 pages, softcover from NavPress.  Ordering information.

Matangelo family
This last weekend we had a visit from our long-time friends, the Matangelos.  Mike and Kathy attended the very first service in the church we started in northern Pennsylvania in 1977.  They faithfully serve the Lord and both are presently involved in prison ministry. Mike is a realtor in the Hickory North Carolina area.  Tina is their youngest daughter.

Ester at Camp Malaga
Yesterday we took Ester to a camp in Malaga, New Jersey. Here she is with her friendly camp counselor, Julie, who is from nearby Hershey. Ester was quite apprehensive when we dropped her off but was getting excited as we left.  We thank those who are praying for her spiritual needs to be met this week.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus"  Video 

"Story Of My Life"  Audio

Here's information about the Royal Gorge bridge

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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