Trusting God :: By Sean Gooding

Hebrews 11:1-2

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.”

Trusting God is one of those things in our life that will become more and more important as we approach the end of the age. Over the past few weeks, I have had these events happen in my life that challenge me, and I have to deliberately focus on trusting God. I work in a high-stress car sales job where we only get paid by commission. If you don’t sell, you don’t get paid. Over the years, I am always amazed at how God brings people in to buy cars. God has blessed my family and me, and I am forever thankful.

As we approach the end of the age, it is clear from the scriptures that life before the rapture will become difficult. I look around and wonder what will become of us when the power is off, the water does not flow, the grocery stores are no longer stocked, and we have to ‘fend’ for ourselves. Of course, those of us who are saved have this promise from God that we will never be abandoned, and we will always have enough. As one who lives on commission, I get to count cars, count how many are on this check, and count how many for this month, and it can become the focus of my life. I can ride the emotional rollercoaster and allow the number of cars on a check to determine my faith and trust in God.

Thankfully, God has a way of taking me through the hurdles and showing me that while He uses cars to pay my bills, the truth is, it is He who pays the bills. I had to learn that if a car does not get on a paycheck, it is not the end of the world. God has a plan; God can provide in any way He pleases, and I need to trust Him.

In our text, we are told that faith is the ‘substance of things hoped for.’ I hope and trust that God is a God of good character and that He will not lie to me and set me up to fail. The men and women that are mentioned in the chapter had to trust God that He would do what He said and that He could take them to places they had never seen, provide things they could not have done on their own, and protect them when they could not protect themselves. He did all of that and more.

We serve the same God; the same God who calls us to have this kind of faith. Is it perfect? No! Abraham had his doubts, Sarah her doubts, and on we can go. Many had great spiritual failures like Samson, but they were still God’s servants. We are told in this chapter that God was not ashamed of them, even in their failures.

Verse 16: “But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”

When we trust in God and allow Him to truly take over, it changes everything. But most importantly, God is not ashamed to be associated with us. God then begins to reveal Himself more and more to us. He begins to do things that reveal to us His infinite power in a real and tangible way, and this will become more and more important as we get closer and closer to the end. We can be assured that no matter how bad things get, no matter how sinister our political leadership becomes, and no matter how scarce the food and necessities become, God is not shorthanded, and His ability to supply supersedes that of the enemy to cut off. We can rest assured that God is way ahead of our enemies and we are in good hands.

In the 2nd verse, we are encouraged to have a ‘good testimony.’ One day, we will stand along with these very persons mentioned here and give an account of our lives in Jesus, our faith, our obedience, and the way in which we brought glory to God. Will you and I obtain a ‘good testimony’? Remember, these elders they speak of are just men and women like us, flesh and blood who allowed the God of Heaven to rule their lives. There was nothing super special about them; they were flawed men and women like we are. Yet, they obtained a good testimony, and so too can you and I, as our God is the same today as He was back then.

One last thing: let me show you a few verses that many of us don’t like to read and consider, but if we are to tell the truth, it must be the whole truth.

Hebrews 11:35-38 “Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented—of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.”

It may be that some of us will be hurt, suffer, be tortured, imprisoned, and even die if the Lord tarries His return. It may seem like the Lord has forgotten us, abandoned us, and turned on us, but He has not. God’s people have been killed and tortured over the years and centuries since He left. We have been spared here in North America and the Western Hemisphere, but many Christians around the world still live in danger, and these dangers will increase for all of us as the end nears and Satan begins his last stand.

We know this is going to happen, and it may be that soon we will have to go through some of the things mentioned in these verses. Trust God; it is all we have. It is the only way through and the only salve to the wounds that may be inflicted by our enemies. Ask God to help us to see Him and His hand, ask the Lord to increase our faith, and we too can be like the folks in Hebrews 11.

Trust God, keep the faith.

God bless you,

Dr. Sean Gooding
Pastor of Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church

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