Trusting God Because God Can
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” —Mark 10:27—
When Jesus was approached by a rich young ruler, the conversation seemed to be going quite well: And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions (Mark 10:20–22).
From the disciples’ perspective, if a rich man couldn’t get into heaven, then what possible chance would they have?
And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:23–27).
“All things are possible with God!” We’re living in a time of fear. Of course, we might argue that there’s never really been a time when we haven’t had fear because life under the sun is scary: death being our ultimate end. “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery” (Hebrews 2:14–15). “When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ . . . Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:54, 58).
Do we trust God? Do we trust that He can and will do what He promises? We can say that we do, but how are we showing that we trust Him? “Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” ( James 1:21–22).
Some of my brothers and sisters are deceiving themselves because they are neither attending worship—and worship is far more than listening to a sermon that’s either prerecorded or on the Internet—nor are they fulfilling God’s command to lay by in store on the first day of the week (1 Corinthians 16:1–2). How difficult is it to send a check? How difficult is it to show faith in God? “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8) Will He find faith in us?
“They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work” (Titus 1:16). “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” ( James 2:17–18).
Worship in spirit and truth (John 4:23–24) is about actual fellowship—it’s about presence. Paul addressed the Corinthians’ abuses of the Lord’s Supper, and in doing so he used the phrase “when you come together” (1 Corinthians 11:17–18, 20, 33–34). But many today sincerely believe they have discovered an exception. Again, it’s not only about partaking the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week (Acts 20:7). In Paul’s instructions about giving, he said to the Corinthians: “On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper” (1 Corinthians 16:2). In 2 Corinthians 8:6, Paul speaks of giving as an “act of grace.”
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness (Romans 12:6–8).
God continues to shower us with blessings. Are we willingly following Him, or are we paying only lip service? “And [ Jesus] said to them, ‘Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men’” (Mark 7:6–7).
Are we guilty of offering vain worship? We may not think it shows, but we would only be deceiving ourselves. Do we trust God? Whether we do or don’t, it shows (1 Timothy 5:24–25).