When we lived in Colorado, we were exactly 500 miles from my parent’s home in Nebraska.
Even on the racetrack that is Interstate 80, it is still an 8 hour drive each way.
One way we tried to see each other more often was to meet in the middle
and go camping at one of the state parks associated with the state’s many reservoirs and rivers.
Before one such trip over the July 4th weekend, I decided to buy in new, larger, tent.
Our first child was 18 months old and very busy and required lots of gear (or so we thought)
So, I found what I thought was a good one at a good deal at a local big box store and went and picked it up.
On the day before the holiday, I got off work around 3PM and we were on the road by 4:00 PM
which allowed us to get to the campsite around 8:00 PM
with another hour of daylight left to set up camp till the sun would set at around 9:00 PM.
I unloaded our gear, opened the box to the brand-new tent,
turned it upside down to empty its contents,
and out of it came seven or eight of those old hardback readers digest condensed novels and several old bed sheets.
No tent. No Poles. I was livid.
Apparently, someone purchased the tent, removed it from the box,
and then brought it back to the store for a refund.
And the store never verified that the tent was in the box.
Because of that incident, I lost trust in that store’s ability to stop theft and fraud
as well as their return policies which clearly lacked quality control inspections prior to reselling returned goods.
We laughed at its eventually, but at the time I was mad.
I felt duped and deceived.
Moreover, we didn't have our own tent that night
and had to bunk with my aunt and uncle in their camper on a sofa bed.
Fortunately, that big box store chain had a store in the town near where the campsite was.
they were able to give me a new tent and apologized profusely.
It took me a long time to gain their trust again after that disappointment.
I'm sure each of us has disappointed someone enough for them to lose trust in us from time to time.
Maybe it was when you were children
and we went beyond the boundaries of the neighborhood middle without your parents’ permission?
Maybe you frequently stayed out past your curfew?
Or, perhaps you hung out with your friends instead of studying and your grades suffered?
Maybe you promised your spouse you did do something and then kept putting it off?
Maybe you made a commitment to another and didn't keep it, or even betrayed them?
Everyone has broken the trust of another, and we had been especially untrusting where God’s Law is concerned.
We have taken the Lord’s name in vain and have trusted other things before him.
We haven't remembered the Sabbath Day or honored our parents.
We have stolen from and brought harm to others.
And we have had lust and covetousness in our hearts.
the fact of the matter is that the Creator of this earth, who entrusted its keeping to us, has found us totally untrustworthy.
We have not followed in his ways, nor have we cared for everything he’s given us.
We have been found lacking in faith and are poor stewards of all his gifts.
And there are consequences for our disappointing behavior.
But, thankfully, repairing that trust is not up to us, it’s all up to God.
In fact, he is so consistent and faithful and trustworthy,
that no matter our challenge, we can lay it before him,
and no matter our failing, he can overcome it.
And it is that steadfast faithfulness in God and his power to make things right and to save,
that moves the prophet to sing his praise in Lamentation,
The woman to believe she would be healed by touching Jesus’ robes,
the dead girl to be raised to life,
and the church in Macedonian to give generously to the church in Jerusalem.
even in the midst of their poverty and hardship
They gave more than anyone ever expected or hoped they would.
The only persons trustworthy in the entire universe are the three persons of the Trinity: Father, son, and Holy Spirit.
Immortal, eternal, everlasting.
Creation, redemption, salvation.
faithful, steadfast, true.
Love, mercy, grace.
These are qualities onto which we place our hope and trust.
We cannot trust ourselves to be righteous.
but we can be sure that God in his infinite love for us is righteous and can be trusted.
But what does it mean to trust God?
First, to trust him with your thoughts and prayers.
Because he wants you to talk to him about your cares and concerns,
and he wants you to see and hear and experience the answers to those prayers,
so that your faith and trust in him will grow even stronger.
Second, it means trusting him to forgive.
By confessing your sins to him daily,
and forgiving those who sin against you, even as you have been forgiven,
For, if we can trust him with our guilt and shame,
we can then surely trust him with the good things in my life as well.
Third, we trust in him with our lives.
As we listen for his calling to us to follow him and his ways,
as we use our life to be a witness to the world around us of his love for us,
and as we invite others to follow Jesus along with us.
Fourthly, we trust God with all our possessions, so that they would be used for his purposes.
from our income and wealth,
to other material goods and furnishings,
to the talents and skills he's blessed us with in life.
Unwavering trust in God is, therefore, the overarching goal of the Christian.
not only does it give evidence to the faith we hold dearly within us,
but it also strengthens us for the battles ahead.
As we witness for ourselves how he has intervened for us by Jesus’ death on the cross,
we know that if he can defeat death and the devil in hell,
then he can defeat the demons and distractions thrown our way in this life as well.
and that kind of unwavering trust has been earned by God's own love and care for us.
But it is known by those who are the recipients of that love and care
and who have heard the witness of others who have experienced the same.
That witness begins with the witness of the Scriptures.
Written by men, inspired by the Holy Spirit over several centuries,
and a record of all that he is done to rescue and save us than the wages of our sin,
the Bible is where we begin discovering his trustworthiness,
And the more we study it, the more we trust him.
So, I would encourage you to be in that word daily.
And we become witnesses to that unwavering trust when we come together as a congregation.
Our worship is a witness that has been ongoing and continuous since Jesus ascended into heaven.
And our service to the community around us demonstrates the love for all that drove him to the cross on our behalf.
And so, you could say, your attendance and participation in ministry are all extensions and signals of the trust you have in your Lord and Savior Jesus.
In just a few minutes we will also gather as a congregation in the gym for our semiannual meeting and pot-luck luncheon. (Feel free to come, even if you didn’t bring a dish).
And as we do so we will give witness to the great trust we have in our Lord and Savior.
as we hear about some of the exciting things happening in our different ministries.
And about our new teachers that we will be calling for this fall school year.
and it would just be a wonderful time of coming together fellowship and celebration.
In the Lord and Savior Jesus in whom we trust each and every day of our lives. Amen.