Misplaced Trust

Sam Petitfils

“Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.”  Psalm 146:3

All of us can point to times in our lives where people have failed us, even those you placed some confidence in.  In life, we have to place a bit of trust in people.  We trust that emergency personnel will clean up auto wreckage after an accident so we can get to work.  We trust that the grocery store stocked up on items we need so we can provide for our families.  Elderly people trust that their Social Security checks arrive on time.  Young people trust that their schools maintained adequate records of their attendance and grades so they can move on to college.  So in one sense, we do place some trust in people and we must.

But we can never absolutely place our trust in people, because they do fail us from time to time, just like we fail others.  In fact, our ultimate trust needs to be placed in God alone, because He will not fail us (Hebrews 13:5).

The verse above cautions readers not to place this ultimate in earthly leaders, but in God.  In fact, when earthly leaders come through for us, we should thank God more than them, for He is the one who brought it about. Looking further at Psalm 146, we note that God looks after the oppressed and hungry (verse 7), and frees prisoners who may have been unjustly incarcerated (verse 8).  God lifts up the downtrodden and watches over pilgrims (verses 8-9).  This all leads us to one conclusion: God reigns (verse 10).

Signs of unhealthy trust:

1. When we completely depend on someone else.
God has many ways to provide for us; He may use someone at one time, then remove them and use another. This keeps our trust in God, where it belongs.

2. When our sense of joy and well-being is disturbed when others fail us.
Our ultimate destiny has been provided by God, namely eternal life for believers (1 John 5:11). Anything we might need in this life God has promised to provide (Matthew 6:33). Jesus told His disciples to rejoice that their names are written in heaven, and Paul cautions us against misplaced trust in goods or wealth (1 Timothy 6:17).

3. When we petition people more than God.
In Psalm 146, God looks after the needy, poor and oppressed.  But He often uses people to accomplish His will. So rather than spend all our time chasing down people we think can help us, first prayer to God and entrust your cause with Him. He will not disappoint you.

Remember to think biblically, and remember the words of Paul in Romans 8:31:

“What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).  Yes, the very God who promised to bring you safely to His kingdom (2 Timothy 4:18) will not fail to come through for you as you look to Him as your ultimate source of help.

Should we trust in people?  Let me put it this way: We should trust that God will provide for us, whether or not He uses people to do it.  He deserves our complete trust because He will not fail us, nor can He.


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