Thursday, September 25, 2003
We met Dan and Rita and their dog when we took our Native American team to a reservation in South Dakota. They live in this dusty little village, doing their best to make a difference for the people there. They have this little dog named Gal. Now most dogs are pretty aggressive in meeting strangers - they come right up to you, even on you. But not Gal. She retreats when she sees people. She cowers, she trembles. Dan and Rita explained why. Their dog had been severely abused by several previous owners before they got her. So she has a hard time trusting even people who want to treat her right, but she's missing a lot of loving that way.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Where Trust Is Born."
Wounded, then afraid to trust, and missing a lot of love. That's not just the life story of a dog we know - it's the life story of millions of people. Maybe it's your story. You've been betrayed by people you should have been able to trust - abused, abandoned, deeply hurt. And it's hard for you to trust anyone. You've just been hurt too often.
It's even hard for you to trust someone who wants to treat you right. Maybe even the Person who wants to give you the deepest love a human being can ever experience - that's God. But you're not even sure how you feel about Him. There have been tragedies you don't understand, questions you can't find answers for.
And even though all those children sing, "Jesus loves me, this I know," you can't join their song. Because you haven't really trusted Him with everything you've got, you've never really experienced this one "never leave you" love. That is, in fact, the promise Jesus made to those who belong to Him. "I will never leave you or forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5).
If you struggle to trust, if you struggle to trust even the God who has the love and healing you need, I ask you to consider our word for today from the Word of God. It's from Romans 8:31-32. "If God is for us, who can be against us?" Someone might ask, "Is God for us?" The answer follows. "He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all - how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?"
God says, "If you want to know if you can trust Me, come to My Son's cross." Because the only way for you and me to belong to God is to have the death penalty for our sin paid, God gave up His Son to pay it. God really doesn't want to lose you. God really does love you. Just look at His Son, hanging on that bloody cross, pouring out His life in exchange for yours. Stand at the foot of that cross and try to get these words out: "I don't know if I can trust You." You have finally found the one person you can totally trust. This Savior who loves you enough to die for you will never betray your trust. He will never do you wrong!
Trust is born at the cross of Jesus when you let the walls around your wounded heart finally come down, when you say, "Jesus, I need a Savior. I need to be forgiven. I need Your love. Jesus, I'm Yours." If you've never done that, let today be the day the healing begins. If you want to belong to Jesus Christ, I would love to send you the booklet I wrote about this relationship called "Yours For Life." Just let me know you want it.
There's more love waiting for you than you ever imagined you could have. The arms of Jesus are wide open, extending to you hands with nail scars in them - proof of how much He loves you. It's your move now.