Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 175/260: Jeremiah

Read Jeremiah 17

Who Do You Trust?

The Scriptures issue grave warnings against trusting untrustworthy things. The apostle Paul tells Timothy, “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17).

What makes earthly riches “uncertain”? Jesus answers in the Sermon on the Mount: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19). Earthly treasures are temporary. They can be destroyed or stolen. Heavenly treasures, though, cannot be taken away from a faithful person.

Jeremiah warns not against trusting in temporary treasures, but against anything that is not rooted in God Himself. “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord” (Jeremiah 17:5). When a person begins to trust in his own abilities and fails to recognize from whom those abilities come, he is sure to stumble!

The prophet presents a contrast between trusting man and trusting God. He who feels secure in the flesh is “cursed” (17:5), while the man who trusts in God and puts his hope in God is “blessed” (17:7).

The man who relies on his own strength is “like a shrub in the desert…the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited” (17:6). There is no prospect for improvement in that man. But the man who is confident in the Lord “shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river…its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit” (17:8). Nothing can stop the growth of the man whose source of life and energy is the Almighty!

Notice also that the man who trusts in the flesh “shall not see when good comes” (17:6). The one who has a lot of money just wants more money. There is never any peace or contentment with what he already possesses; he simply looks for more. By contrast, the one who trusts in God “will not fear when heat comes” (17:8). There is a calmness of the heart in knowing that God is your provider and protector.

Who do you trust?

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