Thursday 8 October 2020

Trust in God - yes! But in what way?

I am finding the self-exhortation, or rather self-reminder, to Trust in God - to be of extraordinary value just at present. In a sense, it is the single 'thing' I most-often find myself reaching-for. 

Probably this is because I have come to regard all plans, schemes, strategies, blueprints, procedures, manuals and guide-books to be intrinsically evil: intrinsically on the side of Satan. Probably this was not always the case, probably at some times and places such things were valuable: but not here, not now. And when I set such ways of thinking aside; what replaces them is Trust in God...

But I have become sharply aware that when other people say Trust in God, they often mean to suggest that God will fix problems in this mortal life, or with respect to particular institutions (such as churches) or civilizations; whereas my trust in God is that he will seek my personal best situation in the long-term of post-mortal, resurrected, eternal life. 

To me, it seems obvious that all things of this mortal earthly world are temporary. They are indeed of infinite value, but their value is cashed-out only after biological death, in Heaven. 

Therefore, I think that people are misunderstanding if they Trust in God to save their life, their families, their church, Western Civilization, life on this planet or indeed the planet itself. All these things are destined to perish - and before they perish will surely undergo change, corruption, decay... such is the nature of mortal life. 

Ultimately, this life is a time of learning; and this applies to every-thing at every level of organisation and consciousness. We should not be supposing that God is primarily concerned with any mortal thing. Neither is God indifferent to this life and world. 

Rather, God loves this life and world for what they contribute to eternal life. 

And that is where are trust can/ should/ must be placed. 


Karl said...

"I pray not for the world" - John 17:9

Bruce Charlton said...

@Karl - It is very strange that mankind seems to have forgotten what all the ancient civilizations seemed to know without being told: that this life, this world is intrinsically a place of transience leading inevitably to death.

In one sense all modern Men know this; but because they deny (what all Men used to know) that there is existence (of some kind) beyond this life, then modern Men cannot think or live in consciousness of inevitable transience/ death, and continually strive Only for worldly ameliorations, which can never possibly suffice to make any significant (or sufficient) difference to the human condition.

Thus the characteristic 20th century combination of foolish credulity about simplistic utopian schemes, rapidly alternating with disgust and despair at the reality of Men and society.

In this 21st century the utopianism has degenerated into a purely oppositional Leftism (Against one thing at a time, without balance or limit, in alternation: sexism, *phobias, racism, The Virus, Global Warming.

Consequently Man has apprently been so overwhelmed by despair as to advocate and collaborate-in his own physical, psychological and spiritual annihilation; each confined alone a global prison, to die to fear and despair; and at the end to reject Jesus and embrace hell... as we see unfolding month by month.

Karl said...

I am wary of romanticising any past period, but certainly awareness of death and mortality seems to have been far more a reality in the world prior to the 20th century.

I think, though, that the culture of distraction may be wearing thin even for its biggest advocates.

What comes next will doubtless be even more horrific.

Anyone sane should be putting their chips on eschatology, no matter how firm or quivering their religious beliefs. There's certainly no winning to be had this side of the headstone.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Karl - It's not romantic. Many/ most past societies had horrible afterlives (or horrible kinds of reincarnation) - but there always (so far as I know) was an afterlife.

Steve said...

Well said both in your post and your comments. We can trust that He cares about our Eternal well-being far beyond all earthly things. This is easy to forget, to lose in the moment, in the strife of life. I, too, like you, oftentimes, but not enough, fall back on the same mantra.

Sascha said...

Sorry for commenting so late on this post, I just stumbled on it today and it quite resonated with me. Last year I began reading daily in the Heidelberg Catechism and it was particularly the 9th and 10th Sunday I kept thinking about, often several times a day.