Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Hopeful Trustful Heart

I've just finished reading "North and South," my online bookclub's latest read, and I have been contemplating this statement, made toward the end of the book:

"I must not think so much of how circumstances affect me myself, but how they affect others, if I wish to have a right judgment, or a hopeful trustful heart."

I know it's just another way of saying what Jesus already said, but sometimes someone says something familiar in a new way which turns a lightbulb on in my head!

I'm still contemplating the connection between unselfish thinking and a hopeful, trusting heart.
Hmmm. . . .
maybe, by focusing on others, I'm trusting God to take care of my circumstances instead of worrying about them!

Maybe, by encouraging others who are discouraged and offering hope, I myself, grow in hopefulness.
Hmmm. . .

Monday, June 6, 2011

Surrender Or Go Home

Jesus' discussion with the rich young ruler always made me a little. . .  uncomfortable. Of course we know that we can't "love" riches and get to heaven. I was pretty sure, though, Jesus was saying more than that. Last week I heard a sermon based on this passage (Matt. 19) which was enlightening  (thanks again, Olin!) and also related to trust, so I wanted to share my "discovery" here!

Their conversation immediately follows Jesus' statement: "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven."

The rich ruler had a lot to offer. He had power, wealth, influence. He was ready to do some great work of benevolence or service. Maybe he thought Jesus would ask him to fast or build or feed the poor- some great work which HE was capable of doing. But the Lord told him he had to realize that Jesus was the source of what he wanted- it was not within his own power. Jesus wanted him to become like the little children he had just blessed: insignificant and totally dependant.
 What held him back was the way he looked at what was "his."  He grasped tightly his security, for fear of. . . probably the same things we all fear.    He had a trust issue.   He needed NO FEAR!
Jesus said, in essence, surrender or go home.

Fear asks, will I be alright?                 Jesus answers, More than alright.