St Aidan’s Text for 2019
5th January 2019
Our Text for 2019 is from the book of Proverbs chapter 3 and verse 5:
‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart’.
Text bookmarks are available from church and chapel, featuring photos of St Aidan’s church this year.
Please do take one.
A sermon on our 2019 Text, preached by Gordon on 30th December 2018, can be found here:
Text for 2019 Proverbs 3:1-10, John 6:60-69
Each year I choose a text for the year… text cards, picture of St Aidan’s...
Our 2019 text is: ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart.’ Proverbs 3:5.
This year’s text is a simple one, and yet deeply affects every area of our lives.
With all the turmoil over Brexit, 2019 could prove to be a difficult year for our nation, and each year brings challenges for each of us personally, so this text is relevant.
Do we trust God to provide for our needs, financially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually? Can we trust God to guide us and to really care for us?
Our trust, or lack of trust, determines much of what we do, how we respond to
the challenges of each day, and whether we are at peace or not.
Trust is another way of speaking of our faith or belief. These three words are often used to translate the same word in different versions of the Bible.
Proverbs 3:5 continues, ‘and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths’.
Yes, we are to use our minds, common sense and intellect fully, but that is not all, we are to involve God in all we do, to pray about decisions, to commit ourselves and our loved ones to God, and to know that we are dependent upon God, and he will be with us and help us, and show us a way through all that 2019 brings.
Right through the Bible we see the challenge to trust God. Adam and Eve doubted God, and so disobeyed him; humans have been tempted to do the same ever since. Abraham was a mixture of fear and faith, sometimes showing great trust in God, leaving his home, setting off for an unknown country, wherever God would lead him; and yet afraid of those he met on the way, and unable to trust God to keep him safe. King Saul was too impatient to wait for God’s time, taking matters into his own hands, and losing his family’s place in God’s purposes. David did not trust God to provide for all his needs and took what wasn’t his, and murdered a man to cover his tracks. Peter found it a struggle to trust as Jesus went to the cross. Peter thought he knew better than Jesus.
‘Trust in the Lord’. In our gospel reading some of Jesus’ followers turn away from him, they are not willing to trust Jesus, so he asks his disciples, ‘Do you also wish to go away?’, and Peter responds ‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.’(v67) If we do not trust Jesus who else will we trust?
There is no other god! If we only trust in ourselves we are lost.
We all trust in something, and if it is not God, who, or what, will it be?
Temptations not to trust God come to us, like all those saints we read of in the Bible, and the saints through the ages. Sometimes we succeed and get it right, sometimes we lapse into fear and impatience, preferring to trust ourselves, thinking we know better than God. So, learning to trust God is not easy, especially when life is difficult and we face problems.
Can we trust God with our finances? To provide for our needs? Of course God will not give us all we might want, but all we need.
Can we trust God for ourselves and our families? children, grandchildren, parents, brothers, sisters, as we pray for them day by day.
In an Advent book I was reading, the writer quotes from the book of Lamentations.
In the midst of an outpouring of woe and dismay, comes these words,
‘But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness’ (Lam 3:21-23) That is trust! The writer believed that God loved them and would never leave them, even in the depths of their despair.
How then can we grow in trust?
The Shack (p126) in a conversation as God speaks to Mack, ‘The real underlying flaw in your life, Mack, is that you don’t think that I am good. If you knew I was good and that everything –the means, the ends, the processes of individual lives – is all covered by my goodness, then while you might not always understand what I am doing, you would trust me. But you don’t’. Mack murmured agreement.
God continued, ‘Mack, you cannot produce trust. It either is or is not. Trust is the fruit of a relationship in which you know you are loved. Because you do not know that I love you, you cannot trust me.’…
A child will trust a parent who loves them, and not a stranger they do not know.
I believe the more we know God and understand his love for us, the more we will trust him. Our verse speaks of trusting ‘with all your heart’, not just with our heads, but in the depths of our being. This means making time in our lives for God, to nurture our relationship, to let his love sink deep into our lives. Time to be still and listen to God, to read the Bible, to pray, to share our lives with God, time to thank and praise, time to say sorry, time to let God’s peace calm us. The stronger our relationship with God, and our love for God, the better we will cope when challenges come to us. (It’s the same in relationships with family and friends too). Let us make it our new year’s resolution to spend time each day this year with our Lord.
My prayer for 2019 is that we will all learn to trust in God, who loves us, through all that the year brings, and we will find God’s peace and blessing as we trust Him. Amen.