“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is in the Lord.”
To trust in the Lord is something simple that we make super complicated. Trusting means relying. It means confidence. We usually think we are the greatest – the greatest at everything. We are the smartest in our schools. We are the best in the work place. We are the most talented amongst our friends. We are the most beautiful. We are the kindest. We are just the greatest. If we are the greatest, then why would we need to put our trust in the Lord? If we are the greatest, then why do we need Jesus Christ? That’s a great question. And again, there’s a simple answer. We are absolutely not the greatest. We are actually the extreme opposite of great and anything that comes close to great. We are the least. I’ve noticed that we all like to live in fantasy land. We enjoy believing in lies. If the lie gives us any instant satisfaction, then we believe the lie and won’t let it go until the satisfaction runs out and the next lie comes along. But, let me assure you, there’s a sweet part to all of the lies. If there are lies then there has to be truth. The truth is Jesus. ‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus! Jesus is the greatest. He, as the greatest, came down to die for us, the least. But the story didn’t end there, He was raised from the dead and is now living and seated at the right hand of God. He’s offered us a gift. It is ours to accept. The gift is life with Him. Before we accept this gift, we are dead. After accepting the gift, we are alive in Him. It’s simple. Without Him we are dead – by ourselves, on our own, we are dead. With Him we are alive. There is no option of being alive without Jesus.
So instead of living in fantasy land, shouldn’t we be living with Jesus, in Paradise? Because after all, where Jesus is, there is Paradise. WAIT, you’re telling me that if Jesus is in me, then I’m living in Paradise?! Yes. That is what I am telling you. Jesus = Paradise. It’s a true statement and cannot be altered. And there are no other equivalents.
__________ = Paradise. Try to fill in the blank and see if what you put in will equal Paradise for you. Try anything. Here are some examples – your husband/wife, your sports car, Hawaii, your job that gives you a nice paycheck, your friends, your role in the church, yourself.
I’m thinking about what, for me, could be Paradise…yeah, I got nothing. At this point in our lives, we all know that living in Paradise in this world is nearly impossible. Everything is so imperfect. Everything changes. It would be extremely hard to live in a place of extreme beauty and delight, a place where we are in complete bliss. Okay so knowing that, let’s put Jesus back into the equation. Jesus Christ, Son of God and man, was perfect. Jesus Christ is constant; He never changes. It is so comforting to know that the ONE thing that NEVER changes is all ours.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
Jesus = Paradise. Yes, that sounds about right. Not only does Jesus Christ give us life and the opportunity to live life with Him by our side, but He also gives us a life in Paradise. Really, what could be better?
**This is a little side note.** I just had a realization about myself. I usually define myself as a confident person. And that is so, utterly self-centered. What am I basing my confidence on? My outgoing personality, my way with words, my “success”? See. I’m making something simple, super complicated. If I have any confidence whatsoever it should be in Jesus Christ who has given me life! He is my confidence. I am confident in Him, in His promises, in the truth that He is. He is who has made me anything. Lies tell me that I have made myself something. Truth tells me that He is it; He is everything. So yes, I am confident, but the statement doesn’t end there. I am confident in Him.
“For He shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its life will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.”
If we put our trust in the Lord and hope in what is to come, then our lives here will be powerful. We will be able to do a lot with Him and because of Him. We will be like strong trees that grow uncontrollably because we are planted by waters. We must stay diligent. We must continuously stay on our “A” game by hiding His word in our hearts and looking to Him to cleanse us and renew our minds. We have to be rooted in the truth so when the lies come we won’t be afraid. When the heat comes, we will be able to enjoy a little tan, by putting our sunglasses on, and pulling out a nice book to read while we lounge by the pool sipping on some sweet tea. The water will still be close and the heat won’t shake us. We will still be full of life; a little sweat won’t hurt. Our leaves will remain green but not because of ourselves, solely because of His faithfulness. And as our roots continue to grow, we continue to get to know Jesus better. Our tree will start to look like Him.
The season of drought will soon approach, but that’s okay. We are becoming more like Jesus. We are rooted in Him. Drought can’t change who He is. Drought can’t change our Paradise. And even in this time, when the hard times come, when the tests come, when we are pushed to expose our weaknesses, He is our strength. And we will continue to produce fruit. We are a power with Him. And believe it, you will do work for Him. The storms may come, but be confident in Him. He will continue to use you tremendously. Too much rain, too much heat, seasons of drought and extreme cold, won’t change us. We will always be living in Paradise with Jesus. We are always on vacation. And now, this is what I have to say to this world: “Gone to vacation in Paradise, be back never!” 🙂