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“In God We Trust”


A Sunday School teacher, having trouble finding subjects to talk

about, was discussing with her class how Noah might have spent his

time on the Ark.

A girl volunteered, “Maybe he went fishing.”

A boy countered, “With only two worms????”

*************

Here’s a quote from John Adams in a letter to his wife dated July 3, 1776.

“It may be the will of Heaven that America shall suffer calamities still more wasting and distresses yet more dreadful. If this is to be the case, it will have this good effect, at least: it will inspire us with many virtues, which we have not, and correct many errors, follies, and vices, which threaten to disturb, dishonor, and destroy us. The furnace of affliction produces refinement, in states as well as individuals. And the new governments we are assuming, in every part, will require a purification from our vices, and an augmentation of our virtues or there will be no blessings…But I must submit all my hopes and fears to an overruling Providence; in which, unfashionable as the faith may be, I firmly believe.”
John Adams, July 3, 1776

Did you catch that last sentence in the quote above? I’ll bet that Noah had many quotes very similar to that as he carried out God’s instructions to build the ark, enter the ark, and begin his stormy journey. His faith and hope was realized when the ark slowly rested on solid ground. We know that Noah had nothing but God on his mind when this happened because directly after the exit door opened, an altar was built in honor and praise of the one who brought the storm and kept a family safe through that storm. Noah firmly believed.

Do we firmly believe…even though Christianity may be “unfashionable”?

Do we just give lip service to our belief or does our very life reflect our heart’s secure hope? Do our words and our actions show a belief that someone would “write home about?” Or, do our words and actions seem current and fashionable? Do people see us living as though a flood is about to begin, or are do we look like the crowds around us?

Some of the signers of the Declaration of Independence have quotes referenced to them that speak of the treason their committing…treason befitting death at the hands of the British Monarchy. What is our risk of believing in the freedom that God has given us through Jesus? Some of these men were not full and complete Christian believers, but they all recognized that God has the only and best way to live and live together in community/country. They recognized His sovereignty. They recognized His plan for freedom. They recognized His Lordship. They recognized Him as Creator. Thus, they looked to Him in their time of need and direction. In God they trusted.

Noah trusted God no matter what happened…and God gives us a glimpse of the trust He has in us as well. If you’ve read Genesis chapter 8, you’ll see that at the end He promises to never flood the earth again…even though our ‘hearts are evil from childhood.’ We see here His love for us…even in our guilt. He recognizes the created potential in all of us. He made us like Him. His long term plan is for us to be with Him forever. For that plan to work out ‘perfectly’ Jesus had to be here as a sacrifice for our sins. This is the final reason that we have a God to believe in…to trust in. God sent Noah plans for an ark. God sent us Jesus.

This is basically one of those texts that is a story for life in general. Here’s a two part saying that I’m adding third part to. God either brings or allows storms to surround us. There are also storms that He asks us to jump into. In our lives there will be storms that God plans for our growth. There will also be storms from the enemy that God knows we can handle with His help. Then there are those storms of life where God simply says, “Get involved and make a difference…jump into it!” I can see from history that our founders jumped into a storm that was brewing. They could have just accepted the storm, but they took the storm to an entire new level for the Cause…and I believe…with the blessing of Providence.

Noah knew there was a storm coming. He obeyed God when the storm began. He trusted in God through it…and recognized and honored God for His faithfulness by way of an altar built with praising hands.

How do we teach our students…how do we lead our congregation to honor God through the storms that come and that we jump into? First, I think we need to do it through our very own lives. There has to be more than just sermons and lessons. People need to see us in the middle of the storm, surviving and trusting. Does that mean we make storms for ourselves? I don’t think so…but I think we should try to be open and honest to share our personal storms…as leaders…so others can follow our successes and be watchful when we fail. If we fail and a storm overtakes us for a time, people need to see us rise to the occasion…standing on the Trust and Faith we claim with our words.

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