In Whom Do We Trust?
by Pr. Dave Mann
Many, if not all of us, have been positively influenced by exemplary Christian leaders. They shared the gospel with us. They taught us to pray. They preached the Word to us. They discipled us. They comforted us and taught us to comfort others. They were stellar examples of what it means to be a Christ-follower.
However, all cherished Christian leaders eventually leave us. Perhaps, they move away from us, or we move away from them. Unfortunately, some leaders, whom we highly respected, leave us because they fall into sin, which deeply disappoints us. How is this possible? All eventually die, as Moses did.
Whether the separation is honorable or dishonorable, it is painful. We find ourselves without a leader (our Moses) on whom we depended. There is an aching void in our lives. How can this be? It feels so wrong. How can life go on without our leader? He brought us near to God, who now seems so far away.
And then, sometimes in the wake of our agony, the Lord raises up a new leader on whom we can rely (our Joshua). Perhaps, he does not appear to be as competent as the original leader, but he will do. If the Lord gives us a new leader, God’s word to us is: “Do not be afraid or terrified, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (v. 6)
If there is no replacement leader to guide us, perhaps, we are the new Joshua for others. In that case, God’s word for us is: “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (v. 8)
Whether there is a new, respected leader, in whom we deeply trust or if we are called to be the new leader for others, the encouraging words from the Lord for all of us are similar. The Lord’s grand plan is to lead us toward a deeper and deeper trust in Himself. Human leaders, even the most faithful, are good for only a season, but eventually, whether because of failing health or failing humanness, we will be separated from them.
In whom do we trust? Even the best of human leaders will leave us. There is only One who can say, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” In God we trust!
Lord God of heaven and earth, thank you for the leaders you have brought into our lives. At first, we no doubt trusted more in them than we did in you. But step by step, you led us into a trusting relationship with yourself. Thank you for your faithfulness, your patience, and your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.