"All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen" (Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803Ė1882)

Have you ever purchased a product or used a service after reading an advertisement, only to find that the product or service did not match up to its claims? Iím sure that you have. Similarly, you may have supported a candidate only to realize later that he or she did not measure up to their promises (Iím sure that we have ALL done that). Australia is now preparing for a general election later this year so we will experience our fill of promises.

It all comes down to reliability - a much sought after commodity. The experiences of life remind us that reliability is elusive - products fail, people disappoint. Services and promises are offered and made with the wrong motives, often with profit or personal gain as the prime objective. We become suspicious, we may even pass up an excellent opportunity because it sounds just too good to be true and there must be a catch somewhere. After a few doubtful experiences such offers and promises tend to cloud our vision. It is an equal failing to trust everybody and to trust nobody.

Thereís nothing new about this. These are a few comments from widely read publications of their day: 1840 - "Anyone traveling at the speed of thirty miles per hour would surely suffocate." 1878 - "Electric lights are unworthy of serious attention." 1901 - "No possible combination can be united into a practical machine by which men shall fly." 1926 - (from a scientist) "This foolish idea of shooting at the moon is basically impossible." 1930 - (another scientist) "To harness the energy locked up in matter is impossible." There have always been those who said, "It can't be true." Yes, even the experts can be unreliable. But the real tragedy is that 99 percent of the people believed them.

But in the Word of God there is reliability, yet there are many who doubt His Word and pass up an excellent opportunity because it sounds too good to be true. But its reliability will depend on the use we make of it. Does it become a guide and an encouragement or does it just remain words between two covers? Ever since the Garden of Eden humans have been responsible to believe what God tells them. Abraham believed God and acted upon his word (Gen. 15:6). Israel in the wilderness was given several tests of belief (Deut. 8:1-3). Throughout the history of the Bible, belief was defined as trust that leads to obedience (Ps. 78:21-31). Behind the Hebrew verb for ďbelieveĒ stood the ideas of stability, reliability, and faithfulness. Believers can believe in God because he is stable and faithful, but God also calls believers to be faithful and worthy of trust as well.

It is part of the kindness of God that amid all the change there are things we can always count on. The regularity of the seasons and the reliability of nature; the glory of the stars, the healing power of time and the sustaining power of hope; the heartís yearning for love and the soulís hunger for prayer; the endless quest for truth and the stubborn struggle for justice; the restless urge to create and the valiant will to overcomeóthese are some of the things we can count on. These are the things that hold in an uncertain world.

Sometimes God makes us wait for things, simply because we are so unbelieving. Many miss out on desired blessings because they doubt. Godís promises can be relied upon. Read about them - often.

Ron Clarke JP (Mark 16:15) An e-mail from Kingborough, near Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

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