Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.
10 I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say, ‘My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.’
11 From the east I summon a bird of prey;
from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose.
What I have said, that I will bring about;
what I have planned, that I will do. (Isaiah 46:9-11, NIV)
But the Lord laughs, seeing that their day is coming. (Psalm 37:13, BSB)
Rioters and Ragers and Revolutionaries, Oh My!
Thing are getting scarier and scarier out there.
Chaos and criminals wreck inner cities, cultural monuments, and churches, with impunity, indeed permission, from certain city leaders; evil runs rampant.
Not to mention that the “Big Lie Principle” seems to be in full bloom in the media. Indeed, one day historians might look upon this era as The Age of Big Lies, or more to the point, The Age of the Rotten Stinking Pile of Big Lies.
And so on.
You’ve likely seen the headlines and heard the talking heads.
In the search for truth and solutions amid the rubble and the rhetoric I am reminded of a line from the movie Ghost Busters: “Who ya gonna call?” Only for the purposes of this post on the topic of trust, I’ve changed it to “Who Ya Gonna Trust?” because we are looking for some grown up, some leader (or more than one) with his, her, or their critical thinkers still operational who hasn’t/haven’t abandoned common sense–and our Constitutional rights here in the U.S.–in a world increasingly, it seems, hawking evil as good and good as evil.
But What Can We Do? (Side Note)
As a side note and on behalf of the vast majority of people who do try their best to do what good they can by following the rules to fix things yet are accused of “doing nothing to stop” the mess above, the truth is, those who choose chaos, crime, manipulation, and lies, have no compunction whatsoever to play by any rules, indeed, they change them at will, doing so best by, well, ginning up even more chaos, crime, manipulation, and lies because such trouble intimidates and terrorizes good people.
Thus, the sincere problem solvers are often blocked (or, these days, shadow-banned and/or sent to cyber jail) and tackled (literally).
Additionally, have you ever noticed how FAST evil takes over, not waiting for rational debates, compromise, the legal process, and/or election season–because like a rebellious child, it will do whatever it can get away with? NOW!!! Particularly if so-called “leadership” gives permission, indeed, encourages it.
Now back to my regularly scheduled post on trust, specifically, on the who, what, when, why, and how of it. Because, let’s face it, we NEED help! Quick!
On Who (We Can Trust)
Short version: God.
Expanded version: (See again Isaiah 46:9-11, above, for reference.)
For one thing, God knows ends from beginnings, or to put it another way, His prophecies include all the parts of the plot. See here for just one list of Old Testament prophecies fulfilled, this one concerning the coming of His Son, Jesus.
All other prophets and gods have to guess, project, wish, hope, run computer models, etc., to estimate how things will end up and they have very limited knowledge. When it comes to revolutions such as discussed above, it’s kind of like the blind leading the blind with some fancy software and a lot of hardware and bombs to do something. Whatever. Anything. And don’t forget to plug in the computer.
As opposed to God, they can’t (or won’t) forward engineer, so to speak, to the end of the game given all of the variables involved in, say, crushing one civilization and cobbling together another with what’s left.
Generally speaking, however, modern revolutionaries (those truly awake to reality–as opposed to woke with heads full of wishful thinking) are not operating completely blind. Secular history does reveal a very dismal and murderous track record for rioters, ragers, and revolutionaries bent on totalitarianism. It’s just that some don’t care. Any crisis is an opportunity–even if it has to be ginned up and some heads–er eggs–have to be cracked in the process.
Oh, and many of them hang, too, in the ensuing battle to be king of the hill–which is perhaps the most inconvenient truth remaining after the detritus of the revolution leaves its rubble and blood strewn about and smeared on the broken landscapes of hearth and heart, not to mention cities and towns.
Thus, for the both woke AND awake revolutionary zealots, there is a big need for really good PR talent and social engineering personnel–and on the ground, the need to deface, tear down, and destroy all real historical artifacts, the good, bad, and ugly combined, the better to market a fake past to support a fake future hawked as “harmonious”.
Which brings us to the other leader, God, Who is in the business of creation not destruction, and Who is a much better option, or more sustainable, you might say–but in a good way.
On What (We Can Trust)
Short version: God’s work.
Expanded version: What He said (and planned) He will bring about. Check just this out.
But it’s not just the fulfillment of prophecy by which we can see God’s careful planning and design. Consider Romans 1:20:
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made. (NIV)
In other words, take a look around. Consider, for a few examples, the dependability of the hydrologic cycle, the consistency of seed, bud, and bloom. The sun in the morning and the moon at night.
Or how the human body is precisely engineered to prompt each breath–automatically!
And although it is invisible to the naked eye, the air we breathe is exactly what is needed for each and every breathing event in concert with other elements of flesh and blood to then cycle through our millions of both macro and micro body parts in order to keep us going about our business.
It is apparent by just this one example that a Mastermind was definitely at work at the Human Body drawing board. And yet so subtle, so nuanced His creation, we hardly notice, unless alerted, that a thousand operations, precisely synchronized and fit together, are at work just beneath the skin.
If you think about it, if we were aware of each and every component of which we are skillfully formed and by which we operate, we’d have no time to ponder anything else, so amazed we would be at, well, us.
We might also be way too distracted to even rise in the morning, dress, eat breakfast, and get about the day.
It’s as if God said, “Don’t worry about breathing and digesting, or, Moms and Dads, how that new human you’ve made is being knit together in the womb, just now. I’ve got it covered. Just get to your day.”
Otherwise, the temptation to worship The Amazing Human Machine might keep us a whole lot more distracted than we already are with it.
I think here of William Blake’s little poem on this topic that hints THERE’S A LOT MORE TO COME–so don’t get too preoccupied with the now, even if it is completely amazing:
He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy
He who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sunrise.*
On When (We Can Trust)
Short version: before, during, and ever after.
Expanded version: going back to the drawing board of creation, God included the dimension called “time” through which we cycle in and out of seasons, sorrows and joys, ages and stages, until like the subject of Blake’s poem we near the “sunrise of eternity,” because an awareness that there is “something more” is another one of God’s original algorithms.
We eventually come to figure out as we grow that we are finite but also that there is another kind of life somewhere else, and the point here is that we have time to put this all into perspective in order to make choices about both the here and the hereafter. At least most of us do, some not living to the age of reasoning ability. But I believe we can trust that God has them covered, too.
And those who have had “near death experiences” (NDEs) are telling us about it now, thanks a lot to medical technology that brought them back after a brief visit. Here are the accounts of a number of medical personnel who have had NDEs, but people from all walks of life have experienced the same.
It helps to know not only that there’s more for us beyond the wild blue yonder but also that, with a little help from logic, if WE didn’t put it all together, than Someone did. Someone of another dimension, another nature, another time and space, invisible down here–but with a lot of brain power going on up there.
That would be God.
On Why (We Can Trust God)
Short and long version: to address this, it’s back to prophecies–proclaimed and fulfilled and to this amazing creation mankind is still unpacking.
But consider also these reasons to trust God, His ways, and His means:
- If there were someone or some group of people more trustworthy history wouldn’t pair “rising” with “falling” when it comes to our own ideas of what constitute the best social structures because they never last and usually end in catastrophe. God’s ideas, on the other hand, keep holding things together and reproducing after their own kind–no matter the mayhem we insert. That is to say, He keeps His promises and His ways and means of accomplishing them afloat, though they might require “a bird of prey from the east,” and “a man from a far-off land”.
- Throughout all of our ups and downs, God remains the same. Consider this illustration. He gives growth to the seeds we plant, designed the seeds to begin with, designed the soil in which they were planted, and designed all the other elements they need to sustain growth (a little water here, some sunlight there, with a pinch of nitrogen, a skosh of phosphorus, and a sprinkle of potassium). Then man harvests the produce in due season if he hasn’t messed up the growing environment too much with his own ideas.
- As to spiritual consistency, God’s visible image, Our Lord Jesus Christ, (Colossians 1:15), is “the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8), whereas counterfeit gods come and go and multiply and divide until, at length, they fall apart, still failing to satisfy.
- And oh, as for those scary and formidable revolutionaries, well, see the second verse up top.
On How (The Adventure Begins)
Only version: in the words of an old hymn, “Trust and obey [God], there’s no other way.”
But why wouldn’t we trust God, given all of the above? Consider also this:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16, NIV)
For because, unlike human beings who crave our trust often just for money, sex, and/or power, God invites our trust out of love. I mean, He’s self-contained and content, presumably, but He wants to share it for the joy of sharing it! And if you think about it, that speaks of love, too.
After all, we are His creation, His design, His best-in-show, His pride and passion. We are His people, His family, His children, His sons and daughters.
And that’s the point.
I mean do we really want yet another Ozymandias Superstar whose monument now lays in ruins in the desert, literally, alongside his historical compatriots, metaphorically, a tribute only to how such earthly superstars come and go–and end up?
Or would we rather the Superstar of Alpha and Omega fame, Whose seeds continue to bud and bloom on schedule, Whose creation reproduces faithfully after its own kind, Whose gifts satisfy physical–mind and heart–hunger (while sustaining all immune systems that He also designed), and Whose reign is eternal and includes us?
I’ve made my choice.
For details on both how and why here is a good explanation, if needed.
And today would be good–for the prophecy experts tell us it is likely to get even scarier out there–and pretty soon.
*”Eternity” by William Blake is in the public domain.