“We can believe God about everything except the present pressing trial. This is folly. Come, my soul, shake off such sinfulness, and trust thy God with the load, the labor, the longing of this present. This done, all is done.” Charles H. Spurgeon
I love what Charles Spurgeon wrote above and it is a constant prayer for my life. The problem is this; I personally slip repeatedly into this strange world where I no longer trust God. Hear me clearly on this, my faith in Him is still there, but my actions are not showing that I trust God with the load and labor. Let me explain what I mean. I am the administrative pastor here at Bethany Baptist, one of my yearly duties is to assist the trustees by coming up with the new year’s budget. This year has been tough on the church financially, there are many factors contributing to this, but that is not the point of this blog. In putting the budget together I slipped into a bit of depression because I felt like the church was failing. I bought the lie that Satan was feeding me and I quickly forgot about the fact that we have seen over 50 people get baptized and over 100 people step from darkness into light this year.
Another example of this slip is my envy of other ministries that are “successful”. I work with several other churches here in town and I must confess it is a daily battle for me not to become envious when God shows up and shows off in other churches. Satan knows full well how to bring me down.
The good news is this, Jesus. I have found hope in the words of Jesus,
“And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.” (Mark 9:23-27)
I need to be like the father and cry out “help my unbelief!” and just like the child, take the hand of Jesus and let Him lift me up.
When I truly understand what He has done for me, things like money worries and ministry-envy look silly, and I end up “[shaking] off such sinfulness” as Spurgeon said. Two theological terms really help me in understanding this, imputation and expiation.
Imputation means that through my belief Jesus assumes my sins and gives me righteousness. This is so beautiful and I need to be reminded of it daily. I have undeserved righteousness because of the love the Savior has for me. (Rom. 5:12-19)
Expiation means that because of my belief, my sins and the guilt that they bring are taken away. How many of us are still living under the guilt of a sin that has been paid for by the blood of Jesus? When I remember this, the lies that Satan whispers or sometimes yells at me are weak at best.
When I see Jesus in this light, it becomes so much easier to trust Him with the load and labor because He has shown me that His love for me is so deep that He is willing to die for me. This is offered to everyone everywhere. My advice, take him up on it.