Last week, we began looking at the idea of putting our faith in God. Some people have a problem with this, for they trust only in themselves. Much of this comes from humanistic teaching in our schools today. Our young people are faced with instructors who do not believe in the Bible. Generations are being reared to believe that man has all the answers. This false idea makes it difficult for religious teaching to be accepted.
Thousands, even millions, search for peace and happiness by their own means, not realizing that only in Christ is true peace and happiness to be found.
Jeremiah wrote, “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). If man trusts only in his steps, there will be no moral or ethical direction for him to follow. As in the days of the Judges, “…every man will do what is right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). Friends, we must learn to trust in God and his promises.
Another place that trust is sometimes placed is in “religious leaders.” This comes about when people do not study God’s word for themselves.
False teachers and deceivers have been around since the Garden of Eden, and time and time again God warns of their dangerous existence. John set forth such a warning: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). John was instructing people to make sure the teacher was true.
Man needs to get back into the habit of studying God’s word. Many believe they are studying when, in fact, they are only reading the verses. Then, they look for someone to give them the understanding and accept what they are told, without checking the Scripture for themselves.
Society wants everything to be quick and easy. True study of the Bible is not this way. It takes time to really study God’s word.
The Bereans still serve as the example of how one should listen to any proclaimer of the Word. “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11).
If one never checks to see if the things being taught are true, he or she could end up believing a lie. Men are just that — men. They can make mistakes, and they can teach false doctrine.
The people of God must know what is in the Bible. The prophet Hosea wrote, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). Paul wrote to the young man Timothy, “Study to show thyself approved unto God….” (2 Timothy 2:15).
Relying only on a preacher or teacher for the truth of the Bible should not be done. When one learns to fully trust in God, rather than money, self or in other men, he or she will be able understand what it means to be happy. One will be able to look beyond this world and its sorrows to the heavenly land promised to all God’s faithful.