My dad could sell anything - but he also liked to 'brag' about the 'big' fish that got away. He might have been called a 'big talker' when it came to some of his fishing tales, but dad was an excellent fisherman, nonetheless. Big talkers - do you know any? They kind of paint a picture that sometimes goes way beyond what we imagine possible, but the "picture" never really materializes. What do they do with their "big words" and "big ideas"? They build up hope, don't they? At least until you have been "burned" a few times by the "hollowness" of their words! While dad's 'big talk' was harmless because it was just another 'fish tale', there are 'hollow words' we might all hear from time to time that are not only harmful, they are downright misleading to all who listen.Like billowing clouds that bring no rain is the person who talks big but never produces. (Proverbs 25:14)
I live in Arizona, so I am used to seeing big clouds gathering on the horizon, but no promise of rain is in the forecast! The "look" of the clouds may indicate a "chance" of showers, but in reality much less will be produced than what was promised in the "chance" of showers materializing midday or later in the night. By definition, when we "produce" something, there is a creative power behind what it is that is being brought forth. In the truest sense - there is only ONE Creator - we might create a little here and there, but even our creation is from something he has created in the first place! A billowing cloud is all puffed up - it has all the appearances of being a rain cloud, but in reality it is just a puffy mass of empty fluff! A person who promises a gift, but doesn't give it is like clouds and wind that bring no rain. Big talk and promises without substance are about the same thing - both end in emptiness.
What is a promise? Isn't it the expectation of something being done or provided? In the simplest sense - a promise builds expectation - it gives someone hope. If we have been in the situation of our "hopes" being built-up frequently by the "promise" of substance, we have likely come to expect substance from that promise. When there is nothing produced, what is our response? It is like that we are slower to trust in the promise the next time - or even worse, we trust less in the one who promises such things than we did before! No wonder we have a hard time trusting! We have been surrounded by all kinds of "billowing clouds" - big talkers who promise the world, but deliver far less and much worse, deliver a big package of disappointment! In the end, we develop some trust issues, don't we? When we come into relationship with Christ, we may struggle with actually being able to trust him! After all, we have a history of seeing promises not upheld! What makes God's promises any different?
Trust is based on a few things. First, there is a sense of integrity. In the simplest sense, integrity is the state of being whole. In terms of God's integrity, there is a soundness to it which comes from him being wholly "holy". We cannot find any action by God which diminishes our impression of his consistency and integrity. Throughout all of the scripture, we see his reliability, his promises revealed and fulfilled. Even in the face of our own lack of integrity, he comes through over and over again! This is called grace! Trust involves an ability to rely upon the strength of another. I don't know about you, but my own strength waxes and wanes from day to day - even from moment to moment. I have trusted others to be "strong" for me, but in the end, I have found their strength to be nothing when compared to the strength of my God! Humans eventually breakdown - God never does!
Trust is based on what we see as the ability of another to do what he / she says. In my relationships, I like to be able to "count on" another to do something when they commit to it, but you know this may not always be the most "trust-worthy" thing to do even though they are very well intentioned in their promises and commitments! I need to go to the one who is unlimited in ability - God himself! In respect to his ability, I have some pretty awesome examples in scripture - things like waters being held back for thousands to walk over on dry ground, earth opening up to swallow up others, graves being left empty, and withered limbs being made straight. While the list is far from complete, it is pretty good stuff to show God's ability, if you ask me! Trust is based on a "surety" - the sense of another being responsible to act a certain way. There is none more responsible than God himself! Maybe this is why he holds us "responsible" for our actions - because we were created in his image and are supposed to live by the example he sets for us!
When it comes to trusting God, we are not trusting in a "billowing cloud"! We are counting on a firm foundation, complete in every way, creative on all accounts, and capable beyond our wildest imagination! We may not be able to always trust in our fellow man, but we can trust in God! He has proven this over and over again - we just need to remind ourselves he is NOT capable of being unfaithful! Just sayin!
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