Romans 10:11-13 As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Once again I was in real trouble knowing exactly what part of the longer passage I was to write on, because it is all so very rich. God’s truth is a limitless treasure that is a joy to delve into for more years than anyone could live on this earth. It is also amazingly internally consistent. Just in this chapter Paul quotes the Old Testament 12 times! (That makes me feel better about how many Scriptures I use in my messages.) What Paul is focusing on in these three verses is that salvation is on equal terms for everyone. Nobody gets a shortcut, but God is equally accessible to all. Because Japan has a “shame culture,” as opposed to the “sin culture” of the West, a difference in the translation between the English and the Japanese of verse 11 caught my eye. What makes it more complicated is that in Isaiah 28:16, which Paul is quoting here, there are yet two more expressions, making four different terms for what God is saying. They are, in no particular order, “put to shame,” “disappointed,” “dismayed,” and “frantic.” None of those are desirable, so the point remains that trusting God is the best course, regardless. The problem comes in the fact that we tend to trust almost anything but God, and that is tragic. It is impossible to live without some level of trust. If we don’t trust that the ground under our feet will support us, we can’t walk. If we don’t trust that God is who He says He is, we can’t walk in fellowship with Him. That’s why the devil, with his lies, builds up false expectations in our minds and hearts so that when those expectations are dashed, we lose trust in God. The more thoroughly we trust God, the more trustworthy we find Him to be.
This of course applies to me as much as it does to anyone else. I was enormously blessed to be raised by parents who trusted God, but they were no more perfect than I am. (And that’s saying something!) I grew up with the strong expectation that God was trustworthy, but I have failed to walk out that trust more times than I could count. I let all sorts of little things distract and frustrate me. For example, my computer crashed during the previous paragraph, wiping out a good chunk of what I had written. However, when I went back to it after the reboot, the Lord gave me what I think is a better turn of phrase to say what I was feeling. I am forever telling others to trust God, so it is “spiritually embarrassing” when I fail to do so myself. It was quite a few years ago that the Lord got it through to me that He’s smart and I’m not, but I also need to grasp that He’s righteous and trustworthy and I’m not, unless I am abiding in Christ. It is only when I abide in Him that I am righteous and holy and trustworthy and all those other things I so want to be. The good news is that when I do abide in Him by faith, I am all those things. To God be the glory!
Father, thank You for this reminder. There are so many lessons You teach me that I am so slow to learn! Help me indeed trust You fully, walking and running with You, in joy and peace, for the sake of Your kingdom and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!