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    Merry Christmas In the Name of God We Trust

    Inherent in our celebration of the birth of Christ is our celebration of the Holy Father. God goes by many names, all of which imply the same – unconditional love, of course, but also our unwavering trust.

    Webster’s Dictionary defines trust in the following ways: “1 a: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something; b: one in which confidence is placed. In order to obey what God tells you to do, you need to be able to place your confidence in Him. That confidence is based upon His character, ability, strength, and truth.

    God’s character is clearly shown through the names He gives Himself. These are descriptors of His character. Regent University has a wonderful website at www.bible.org that outlines the names of God. They are:

    • Elohim – This is the plural version of the term El, which means “strong one,” and refers to majesty. It is plural, signifying the truine nature of God.
    • El Shaddai – “God Almighty.” God is almighty, or as Luke 1:37 says, “Nothing is impossible with God.”
    • El Elyon – “The Most High God,” stressing God’s strength, sovereignty, and supremacy.
    • El Olam – “The everlasting God.” God does not change, nor does He wear out.
    • Yahweh Jireh – “The Lord will provide.” Note it doesn’t say might or could or may provide; it says will.
    • Yahweh Nissi – “The Lord is my banner.” This signifies God as leading the charge in battle and providing victory.
    • Yahweh Shalom – “The Lord is peace.” This peace is global and personal (Isaiah 26:12).
    • Yahweb Sabbaoth – “The Lord of hosts.” God is the commander of the heavenly armies; He has spiritual resources at His command.
    • Yahweb Maccadeshcem – “The Lord your sanctifier.” God has sanctified you; He has set you apart for His purposes.
    • Yahweb Ro’i – “The Lord my shepherd.” (See Psalm 23, one of the most beautiful poems ever written.)
    • Yahweh Tsidkenu – “The Lord our righteousness.” God provides what you and I are unable to provide on our own.
    • Yahweb Shammah – “The Lord is there,” signifying God’s personal presence. HE is not a way-out-there, disconnected deity; He is there with you.
    • Yahweb Elohim Israel – “The Lord, the God of Israel.” You are included as a spiritual descendent of Israel.
    • Adonai – “Master, authority, provider.” This is also in the plural form, signifying God’s truine friendship.
    • Thoes – “God.” This is a Greek word, identifying God as the one true God, as unique, as transcendent, as Savior.
    • Kurios – “Lord.” Another Greek word, signifying authority and supremacy.
    • Despotes – “Master,” with the connotation of ownership. First Corinthians 6:20 and 7:23 remind you that you were bought with a price and are not your own.
    • Father – I thought it was interesting that this form of the word is found only 15 times in the Old Testament but 245 times in the New Testament. Whatever else and whoever else God is, He is your heavenly Father.

    Put all of these together, then, and this is who you are being called to place your confidence, your trust, in. What better place can you think of in which to place your trust?

    According to the dictionary definition of trust given earlier, God has the character, ability, strength, and truth to be worthy of your trust. There is, however, a secondary definition I’d like to explore. It is “dependence on something future or contingent.”

    Hebrews 12:2 says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  “For the joy set before him” points to this shading of definition for the word trust. Jesus endured because He was absolutely sure of and dependent upon something in the future, that joy. Jesus trusted God for what had not yet occurred. This future joy tomorrow helped Jesus endure today.

    In the same way, you can trust God not only for what He can do for you today but also for what He will do for you tomorrow and into eternity. If all of this sounds too good to be true, too much like an evangelical infomercial, let me just say a couple of things.

    First, I agree, it does sound too good to be true. However, God is truth, so while it is entirely too good for the likes of me (and you, if I may be so bold), it is true. You can count on it; you can trust in God.

    Secondly, it becomes easier to understand and accept if you’ll concentrate on the last word of the names of God, one of the two I added.

    Concentrate on God as love. God is trustworthy with your life and future and happiness because He loves you. He has demonstrated that love to you in the most graphic way possible – by sacrificing His one and only Son in your place so you can be made righteous and able to enter into intimate fellowship with this amazing, all-powerful, almighty, loving Father.

    Remember, it’s not about you; it’s about God. You can trust Him because He has put in motion this eon-spanning, intricate, creative plan to outwit evil and death, slavery and bondage, sin and torment. All you have to do in response is give up control, listen and pay attention, obey and trust.

    SOURCE: Chapter 9, “God As Your Navigator (Spiritual),” in Happy for the Rest of Your Life by Dr. Gregory Jantz, founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources, Inc.

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