Do you ever listen to the news or read a report online and end up more confused than before? One expert says the coronavirus is not nearly as bad as predicted. Someone else warns that it’s far worse than people think. One says that our lives will be forever changed. Others optimistically state that soon everything will be back to normal. Whom or what do you believe? It’s very unnerving to think that perhaps someone is misleading us. But how can we know what is true, what is wishful thinking, or what is pure deception?
When it comes to the word of human beings, there is always the possibility of something being untrue, either purposely or accidentally. You can probably recall a time when you were sure of something and said so, and yet it turned out you were mistaken. All of us are tempted at times to lie or withhold the truth in order to hide our guilt or to gain some advantage for ourselves.
So whom and what can we believe? There is One whose every word is absolute truth. “Let God be true, and every man a liar” (Rom. 3:4). When God tells us that all have sinned and are condemned to hell, it is the truth. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 Jn. 1:8). Likewise, when God assures us that Jesus has fully paid for the sins of the world and that all have been reconciled to Him in Jesus, that is eternal truth as well.
The Lord knows the real truth behind words and actions. “Motives are weighed by the LORD” (Prov. 16:2). So while we may be fooled by others, God never is. “God cannot be mocked” (Gal. 6:7). The Lord warns against trying to justify or hide sins. Instead, He urges us to confess our guilt and look to His mercy, so that we can be comforted with the forgiveness Jesus won for us.
When it comes to the words and actions of others, we don’t have to carry out an in-depth investigation to determine the truthfulness of what we are told. We don’t have to worry about whether we are being taken advantage of. The Lord knows the truth and He will not let anything happen that is outside His saving will for us. If justice needs to be meted out, He will see to it. We don’t have to take matters into our own hands. That frees us, Luther says, “to take the words and actions of others in the best possible way” (explanation to the Eighth Commandment).
No matter how confusing the situation and how conflicting the news, we can be confident of whom and what to believe. Jesus prayed in our behalf, “Father…Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (Jn. 17:17). May we spend more time in His Word of truth and build our lives and hopes on it rather than put our trust in the words of fallible human beings.
Yours in Christ,
Tomorrow’s service will be streamed live on YouTube at 8 a.m., and will be available afterwards both on YouTube and Ustream.
Do you play an instrument? If so, our newly formed music committee would like to hear from you. The committee is planning for the resumption of in-person services and would like to include instrumentalists as part of our praise to the risen Savior. Email Pastor at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will forward your name to the committee.