It’s a bitter experience. Someone you trusted let you down. A spouse cheated on you. A daughter stole from your account. A pastor was exposed for corrupt behaviour. An employer  fired you without notice. A politician did the opposite of what you expected. Fire extinguishers failed to function when you needed them most.

Kawasaki Takeshi will never forget the feeling. He and his wife lost everything and they weren’t supposed to. A massive 30 foot or 9 meter high concrete wall had been built to separate the town of Ryoishi from the ocean. One hundred years ago a powerful destructive tsunami stormed across the town killing 90% of the residents. The remaining few fled to the hills and resettled there. Newcomers, over the years, settled in the hills too.

The Japanese Government built the huge wall to protect the town from ever being obliterated by a tsunami again. The residents were encouraged to come down from the hills and settle in the town again. 77 year old Takeshi and his wife moved down from the hills. Fighting back tears he said:

“We believed in the wall. Everyone in the village felt very safe.” (1)

On Friday, March 11, 2011 at 3:22PM the ‘Great Wall’, as it was known, let the residents down. The powerful tsunami wave broke through it and over it and destroyed 96% of all the boats in the town, washed away homes and killed residents.  Mr. Takeshi and his wife were among the survivors. When they spoke to the media – all they wanted to talk about was the ‘Great Wall’ that let them down and how they should never have moved down from the hills. They should never have trusted the wall.

The tsunami was a violent physical and natural disaster. There are other storms that sweep into people’s lives – the biggest of all is the trauma and finality of death. Have you ever thought about misplaced trust in this context?

What are you trusting in for the afterlife? Are you safe or just hoping you are? What are you depending on for a good outcome after you die?

“I have strong faith.” But will that take you to Heaven? Are you trusting in your faith and strong belief? According to God’s Word, your faith will not get you to heaven. What matters is not how much faith you have but what your faith is in? Trusting your own faith will end in disaster. Many people are sincere but sincerely wrong. (Acts 16:31)

“I am trying to live a good life and do the best I can.” The Bible is clear: trusting in your efforts and good deeds will not get you to where you want to go. You can’t save yourself by your self. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

“I try to say my prayers; I am committed to my religion.” Misplaced trust. You cannot get to Heaven that way. (Titus 3:5)

“I believe in God.” This is not meant for shock value – but the Bible says demons believe in God and tremble but they will never be in Heaven. (James 2:19)

“God is merciful and He will make the right decision.” God is a God of mercy and grace. But the time to experience ‘mercy’ is now. It’s too late after you die. Jesus told the story of a man who cried out to God after death but it was too late. God shows mercy on this side of the grave. The choice is yours. He has given you a will of your own and you are responsible. He wants you to trust His Son and be saved. He does not want anyone to perish. But each person ultimately makes a decision – in this life. (John 3:36)

Misplaced trust stings badly and leaves a person bitter. Even worse is when a worried person seeks out advice and they are given misguided advice. Sometimes people worried about their status with God go to their religious advisor and they are told not to worry. “Be faithful. Try to do as much good as you can. You have experienced religious rituals and rites in the past. Trust in God and you should be okay.”  Tragically, those words will haunt people forever – as misguided advice.

If you want the truth, go to the authoritative Word of God yourself. If you are trusting yourself, or your religion or what someone else told you – your trust is in the wrong place.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding.”

Proverbs 3:5

“Whoever puts his trust in the Lord shall be safe.”

Proverbs 29:25

“He that trusts his own heart is a fool.”

Proverbs 28:26

“O taste and see that the Lord is good.

Blessed is the man who trusts in Him.”

Psalm 34:8

Please read this verse from the Gospel of John which is one of many such verses in the New Testament.

What does the Bible say the object of your trust or belief or faith must be if you are ever going to have eternal life?

He who believes in the Son has everlasting life;

and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life,

but the wrath of God abides on him.”

(John 3:36)

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