This month for the Trust Project, we are going to trust God for our children’s and other loved ones’ salvation.
Why we should trust God with a loved one’s salvation
As always, we’ll begin with why we should trust God in this area. What will we stop doing, start doing, and how will we know we’re trusting God with it?
When we trust God with our loved ones’ salvation, we will have peace. We won’t worry about what to say or do because we will know that God has a plan. How silly would it be for God to place anyone’s eternal destiny squarely in our hands? I used to believe that my children’s salvation was entirely my responsibility. The curriculum I chose, the church we attended, and how much time we spent reading Scripture, together with my own capacity for sin carried so much weight. When my first child began asking challenging questions about the faith, I was a nervous wreck. But so was he. My son worried that we wouldn’t love him if he didn’t believe exactly the same way that we did, and I worried that he would reject God and our family. That fear caused a lot of conflict.
So for me, trusting God with my loved ones’ salvation means that I will stop believing that it’s all my responsibility. I will start loving people in my life and believing that God will give me the words and actions that He will use in His plan to bring people to faith. I’ll know that I’m trusting God in this area when I don’t worry about the choices people I love make and I pray instead.
Let’s work through our TRUST acronym for this area.
T is for TRUTH.
Our Scripture to meditate on is Matthew 19:25-26:
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
If our loved ones’ salvation depends on us, it’s impossible for them to be saved. But with God, even the most unlikely person can receive Jesus Christ as his Savior and enjoy eternity with Him.
Our Bible account is the parable of the lost son from Luke Chapter 15. We don’t know when our lost loved ones will return, but we don’t have to chase them down. We can prayerfully wait for God to work in their hearts and minds.
The R in TRUST is for Remembering.
When I am tempted to worry about family and friends who don’t know Jesus, I remember my friend Sarah. I met Sarah at a homeschool activity. She was very nice but she had different views from me on almost everything. I wanted to challenge her views, her reading material, and her parenting practices. In my flesh, this is what I thought was the answer to her salvation. But the Lord restrained me. Instead, I befriended her, invited her to my church and home, and mostly listened.
She told me of her plans to quit homeschooling and to move out of state with her new boyfriend, and I was sure that she would be lost forever. Months later she contacted me when our mutual friend was hospitalized. She was still in town. She said she would pray, but I figured she didn’t mean that literally. A few days later she called me to ask me questions about the Christian faith. She told me, “I wasn’t looking for Jesus, but He came looking for me.”
Sarah had received Jesus, and in no time her views that I so wanted to challenge were aligned with mine. She is now a dear sister in Christ.
Remember God’s faithfulness in bringing you to faith or growing your faith. Remember others you know whom Jesus made His own. Your trust in God with the salvation of others you love will grow.
The U in TRUST is for Understanding.
What wisdom has God already given for you to obey in this area? I read an excellent book with my church called Joining Jesus On His Mission by Greg Finke. It helped me to see that building relationships as I did with Sarah, without pushing theology, is exactly what Jesus would have us do with some of the people in our lives. Love is the greatest theology there is and it’s powerful in the Lord’s hands.
The S in TRUST is for Supplication.
Add those who don’t yet have a relationship with Christ and those who need a closer relationship with Him to your prayer list. I use an app to make these prayers regular. I include all my family on a rotating basis. I didn’t believe that God would answer my prayer for Sarah, and look what He did.
The last T in TRUST is for Thanksgiving.
We can thank God for our salvation, and for the salvation of those whom we already know are in the family of faith. We can also thank Him in advance for our loved ones whose name are in the Book of Life yet haven’t been revealed to us. What a privilege that He allows us to play a role in their salvation.
When we trust God with the entire process, we can enjoy our relationships without fear of our mistakes or theirs. Join me next month as we discuss how to trust God with the world.