In her book, “The Gospel People Don’t Want to Hear,” Lisa Cressman talks about the importance of “trust” within a church that’s trying to build the Kingdom of God. This is an excerpt from her book:

There’s a reason we’re not living in the Kingdom of God yet: we haven’t built it yet. We know we’re supposed to build it, and we know God has equipped us with the resources and grace to accomplish it.  

Yet, why haven’t we?

In short, we don’t trust God or each other.

We don’t trust … the process, the outcome, who we will be or what we will recognize of our world when we get there.  We don’t trust we’ll like it. We don’t trust we’ll be given the courage to get through the pain and uncertainty of the changes, and come out better off than we are now.

We like the idea of the reign of God, but we want to keep what we want to keep when we get there. That brings us to rather an impasse. We are only willing to build the reign of God to the extent we trust God and each other.

We ask people to pay a steep price to follow Jesus into an uncertain future, rather than try to return to the past. They’ll only go as far as they trust us and trust God.


  • The quality and depth of trust dictates the quality and depth of our relationships: God with us, us with God, us with one another.
  • Trust and distrust are built on what is witnessed and what is absent from view, and perception trumps all.
  • Trust is built from hope, faith and love.
  • We can build trust through intentional practices to diagnose, experiment, and appraise.
  • The reign of God can be built … to the extent we trust one another.


How has Jesus built trust with you? How does God build faith, hope and love? Where does God seem to be untrustworthy?                                                                                                                                                                                                          In what ways do you know yourself to be trustworthy? Less trustworthy?                                                                                             What perception of your trustworthiness do you believe others have of you? In what ways might they perceive you to be less trustworthy?                                                                                                                                                                                        Describe how you build trust with others?


Mental Health Nugget:

I’ve also been reading Alan Noble’s wonderful little book on Mental Health, “On Getting Out of Bed: The Burden and Gift of Living.” Here’s a short reflection based on his book.

Ever have this thought? The world would be better off without me because I am the one who is messed up, who can’t seem to get it together. I have a favorite prayer for those moments: “Lord, PLEASE STOP THE WORLD – I want to get off!

That’s not the answer.

Alan Noble thinks the Apostle Peter might have a good idea. Peter says in 1 Peter 5: 6-9 (see below): Whatever you are going through, the world is filled with people suffering similarly. There are unique qualities to your experience, but you are not alone. There are Christians suffering in similar ways all over the world. Some suffer much less than you, some suffer more than you can imagine, but this burden of life is something we carry in common. So, when you feel worthless or overwhelmed with anxiety, it’s not a sign that you lack faith or are not a true or good Christian. Millions of your brothers and sisters in Christ feel the same way right now.

But, there is another implication: if our suffering is common, then we should not hide it but instead help others bear it.

1 Peter 5: 6-9:

6-7 So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.

8-11 Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So, keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.

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Continued blessings on your spiritual walk-through Eastertide …. Peace be with you,

Pastor Bob <><