Life Is a Trust

March 25, 2014

A compilation

Audio length: 9:42
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Those who are trusted with something valuable must show they are worthy of that trust.—1 Corinthians 4:21


Jesus often referred to life as a trust and told many stories to illustrate this responsibility toward God. In the story of the talents, a businessman entrusts his wealth to the care of his servants while he’s away. When he returns, he evaluates each servant’s responsibility and rewards them accordingly. The owner says, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness.”2

At the end of your life on earth you will be evaluated and rewarded according to how well you handled what God entrusted to you. That means everything you do, even simple daily chores, has eternal implications. If you treat everything as a trust, God promises three rewards in eternity. First, you will be given God’s affirmation: He will say, “Good job! Well done!” Next, you will receive a promotion and be given greater responsibility in eternity: “I will put you in charge of many things.” Then you will be honored with a celebration: “Come and share your Master’s happiness.”—Rick Warren


The Lord can be a pretty tough taskmaster sometimes, as in the case of the man who buried his one talent and lost it, and those who made more talents with more talents and had more to end with.3 He said, “To them that hath shall be given, but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.”4

God goes very strongly on the merit system as to who deserves it and who doesn’t, not necessarily according to need. That’s one place where the Lord differs a bit from the old adage of “from each according to his ability unto each according to his need.” God doesn’t necessarily give to everybody in need. He only gives it if they deserve it, and sometimes He gives it because they deserve it even if they don’t really need it as much as another person.

He works largely on rewards, on a merit system as to whether people can be trusted with it or not. If they’re faithful in a few things, He gives them many things. But if they are not even faithful in a few things, He’s not likely to give them more.

God rewards hard work and merit and the deserving, but He doesn’t reward the lazy who bury what little talent they’ve got. God takes care of His own, especially the faithful ones, the diligent and the hard-working and the good stewards who work hard at developing and investing their talents where they’ll do the most good and get the best returns. God helps those who help themselves and those who can’t help themselves, but He is less inclined to help those who can help themselves but won’t.

God will always bless hard work, diligence, faithfulness, and good investment, and He’ll reward it with more. The faithful in the few things or in little will be faithful also in much and many things. But if you’re unfaithful in a few things, you may even lose what you’ve got.5

The servant who buried the talent and didn’t earn a thing or get a thing out of it, didn’t work at it, didn’t invest it, didn’t gain any more, and who said when he dug it up and gave it back to God, “Here, I was afraid I’d lose it, so I saved it,” He threw him out. He gave the talent to somebody who knew how to invest it and make good use of it. He took the one talent that the guy buried and wasted and didn’t use and didn’t develop and didn’t earn more talents with it, and He gave it to the guy who had the most talents because He knew he’d invest it well and he’d be even more successful.

Nothing succeeds like success, and God blesses those who are fruitful and get results, who are diligent, hard-working, truly trusting and genuinely obedient. I never saw God fail anybody who really did their best to get out and work hard and earn it one way or another, or just by the hard work of trusting God by faith.

Some people seem to have the idea that living by faith means loafing around and doing nothing. They’ve got an entirely wrong idea of living by faith. They seem to think that living by faith means living by nothing or living for nothing or with nothing. They’re mistaken.

Living by faith means putting faith into action, putting feet to your prayers and doing everything you can possibly do, as though everything depended on doing, and praying like everything depended on prayer! The people who sit around and expect God to drop it into their laps while they’re doing little or nothing are not likely to get much of anything. God is not going to invest His money or His gifts or His help in people whom He knows it’s going to be wasted on and who will do nothing with it. God’s a pretty tough taskmaster along that line. Jesus Himself told the story.

The Lord even commended the unrighteous steward, because at least he was a good steward and he worked at it.6

He says, “He that scattereth abroad, it increaseth.”7 We scatter it abroad—that doesn’t mean throwing it away or wasting it. It means giving it out where it will count, like “the sower goes forth to sow.” When he gives out like that, scattering the seed in fertile soil where he knows it’s going to bring fruit and get results and be profitable, it increases.

“But he that withholdeth, it tendeth to poverty.”8 The person who won’t even wisely use what little he’s got and selfishly hangs on to his one little talent for fear he might lose it, and doesn’t give it to God or others who could use it more profitably, he may well even lose what he’s got.

I’ve proved through years of experience that if we do our best, God will do His best to help us. I believe in that adage very firmly: God helps those who help themselves. And I add to that: and those who cannot help themselves.

The Bible says that some of you have not because you ask not, because you ask amiss. You ask for the wrong things out of the will of God, and God’s not going to supply those things that wouldn’t be good for you.9 But if you’re diligent and hard-working and deserving, faithful and fruitful, God has promised to supply all your needs according to His riches in glory.10David Brandt Berg11


From the beginning, God intended that we work. The Bible tells us, “The Lord God took the man and placed him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”12 Work has its origin in God and is a means of serving Him. If the work we do is for any lesser reason than that, it will fall short. Paul says, “Work with reverence for the Lord. It is the Lord Christ you are serving,” and this applies to every strata of work.

There are many people who simply don’t like what they do and it’s a drudgery to do. Others are frustrated and discouraged; others victimized by prejudices which hold them back, and still others unable to attain the career they wanted. The key to turning any grievance around is not to be oriented around the circumstances of our work, but to be oriented around Jesus Christ in our workplace.

If we take the stand that we are not there primarily to serve our boss or ourselves, but that we have a much bigger agenda in serving our Lord, God dignifies our work and our reward becomes twofold. Paul writes, “…as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord.”13 Our reward from God is that where He has placed us, we can be sure He has a divine purpose for us there. When we work to serve God, He gives us the wisdom to know what it is He wants us to do … We will then see our jobs through the eyes of our Lord, and our work will become a mission and our workplace a mission field where God is revealed. And where God is revealed, the daily grind of our job is dynamically changed with immense possibilities.—Charles Price 

Published on Anchor March 2014. Read by Jon Marc. Music by Michael Dooley.

1 NCV.

2 Matthew 25:23 NIV.

3 See the parable of the talents: Matthew 25:14–29.

4 Matthew 25:29.

5 Luke 16:10.

6 See Luke 16:1–12.

7 Proverbs 11:24.

8 Proverbs 11:24.

9 James 4:3.

10 Philippians 4:19.

11 Originally published July 1981.

12 Genesis 2:15 NIV.

13 Colossians 3:23–24 NIV.

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