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Boot camp - Chester Cook

Trust is one of my foundational principles. Trust is a word that implies a confidence in, and a reliance on, a person, place or thing.

In theological terms, trust is often addressed as faith. Faith and trust are grounded in God, who is trustworthy.

Life is a boot camp of faith. It is a boot camp for developing trust in God. Every trial, turn, setback, and tribulation is a lesson designed to teach us to trust God. As we run the obstacle course of life, we will encounter obstacles that challenge our ability to think, climb, run and endure.

These difficulties are so that we will fail and give up. Rather, they are experiences designed to strengthen weaknesses in our faith. The tests reveal deep flaws in our character that God is weeding out.

When we are faced with a hardship in life, God asks us one question: "Do you trust Me?"

Our answer will reveal the root weakness. When the boss announces that there will be some lay-offs, do you turn to fear, or do you look to God with contentment?

Do you worry about tomorrow, or do you face the day with divine assurance and confidence, knowing that even if you are one of the ones affected by the lay-off, God is still in control and that He will provide?

I have found real freedom in trusting God. Trusting God has lifted the burden and anxiety from my life and given me real freedom. I believe that the cross of Calvary was the ultimate test from God, when the Father asked Jesus, "Do you trust Me? Even in Death?"

The answer was, "Yes."

In my military basic training, the first fifteen days were the most grueling and physically demanding experience in my life. On day fifteen, the soldiers would run the obstacle course and be reviewed by the drill instructors.

If a soldier failed the obstacle course, or the review, he or she would be set back to day one, and begin boot camp all over again. The soldier was forced to start over again, until he or she was deemed to be a trustworthy soldier.

Until we learn this first lesson -- Trust God -- we will never graduate. We will continue to be set back and destined to take the test over and over again.

But once we learn to completely trust God, we will begin to see providence working on our behalf. God will promote the faithful to reign in the kingdom.

If you have any comments on this column, or any other subject, please contact me at chaplain@airportchapel. org.

Dr. Chester R. Cook