14. If God can win our trust, He can heal the damage done by sin.

“He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” {Luke 16:31}

The ultimate problem with sin is in its distrust of God. Instead of listening to what God says, we try to figure things out on our own. Instead of believing that what He says is true and that what He does is good, we are invested in our own agendas and our own desired outcomes.

The thing is, this can be so subtle. Many people who claim to know and love God and want to see His plans fulfilled in their lives often act in ways that reveal they don’t really trust Him. Abraham is a perfect example of this. God promised that, even though Abraham was very old and had no children, he was going to become the father of a great nation.

But after God made this promise, Abraham’s wife didn’t get pregnant, and a lot of time passed. Abraham even asked God for reassurance that He would make good on His promise, but eventually, Abraham decided to father an heir on his own terms—with someone other than his wife. His actions proved that he didn’t yet trust God fully in his heart.

Ultimately, however, God’s promises did come to pass, and Abraham learned to trust God fully. (Read all about that in Genesis 22.) Once the trust had been restored, the relationship was healed. Sin was no longer an issue in Abraham’s life. He had finally learned to listen.

Centuries later, Jesus used Abraham as the example of righteousness in an odd story He told about a rich man and Lazarus who both died at the same time. The rich man went to a place of torment, and Lazarus went to paradise. The rich man begged Abraham to send Lazarus back to his family so they might not repeat his mistakes and end up in the same place. But Abraham replied that people who were hardened in rebellion wouldn’t be swayed, even by a resurrection. And after Jesus told the story, He went and raised Lazarus from the dead and proved that what He had said was true.

Sin, that attitude of rebellion and self-centeredness, has caused real damage to our relationship with God, but for most people, it is not beyond repair. It is the unwillingness to listen that causes the ultimate problem, but if God can get our attention and restore our trust in Him, then the relationship will be healed. That’s the only solution to sin. It’s simple, but it’s not easy.

If you want to dig deeper—
Exodus 10:7
Psalm 107:20
Isaiah 1:18
Isaiah 59:1-2
Ezekiel 36:25-26
Daniel 8:25
Micah 7:18-19
Hebrews 10:26
1 John 1:8-10
1 John 3:6