Trust in the Lord’s Promissory Notes

scriptures

TheDiscipleMD

There is a lot of talk in the country regarding fiscal responsibility, deficits, spending, benefits, taxes, etc.. There has also been much debate regarding the funding of Social Security. Among all the rhetoric, it is really hard to know whose opinion to trust. I happened to be reading in the opinion section of the Washington Post A few months ago when I came across a column written by the conservative Charles Krauthammer. He was addressing the issue of Social Security. I quote:

“…the Social Security trust fund contains — nothing.”

He then went on to explain that in reality the Treasury takes the FICA money out of our paychecks, spends it on current retirees and other governmental needs. The Treasury then sends the Social Security Administration a piece of paper that says: IOU “xzy” amount of money.

Accepting an IOU from man can be risky business. I.O.U’s are of course, only as good as the person or institution backing them.

With so much confusion regarding the serious condition of our country’s domestic financial future and the promises made, my mind was brought back to some words I read in an autobiography many years ago. It was the account of a man who had labored with the sweat of his brow and attained a comfortable living. He lived on a fifty acre farm with his wife. He had an orchard, house and was living the good life. A religious man, he confided to his brother that he would leave it all behind to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. His brother questioned how he would be able to sustain himself. He answered by saying:

“Why, sir, I have bank bills enough, on the very best institutions in the world, to sustain myself and family while we live.”

“Indeed,” said he, “well, I should like to see some of them; I hope they are genuine.” “Certainly,” I replied, “there is no doubt of that. They are true bills and founded on capital that will never fail, though heaven and earth should pass away. Of this I will convince you in a moment.”

I then unlocked my treasury and drew from thence a large pocket-book, full of promissory notes like the following: “Whoever shall forsake father or mother, brethren or sisters, houses or lands, wife or children, for my sake and the gospel’s, shall receive an hundred fold in this life, and in the world to come life everlasting.” “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will in my name and I will give it you.” “All things are possible to him that believeth.”

“Now, William,” said I, “Are these the words of Jesus Christ or are they not?” “They certainly are,” said he, “I always believed the New Testament.”

“Then you admit they are genuine bills?”

“I do.”

“Is the signer able to meet his engagements?”

“He certainly is.”

“Is he willing?”

“He is.”

“Well, then, I am going to fulfill the conditions to the letter on my part. I feel called upon by the Holy Ghost to forsake my house and home for the gospel’s sake; and I will do it, placing both feet firm on these promises with nothing else to rely upon.” “If I sink, they are false.”

“If I am sustained, they are true. I will put them to the test. Experiment shall now establish the truth of Christ’s promises, or the truth of infidelity.”

“Well,” said he, “try it, if you will; but, for my part, although I always believed the Bible, I would not dare believe it literally, and really stand upon its promises, with no other prop.”

We parted. He to his business, I to my preparations for a mission which should only end with my life.” (The Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt).

I read this book as a young man and this exchange between Parley and his brother deeply impressed me. I never forgot the faith that Parley P. Pratt had in the I.O.U.’s of the Lord.  I am convinced that, whether in this life or the next, all that the Lord has promised will be given. And though I know that the I.O.U.’s of man can be “questionable” and fail on occasion, I for one, do not question the promissory notes from the Lord.

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