Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto
thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge
Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Prov. 3:5-6
It has been a little over 21 years now since my wonderful father passed away. It was during that difficult time of grief that for the first time in my life, I began to look to the Scriptures for strength and comfort. As I was led to focus upon Proverbs 3:5-6, they became my life verses and I committed them to memory. Trusting in God sounded so easy back then at my kitchen table, but . . . the day was still young.
Over time, when the storms of life began to shake my very foundation, I didn't have the strength to stand and many times faltered. When I looked at the circumstances surrounding me, all I could see was a mountain to cross. If only I had acknowledged the One who could have solved every dilemma and healed every wound with just a bat of His eyelash, things would have been different. Thatís my Abba Father for you! Heís the very One we can trust with every aspect of our lives!
One thing I have learned over the years is that itís much easier to learn to trust God when I continually go into His Presence. Itís there in the Secret Place that I can obtain the confidence and trust that I need because He fills every void. Itís where I can take my burdens and lay them down before Him. Itís where I begin to understand that I can lean on the Lord to work things out in His way and with His own good timing if I will just trust Him.
We can look through the pages of Scripture and see those who trusted in God in ancient times; men like Noah, Abraham, Moses, Daniel, Job and David. But as hard as they tried, even they didnít have it altogether in knowing how to completely trust God and many times failed. But actually, none of us have it altogether in completely knowing how to trust God. We do our best to trust Him, but somehow when trials come our way, we turn our attention onto ourselves and wonder how weíre going to handle things, when all the while God has been waiting for us to turn the attention onto Him who can do more than we can imagine.
Many times doubt can form in our minds and we question whether or not God will do what He has been faithful to do for countless others. We might begin to think that weíre not worthy of help from God. Hmmm. . . . sounds like a seed of doubt to me! Thoughts like that are planted by the enemy himself. Remember, doubt is just the opposite of trust and we must be careful not to let the enemy have his way with our thoughts. When those times come, I've had to encourage myself in the Lord by saying, ďI know that Godís Word is true and He will supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.Ē (Phil. 4:19)
The key to trusting in God is to never, ever give up! We learn how to trust Him a little bit at a time and with each new trial. Then, when we're on the other side of the battle looking back and see how far God has taken us, we will surely know that we could not have made it without the Lord being on our side. Therefore, we gain new trust in Him and He wins our hearts more and more. To that I have to pray: ďLord, take my heart and help me to trust You more and more. When I don't understand my circumstances, help me to trust that You will work things out in Your way.Ē
There was one courageous woman from Scripture named Hannah. Her trust in God took her somewhere! Hannah had a quiet confidence in God so exemplary because she knew without a shadow of a doubt that there was none other than her God who could answer her prayer for a son. (1 Sam. 2:2) She prayed in the temple with tears streaming down her cheeks and then afterwards walked away knowing that God had certainly heard her cry for mercy. As she walked out of the temple doors, her tears ceased and her countenance brightened. Later, God indeed blessed Hannah with the son she longed for and she kept her promise to Him that she would give him back to serve the Lord in the temple all the days of his life. (I Sam. 1:1-28; 2:1-21)
The prophet Jeremiah tells us that there are great benefits for trusting in God:
But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. (Jer. 17:7-8)
What does that mean to you and me today? It means that whenever thereís a dry season or weíre having a tough time, those who put their confidence and trust in the Lord do not have to fear when trials comes their way because their roots will have gone down deep into the soil and will continue to get nourishment by the streams of Living Water. We will continue to bear fruit even during difficult days and dry seasons. The soul will continue to grow in the Lord.
Jeremiah also warned against putting trust in man instead of the Lord.
This is what the Lord says: ďCursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. (Jer. 17:5-6)
Last year we drove across the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah and saw exactly what a salt land actually was. Absolutely nothing could thrive there. We drove mile after endless mile and not a tree or sprig of grass could be found anywhere. So as for me, I think Iíll stick to being like that tree planted by the water instead of a bush doing itís best to survive in a salty parched land!
Blessed are all they who put their trust in Him. Ps. 2:12 (KJV)
Father, how I love You and love what You tell us in your beautiful Word about trusting in You at all times. I pray for each of us to long to stay planted by the stream and that our roots will go down deep into the soil for nourishment from the Living Water that flows from the Throne of the Living God. Help us to never put our trust in man who may disappoint us. Help us to put our total trust in You because you will never fail us. In Jesusí name. Amen.