Trust – part 2
Last week, we began to explore trust. More specifically, do we trust God? We read a lot of quotes from modern day Christians, but let’s go to the real Source of our strength today, the Word of God.
Who are some examples that you can think of who trusted the Lord in the Bible?
You may think of people like Abraham, Isaac, Job, David, Daniel and his friends, or even Rahab. These are just a few examples in the Old Testament.
In the New Testament, we have examples like eleven of the disciples, Jesus Himself, Paul and many early Christians.The Scriptures are chocked full of amazing illustrations of people who lived a life filled with trust in God.
But, how do can we attain this kind of trust for ourselves? What did these people understand that we do not? What was their “secret”?
Proverbs 3:5-8 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing, and refreshment to your bones.”
Sounds easy, right? All we have to do is trust in the Lord with all our heart and He will make our paths straight. In other words, our paths will be clear. Not only that, but verse eight goes on to say that our bodies will be healed and we will have refreshment for our bones. How many of us need bone deep refreshment? Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it?
If the payoff is so great, why do we struggle so much with trusting God?
The Word says in Psalm 62:8, “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.”
Nahum 1:7 says, “The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him.”
These verses assure us that when we trust God, it does not escape His notice. He knows those who trust in Him. Again, the payoff for trusting is incredible! We are able to pour out our hearts to Someone who always hears. The LORD can be our stronghold and a refuge. He is solid and secure.
Earlier, we mentioned Abraham as one of our examples of trust. In Romans 4:20-21, it says in regards to Abraham’s life, “yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief [lack of trust], but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what He [God] had promised, He was able also to perform.”
What had God promised Abraham? He promised Abraham that He would make him a great nation. He promised that He would give Abraham descendants as numerous as the stars of the sky (Genesis 12-18). Did God fulfill His promises immediately? No. In fact, Abraham made some drastically wrong decisions waiting for the promises of God to be fulfilled, but it is encouraging to me that even though his life was filled with mistakes, the overarching theme was a life of trust. Abraham is a great example to us in that even after sin we can have a life that God Himself categorizes as a life of trust.
How do we get to the place in our lives where we truly trust in the Lord with all of our heart? How do we get to the place where we look at Proverbs 3:5 and 6 and say, “Praise the Lord, that’s me; I am trusting in Him and leaning upon His understanding, not my own”? How do we get to the place where God Himself categorizes our lives as ones of trust?
Once again, it comes back to relationship. The more I know someone, the more I trust them (or don’t). Trust always comes back to connection.
Psalm 9:10 says, “And those who know Thy name will put their trust in Thee; For Thou, O LORD, hast not forsaken those who seek Thee.”
When we get to know our God, we will trust Him. We will not be able to help ourselves!
Psalm 34:8 tells us to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” Tasting is a full on experience. There is no partial commitment in tasting. God wants us to experience Him full on. He knows He is holding nothing back from us. He is holding no dark secrets. He desires us to get to know Him. In fact, I John 1:5 says that there is not one dark shadow with our God. He is light, He is truth and He can be trusted. There is no darkness in Him AT ALL.
Let’s look at some truths in God’s Word and see who our God is. Let’s answer the question, “Is He worthy of our trust”?
Lamentations 3:22-26 says, “The LORD’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore, I have hope in Him.’ The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the LORD.”
This Scripture tells us that God is faithful, loving, kind and compassionate towards us. In fact, His mercies are new every morning!
Can we trust a God like that?
Isaiah 65:24 says, “It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.”
This Scripture assures us that God hears us when we call. In fact, it actually says He answers before we have even finished asking. As parents, we have all experienced this somewhat. You anticipate what your kids are going to ask you. You are excited because you know your answer will be yes. They are timidly poking one another to see who will ask and you can’t help but smile knowing that you are going to give them great joy…if they would only get on with it and ask! When they finally do, you are already shaking your head yes because you are so excited for them. That’s our God. He knows our requests, but He is waiting for us to ask. He hears and can be trusted to answer. Sometimes His answer is not yes just like a parent cannot always say yes, but He always hears and answers.
Can we trust a God like that?
What about Job though? We don’t like to think about him too often, do we? If you have not read the book of Job, I highly encourage you to do so. In this book of the Bible, we read that Job was taken through trials that were unimaginable. He literally lost all of his possessions, his children and his health. He stayed faithful to God, but had no idea why God had allowed Satan to wreak havoc in his life. Job had no idea what was going on, but God was still faithful to him through it all. Did God hear Job when he called? Yes. Did Job know it immediately? No. But, God was faithful and wove Job’s life story into an amazing testimony that we are still gleaning from today.
Was God trustworthy through Job’s trails? Yes.
Can we trust God through our trials? Yes, we can.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Do you realize that God did not have to promise us this? I have taken this verse for granted for too long. He could have designed the world that, yes, we could still be saved through the blood of His Son, but if we messed up, we messed up. Our lives could be strictly what we make of them. Scary thought, isn’t it? But, our God loves us so much that He has promised us that all the messes that we create and that happen in the world around us that are beyond our control, He takes and makes this incredibly beautiful life story.
I ask you, ‘How can a God like that NOT be trusted’?
Romans 8:38-39 says, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Can we trust a God like that? Absolutely!
Now that we have the assurance that God is indeed worthy of our trust, we once again come to the place of asking how we get this truth for ourselves. How do we personally get to the place of trust that He desires for us and that He is so worthy of?
Romans 7:18 says, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.”
Where is the hope in that? There is great hope because the first step in achieving true trust in the Lord is knowing that we are incapable of it. Our flesh cannot do anything good, only His Spirit in us can make this happen. Just like everything else in our Christian walk, it is about Him in us. Only God in us can equip us to have full trust in Him.
Romans 8 tells us that our flesh is not able to accomplish anything without the Holy Spirit. It is all Christ living in us. So, when we ask Jesus to save us, the Holy Spirit resides in us equipping us for the walk that we are called to on this earth. When I am in complete surrender to Him, my trust level is where it should be because His Spirit is empowering me. It is all about daily surrender, a daily choosing to say yes to anything that God allows to come through His protective hedge. It is a personal choice.
Imagine that your life is a book. God places your book before you and says, “Here is the cover. I want you to say, ‘yes’ to Me before you see the pages inside. Trust me with your story. Trust me to make every page a beautiful testimony of My love for you.”
Oh, you want to see it all, don’t you? I do as well. But, true trust is saying, “yes” before the first page is turned. Every day go before your Father and say, “yes”. He will take every page of your life and mold it, shape it and design it into a masterpiece, His masterpiece. He will take chapters that you thought were a waste and weave it into a beautiful, complex plot that only He can imagine. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not calamity to give you a future and a hope.’ ”
I encourage you to trust Him fully, trust Him wholly and please say, “Yes” daily. Place your book in His hands and never look back, only up into the beautiful, trustworthy face of your Savior and Lord.