When was the last time you saw a toddler obviously worrying about what mom or dad was going to do? Or a puppy sitting in its bed, stewing over what decisions its owner might make? Probably never, because trust is something that comes naturally to children and little pets – at least until that trust is broken, and even then it usually has to happen multiple times.
So why do we have so much trouble trusting in God, putting our faith into action? We can argue that toddlers and puppies have very simplistic thinking. They don’t know how the trust placed in people can be betrayed, how lofty illusions can be shattered.
And having learned that through difficult life experiences, we transfer our acquired skepticism to the Lord.
And yet, trusting God regardless of the circumstances is one of the hallmarks of a walk of faith. My life verse (actually two verses) is Proverbs 3:5-6, “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.” I can’t tell you how many times I clung to that passage, desperately trusting in the Lord and His direction, especially when the outcome of what I was struggling with at the time was very much in doubt.
We live in perilous, unprecedented times. For those of us who had become nestled in our cozy little comfort zones, the uncertainty of the current chaos has been more than unsettling. Those things we did place our trust in – our routines, resources and everyday rhythms – have been turned upside-down, leaving us frustrated at best, fearful and filled with foreboding at worst.
But the good news is, what a wonderful time for trusting in the One that is unchanging, always faithful and never failing: the Lord, Jehovah God, Yahweh. The Scriptures repeatedly exhort us to do this, to trust Him when circumstances seem dark, uncertain and discouraging.
A good friend used to tell men he was mentoring when they came to him with tales of woe, “You’re in a great position!” By this he meant that once they had exhausted every option they could think of, when their own efforts to solve their problems had fallen short, they were finally at a point when they had no alternative but to trust God.
Another favorite passage affirms the importance – the utter necessity – of trusting God, even when He doesn’t respond according to our timetable and often in ways different than we had expected or hoped: “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him” (Psalm 37:2-7).
Of course, developing such trust isn’t automatic; it’s certainly not easy. Even if we reflect on wonderful things the Lord has done for us in the past, it’s not uncommon to take an attitude of, “Yeah, but what have You done for me lately?”
But experience – trusting God in small things, then bigger ones, seeing how incredibly He worked in and through our circumstances, often in ways we could never have envisioned – can serve as a great asset as we seek to trust Him in new and unfamiliar developments and dilemmas.
Later in the psalm, the writer King David observes, “If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; although he stumbles, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand. I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread” (Psalm 37:23-25). What an incredible assertion, particularly when external forces cause us to doubt.
What has you anxious today? What keeps you awake at night? You might be thinking, “Don’t get me started!” Yes, from the unrelenting cries of “the sky is falling” we receive daily from the media to the inevitable challenges we face in our families and our homes, we have many worrisome things from which to choose. But this is why we need to rest in the promises we find in the Scriptures, trusting that out of the chaos God will create something beautiful and blessed.
As He was concluding His earthly ministry, Jesus gave His followers this assurance: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). In the Scriptures we find, so many times that it’s impossible to overlook, God’s central promise: “Trust Me.” I don’t know about you, but I need this reminder today.
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Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly published, ”Marketplace Ambassadors”; “Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace”; “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” A weekly business meditation he edits, “Monday Manna,” is translated into more than 20 languages and sent via email around the world by CBMC International. The address for his blog is www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.