Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
The Bible is a book all about trust. Whether it’s Jehoshaphat gathering the people and their families before God when a hoard invaded to destroy, or Moses taking a million slaves into the desert based on a word or whether it’s disciples leaving everything to follow an itinerant preacher called Jesus of Nazareth, its all about trust.
A couple of weeks ago this word came to me, and kept coming saying “Trust in the Lord” and I couldn’t find out what the Holy Spirit was saying other than Trust in the Lord – I thought He wanted me to preach on it but I couldn’t find any inspiration in scripture about it. However I quickly found out that it was because I was coming into a situation where I needed to personally trust God when all I could see with my natural insight and experience was a looming disaster. In trusting God through the situation He has wrought a great deliverance and God has opened up to me the liberty to share this great truth that the scripture emphasizes about trusting God even when we cannot see.
There are five main words for trust used throughout the Bible. The two main Hebrew (Old Testament) words for trust are “Chasah” (Khaw-saw) which means to “flee for protection” and “take refuge in” and the other main word used is “Batach”(Baw-tak) which means to “have confidence in” and “take refuge in”. Both these words convey that sense of ‘hiding within and confidently relying upon’. The 3 main Greek (New Testament) words we translate into the English as “trust” each emphasize either the “hope in” “reliance in” or “having confident faith in”. Together all these meanings give the sense of hiding, hoping, relying and being secure which is something we all long for in this life.
Finding our way through this life with a sense of confidence, security and certainty should be the primary concern for all of us for our lives, yet our lives forever seen to be taken up with “fire-fighting” the problems of the day and fear grips us continually… Where do I go? Where do I stop? Where do I turn? What do I do and when do I do it when I can’t see any way forward? Where and in whom can I trust?
I work with many people who have mental health issues and addiction problems (co-morbidity) and a huge number of these are linked with damage and trauma of childhood where they had no one they could totally depend upon or trust and grew up in an environment of fear with anxiety with stress a daily reality – they could not trust that two days would be the same they lived in terror of what each day would bring. Our bodies and minds simply cannot live under this kind of permanent duress.
I want to share with you today that in light of this life’s shaky foundation, in light of all the fear and worry we carry, in light of the disappointments we have suffered at the hands of people, by the authority of the Word of Him who cannot lie and who is the author of life, that there is one in whom “there is no variableness neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). He never changes, He never Lies, He never Fails! “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever”(Hebrews 13:8).
In Proverbs 3:5-6, there are four things that we need to understand and embrace when trusting God.
The OBJECT of trust – “trust in the Lord with all your heart.”
The writer of the proverb entreats us to “Trust in the LORD”.
“Trust in yourself, and you are doomed to disappointment; trust in your friends, and they will die and leave you; trust in money, and you may have it taken from you; trust in reputation, and some slanderous tongue may blast it; but trust in God, and you are never to be confounded in time or eternity”. – D. L. Moody.
Many people in this world have trusted people. How many men and women have said ” I do” and then they don’t? How many have trusted someone to honour their promise and they don’t? Many people have trusted money and found it brings no peace – only a fear of losing it. Many have trusted religion – and found it dull boring and empty. BUT THE BIBLE says Trust in THE LORD. HE is to be the OBJECT of our trust.
We can see his reliability faithfully recorded in scripture. Jesus tells us that God is like a father – there can be no greater example of care and love and motives, the thing that motivates God towards people is love – I trusted my father naturally to take care of me, I could sleep in peace knowing that if anyone broke into our house they would have to come through my dad to get to any of us. My father corrected me, provided for me and wanted nothing but the best for me “as he understood it”. God our father always corrects us, provides for us and knows what we need.
We must come to that point in life where we seek God, to understand His nature and love for us. We can do so by coming to church to hear about God through the preaching of his word and we can understand His nature by studying the Bible, but ultimately we can only trust someone we know and the Bible tells us that we only become His children when we come to Him, ask Him to forgive us and bring us into His family (Luke 15).
I have been growing closer to God for many years and it causes me to trust more.
The OPERATION of trust – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart”.
The key words here are all and in – because trust is an “all in” deal! All in is a gambling phrase, it means to be so confident that you have the winning poker hand that you are willing to stake all your money on that one hand. You win all or you lose all! The trust we are to have in God, that the Bible speaks of, is an all in deal. If I step out of the boat onto the sea and have one foot in the boat it’s not trust in Jesus. I am either on the sinking boat of this world or I am walking above the waves towards Jesus trusting his word to hold me. So many people say they are willing to trust God with their eternal soul – but not with their money!
A missionary was trying to build his sermon in an African village and wanted to encourage people to trust in the Lord but found out that the local dialect had no word for “trust”. He did not know how to proceed until one of his local workers came in after a long errand and flopped into a chair and uttered a word with a smile. He knew then what the word is by watching a local take the heavy burden off his feet and fully lean upon something else!
When it comes to God, this kind of belief is not much good to him. God is looking for followers who will trust him with their all including their lives! The practice and operation in day to day life is our challenge.
John 15:7 “If you abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done to you.”
Peter could only get out the boat because Jesus first spoke the word to him and we can never trust the Lord if we never spend time with Him in his word. His word is His bond and until we can see that the hand we are holding is an unbeatable hand, we will never put our trust fully in God. It’s only when you read his word that we realise, that we can, go all in.
LISTEN TO THIS…
Romans 8:38-39 – (The Message Bible)
“I’m absolutely convinced that nothing – nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable – absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”
Trust operates truly when we go all in. If Jesus fails I am lost, If the red sea doesn’t open I’m dead. This is the OPERATION OF TRUST.
The OBJECTION of this TRUST – “and lean not on your own understanding.”
I wish I had a pound for everyone who claims to trust in the Lord, who immediately go away and panic and lose all confidence in God. We see the situations and the fears and we forget who is in our corner. We lay down our fears and worries and troubles at the feet of God when we come to break bread remembering the precious blood covenant and the GREAT LOVE with which He has loved us (Ephesians 2:4). Then we leave church and pick up all the mess again and try to reason it all away, we in effect lean on our own understanding of the situation completely discounting God!
We are conditioned to be “rational people” and we are so hooked into the worlds way of thinking that we discount the fact that our God is “…able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20).
I was watching and excellent program last week where a team of scientists were trying to work out the route the Hebrew slaves took out of Egypt. They found the very point of crossing that matched the scripture and amazingly it was where an underwater ridge was. They sent underwater vehicles in and found in the place sand and coral (which can only form on solid structures) shaped like chariot wheels and axles! And found one completely intact, gold/silver plated wheel (which coral cannot attach to) beautiful and lying there half buried in the sand. These people had left Egypt trusting that God had spoken to Moses – they got to a uncross-able barrier with an army charging after them armed to the teeth. They had no training, they were just a mob with their wives, and children all they had was the promise of this God that He was taking them to a good land and they launched out on nothing but that word from God! But look at the response of the the people when they saw that the Egyptian army had caught up with them.
Exodus 14:9-14 – “But the Egyptians pursued them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army. And they overtook them camping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baal-zephon. And Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel lifted up their eyes. And, behold, the Egyptians marched after them. And they were very afraid. And the sons of Israel cried out to the LORD And they said to Moses, Have you taken us away to die in the wilderness because there were no graves in Egypt? Why have you dealt this way with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? Did we not tell you this word in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, so that we may serve the Egyptians? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness. And Moses said to the people, do not fear. Stand still and see the salvation of Jehovah, which He will prepare for you this day. For the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you shall never see them any-more. The LORD shall fight for you, and you shall be silent.”
Thank God for Moses who trusted God more than anyone else. Moses did not know what God would do to save them and fulfil His promise – He just knew that God would. Who do you associate with here, Moses or the people?
The objections of trust always relate to self. I might get hurt, yet if this is our attitude we would never marry, we would never have children, we would never go out, we would never have any depth of relationship with anyone!
“Lean not on your own understanding” – take a chance! Step out of the boat, arrive at the Red Sea, because God is faithful and will never leave you nor forsake you – He cannot abandon His children.
The OUTCOME of trust – “and He shall direct your paths.”
He will direct your path in life, because God is good and we can trust him to do good.
Psalms 119:67, 68 – “Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now I have kept Your Word. You are good, and do good; teach me Your Precepts.”
One wet, foggy, muddy day, a little girl was standing on one side of a street in London waiting for an opportunity to cross over. Those who have seen London streets on such a day, with their wet and mud, and have watched the rush of cabs, hansoms, omnibuses, and carriages, will not wonder that a little girl should be afraid to try to make her way through such a Babel as that. So she walked up and down, and looked into the faces of those who passed by. some looked careless, some harsh, some were in haste, and she did not find the one she sought, until at length an aged man, rather tall and spare, and of grave yet kindly aspect, came walking down the street. Looking into his face, she seemed to see the one for whom she had been waiting, and she went up to him and whispered timidly: “Please, sir, will you help me over?” The old man saw the little girl safely across the street, and when he afterwards told the story he said of the incident. “That little child’s trust was the greatest compliment I ever had in my life.”
That man was Lord Shaftesbury. He had received numerous honours at the hands of a mighty British Empire, he was complimented with the freedom of the greatest city on the globe; he had received the honours conferred by royalty; but the greatest compliment he ever had in his life was when that little unknown girl singled him out in the jostling crowd of a London street and dared to trust him, stranger though he was, to protect and assist her.
Unfortunately we behave like the birds. When you throw down food, they sit on the fence and won’t come down because they think there’s a catch – it’s a trap… We have been so hurt by this painful life and we have been so badly affected by the schemes of others that we accord all these motives to God, the only one who TRULY loves us and can do us no wrong.
He calls us to come and to simply trust Him like that little girl trusted Lord Shaftsbury that cold morning – even though he was a stranger at the time… Maybe Jesus is a stranger to you today… maybe He is asking you to trust Him alone… will you do that?
Proverbs 3:5+6 by Adam Attribution License