There are many great themes running throughout the Bible that when understood properly have an amazing impact on our attitude and response to God. The Bible is the story of God searching for the lost to restore them to their rightful place as children of God in the Kingdom of Heaven. And, of course, there is the Gospel of grace, the righteousness of God, redemption, and unmerited, unconditional love bestowed upon us by the God of the Universe.
One of the most important aspects of what the Bible is telling us about God, however, is trust in God. Take a look at what I mean in the following verses.
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
2 Samuel 7:28 “Sovereign LORD, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant.
Psalm 9:10 “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.”
Psalm 13:5 “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.”
Psalm 20:7 “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.”
Psalm 31:14 “But I trust in you, LORD; I say, ‘You are my God.’ “
Psalm 56:3 “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
Psalm 84:12 “LORD Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
We will look at more verses on trust as we move along but for now this gives us a nice introduction to what consists of trusting in God. Let me first of all give you a few of my thoughts on the idea of trusting God with our life journey.
I believe everything hinges on how truthful we are in answering the question, “Do you believe God loves you with all His heart?” Remember, the question isn’t ‘do you love God with all your heart (because you don’t) but do you believe God loves you with all His heart?” How you and I answer that question determines everything about our spiritual journey.
When confronted with this question in the wilderness the children of Israel basically said “No” we don’t trust you God. Even though they saw the plaques of Egypt, the crossing of the Red Sea, ate the Manna in the wilderness, were led by the fire at night and the cloud by day, experienced the water gushing from a rock, the sour waters turned sweet, they said no we still don’t trust you. As a result what should have taken 11 days to accomplish took 40 years.
If we can answer, “yes, God we believe that you love us unconditionally and eternally,” then our response to that realization is to love back. Our love for God in comparison to His love for us is ridiculously small but it is still love. And how does our love for God grow? We put more and more trust in Him.
God was simply saying to the children of Israel in the wilderness do you trust me to take you from Egypt to the Promised Land? And do you trust me enough to follow me wherever I take you without complaining and arguing? That’s the same invitation and offer we receive today for our life journey.
There is one more thing I need to say before we look at the texts and that is faith and trust are similar but not identical. What do I mean by that? I recently found out that I have high blood pressure so the doctor told me about a medication I could take to get it back down until I can regulate it on my own. I believe the medication he told me about works for high blood pressure. My belief is good as far as it goes, but the test is simply will I put my faith into action by trusting that the pills will work for me. The only way I will know is to go ahead and take them.
I know some of you are saying I’m splitting hairs, but I don’t think so. I believe that belief is an intellectual response to God’s grace, but trust is putting that faith into action in my life. Let me give you another example at what I’m trying to say. You are in a boat and it is sinking. You may believe the life raft bobbing around in the water can save you but do you trust it enough to get into it? For most of us clinging on to the remembrance of how the boat use to be is more comforting than trusting ourselves to a bit of rubber bouncing in the ocean swells. Yet trusting ourselves to that rubber life raft is the only hope we have of salvation because the boat is going down.
Joshua 1:9 tells us to be courageous and strong and not to be afraid or discouraged because God is with us. How easy it is to be discouraged when faced with the day-to-day chores of simply living in an over active and under appreciated world. But, God is with us.
Psalm 9:10 reminds us that God has never forsaken us and 2 Samuel 7:28 states that we can trust God’s covenant promises for us. Psalm 13:5 boldly points us to the object of our trust, “the unfailing love,” of God as manifested in His great offer of free salvation to all who believe.
Psalm 20:7 along with Psalm 31:14 should be etched into the minds of every Christian. Our trust is in the name of Jesus and we can have assurance because “You are my God.” God is not the God of others and we are somehow forgotten and left behind. No! He is personal—He is my God and your God. That is why in Psalm 84:12 we are told, “Blessed is the one who trusts in you.”
These are but a handful of texts that run throughout Scripture about trusting God. Why is this so important? It is because for many Christians when they accept the idea that God loves them unconditionally they try to respond to God by doing things to prove their love back for Him. With all the best intentions in the world they soon find themselves trusting in their works and efforts instead of trusting in Christ. It may seem subtle but it makes all the difference in the world to your relationship with God.
Good works are not the proper response to the saving grace of our loving God. Trust is. There is nothing wrong with good works when we understand what they are and how they fit in to the life of a growing Christian but they are not the driving force of our life journey with our saving God. Trust is.
Let me end with taking us back to the wilderness experience once again. Moses had gone up Mount Sinai to meet with God but the people waiting in the camp became impatient and fearful so they built a golden calf idol and put their trust in it. Good works had nothing to do with how the Israelites should have behaved while Moses was away talking to God. Instead what they needed was trust. They needed trust that Moses would return and that God would accomplish what He said He would do for them.
Romans 15:13 is a good place to conclude this post for today, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”