by Seth Olson
I am convinced that if you trust in something or someone, you already absolutely believe that something or someone is worthy of your trust. Furthermore, your actions will reveal whether or not you truly believe in the object of that trust.
So often, companies attribute grandiose qualities to their products in order to establish or maintain trust amongst customers and potential customers. Do you trust Chevrolet when they say their product is “Like a Rock”? Do you trust Motorola when they claim their Droid phone “Does . . .” with no qualifications, as if there is nothing their phone can’t do? Do you trust Adidas when they tell you, “Impossible is nothing” (which comes from a quote by Muhammad Ali)? I love what Energizer put on the homepage of their website: “Energizer for long-lasting power. No leaks—Guaranteed.*” Below that statement, the asterisk notes, “Or we will replace your device.” The fact is, none of these companies can truly guarantee anything they promise. They are finite, temporal things.
“To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me” (Psalm 25:1, 2, NIV).
Lately I’ve been challenged in my own life in the area of trusting the Lord. My wife, Tina, and I are in the process of looking for a house. Multiple times I’ve had to be reminded by myself, others, and through Scripture that I must trust that the Lord will provide exactly what we need and He will provide the means by which to pay for that house. As I’ve reflected more on the concept of trust, I realize that in order to trust God in this or any other matter of life, I must be thoroughly convinced that God is worthy of my trust. Seems simple and obvious. I mean, why would you trust something that you don’t believe to be trustworthy? But in reality, we often force this act of trusting almost as an end in itself.
Sadly, even in our skeptical society, we can at times be quicker to trust things that are entirely temporal before we trust our everlasting God. Who else could create time, space, matter, and all the laws of science encompassing those realms? I don’t think Droid can do that!
Our God, Who created the universe in all of its splendor and breathing life into humanity, is worthy of our trust. Who else could create something out of nothing? Do you believe that He did? Who else could speak light into being or place stars innumerable into the sky, resulting in a breathtaking expanse of night lights that we have barely even begun to discover, much less count. (Scientists can only guesstimate that there are around 10 septillion stars in the observable universe [answersingenesis.org/astronomy/stars/counting-the-stars].)
“As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured, so will I multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me” (Jeremiah 33:22, NKJV).
David was so awestruck by the grandeur of God’s heavenly creation that he was compelled to write, “What is man that You are mindful of him?” (Psalm 8:4, NKJV). As if to say, Why would the creator of the universe take time to cast even the the shadow of a thought upon weak, feeble, finite mankind?
Who else could create people with limitless variations inscribed into the miniscule DNA and with a soul and spirit that will live beyond the confines of this temporary shell we call a body? Not Chevrolet.
But God did not set things in motion only to indifferently watch them self-destruct in our sinful nature. He, in His loving kindness and mercy, protected Adam and Eve from living on in continuous toil upon this earth by keeping guard over the Garden, that place where the original sin was committed. God cares!
We proceed through the annals of Biblical history to stand in awe as we peer through the perfect window of Scripture at yet another masterful stroke in God’s unfolding story. Two million of His chosen people uprooted from their perceived comfort of slavery to go to the land that He promised. We struggle to move a household. God moves a nation. Still, in our hearts we waver not unlike the Children of Israel. Can we trust Him?
“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7, NKJV).
God had already commanded the kings of Israel not to multiply horses (Deuteronomy 17:16). David obeyed, knowing that God could be trusted to overcome the obstacles before them without the aide of mankind’s means of might.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5, 6, NASB).
Here we see the extent that we must go to in order to effectively trust the Lord: “with all your heart.” Not part. Not 50 percent. Not 99.9 percent. All your heart. That’s a serious investment. Is it worth it?
Okay, so that sounds great to trust in God when we see the incredible universe and His protection and guidance, but what about when the going gets hard? What about those times when the circumstances of life are bearing down hard on us and there seems to be nowhere to turn . . . but to our own ingenuity? to some form of medication? to a close friend who is subject to the same hardships of life that we are? No, Job learned what it meant to trust God even though it seemed as though He had left him utterly alone to face Satan’s attacks. Even in the midst of the most unimaginable emotional and physical pain, Job chose to say, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15, NKJV). The original word for “trust” here carries with it the idea of waiting patiently. Job was waiting patiently because he believed that God would vindicate him. He believed that a just God would not ultimately punish a righteous man. Job had to learn that he was not worthy of vindication based on his own merit, but he was right in trusting that God would not condemn one who has been declared righteous.
Crossing over into the New Testament, examples of God’s trustworthiness abound. One of my favorite Biblical accounts is of Christ walking on the stormy lake to meet His frightened disciples. Peter, in his usual reactionary fashion, wanted to jump out of the boat to be with Christ on the water, initially showing some remarkable trust. But as is so often true of us, his faith began to waver when he saw the mighty wind around him. Sadly, our circumstances often blind us to the power of God right in front of us.
Christ performed miracle after miracle, proving His divinity and His power over the laws of nature. Who else could heal the blind, sick, and hurting? Who else could change water into wine, bring in an extraordinary catch of fish, feed thousands from a small amount of food, and even raise the dead? How often do we read or hear about these miracles and, because of our familiarity with them, allow the impact of the reality of God’s power to be diminished in our hearts? Oh, that we would regain the amazement and wonder of Who God is because of the great things He has done! It is only then that we can even begin to trust Him with the everyday burdens of our lives. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He has the same power now that He had when He performed all those miracles.
We often confine the concept of trust to the doctrine of salvation. It is true that we must place our faith and our trust in Christ to save us from eternal damnation, but that is not the only time when we need to trust Christ. The very fact that Christ suffered, died, and rose again for you and for me should give us reason to trust Him in every area of our lives.
Any alternative to trusting in the Lord will eventually lead us to worry and strive in our own strength. One of God’s names describes the fact that He is our provider—Jehovah Jireh. Sometimes we forget to trust the Lord for the most basic provisions. Christ reminds us in Matthew 6:25–34 that we shouldn’t worry about where our food or clothing is going to come from. He even goes so far as to say that those who worry about those things are “of little faith.” It is encouraging to know that our Heavenly Father knows our needs better than even we do.
We cannot be guaranteed that anything in this world will do what it promises, but God never fails those who trust in Him.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him” (Jeremiah 17:7, NIV).
What challenges or needs are you facing in which you know you need to trust the Lord?
Seth Olson is marketing assistant for the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches.