Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
Growing up in the church, the phrase “Trust in the Lord” was spoken to me hundreds of times by well-meaning Christian adults who wanted me to live a life devoted to Jesus Christ.
I saw the idea of trusting in God as an afterthought, something that just happened behind the scenes without me really experiencing what trusting God looked like in real time.
But as I began to study God’s Word for myself during my earlier years as a young Christian, I realised that truly trusting in the Lord was more than just an intellectual declaration, but a real and active reality. It was a lifestyle rooted in the Christian experience.
Some time ago, the Lord began dealing with me on the issue of “trust”. But rather than do so harshly, He began to father me through some issues dating back to boyhood — years during which my scepticism and pessimism towards peers, adults and authority began to grow after one bad experience after another. It was time to build new relationships, and it had to start with God.
I had to re-learn how to trust, and it started with believing that the Lord truly loved me, knew my situation, and sent His son Jesus to die on the cross for me, even though I was a sinner. I had to build a firm relationship with the One I was choosing to trust. Soon, Proverbs 3:5-6 became less and less like a rule and more like an invitation.
Soon, Proverbs 3:5-6 became less and less like a rule and more like an invitation
To trust in the Lord means to place my confidence in Him. To trust in Him with all my heart means to trust Him with my personality, emotions, thoughts, ideas, hopes, fears, issues — everything.
The Scripture also encourages us to “lean not” on our own understanding, realising that our human insights are simply not enough. We couldn’t possibly understand everything that happens — either in our lives or others’ — and why things happen the way they do. Only God knows that. But we have to be okay with trusting the Lord with that too. In so many ways, even that tests us our faith.
To “acknowledge” Him is to consider Him in our daily living, in the choices we make and the experiences we have. We’re also told that He will direct, or make straight and smooth, our path.
Trusting in the Lord is not merely a checkbox in the Christian experience, something we can forget that we’re doing while our lives are hurried and packed with errands and activities. Rather, it is an invitation into a larger story, an adventure that can be had with Someone who loves you and looks to put you in places and positions for His glory.
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