(This is the first of a series of devotionals written for our Heritage Christian Reformed Church congregation and community during the coronavirus crisis of 2020. Check back each morning for a new one. We pray they bless you in the days to come.).
“Trust God.” It seems simple enough. “With all your heart”. It seems clear enough.
But just because something is simple and clear, doesn’t make it easy.
God’s wisdom found in Proverbs 3:5-6 has been a foundation stone to the faith of His people throughout the ages. Thirty-six years ago, my wife (my girlfriend at the time) penned those words into the inside of a gift bible for me “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.”
In the best of times and the worst of times, trusting God is always both a great challenge and a great joy. And it is something which we must remind ourselves to do and encourage one another to exercise. Trust. Trust God. Trust God with all your heart.
In the book of Psalms, David recognizes that God is the one in whom he must place his trust; and at the same time, that God is one who enables his fearful heart to trust in Him.
In Psalm 34:4, David says, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” And in Psalm 56:5 he says, “In God I trust; I will not be afraid.”
It seems that it is possible to simultaneously be afraid and tell ourselves to not be afraid. And somewhere in the mix of our thoughts and emotions, God is there with his life-giving Spirit and his calming and reassuring presence.
We remember. We hear in our hearts. The whisper of God.
“I am with you.” “I am for you.” “I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
Even when you think, “I can’t Trust Him now”, God is already preparing the way.
Jerry Bridges writes, “We are responsible to trust Him in times of adversity, but we are dependent upon the Holy Spirit to enable us to do so.” I think it is true that God never commands us to do something that he does not enable us to obey. When God commands us to Trust Him; He enables us to Trust Him.
It is easier to Trust Him when you are convinced that He is absolutely trustworthy.
It is easier to Trust Him if you have already been practicing “trust” in the little things of life.
Philip Bennett Power puts it this way:
“The daily circumstances of life will afford us opportunities enough of glorifying God in Trust, without our waiting for any extraordinary calls upon our faith. Let us remember that the extraordinary circumstances of life are but few; that much of life may slip past without their occurrence; and that if we be not faithful and trusting in that which is little, we are not likely to be so in that which is great…Let our trust be reared in the humble nursery of our own daily experience, with its ever recurring little wants, and trials, and sorrows; and then, when need be, it will come forth , to do such things as required of it.”
We don’t know what challenges are before us.
We do know that in each one God will give us His grace.
And that we will live by faith.
Our Father in heaven, you know that so many of our plans and expectations for the days ahead have been changed or canceled. You know, O God, that so many of the places that made up our daily routines have been closed. Everything seems to be in flux. Everything seems unsteady.
O Lord, we are afraid.
O Lord, we trust in you.
O Lord, direct our paths.
In Jesus name we pray, Amen.