Wanting to Trust :: By John Lysaught

Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”

It’s difficult to have trust these days. We don’t know who or where to turn to for accurate information. We seemingly can’t trust anyone – not the media, not an elected official, and now we can’t even trust a lot of preachers either.

What we can absolutely trust is the Word of God. Or rather, we should know we can trust the Word of God. But, like most things stemming from being fallible human beings, the influences of the world and people can muddy the waters of that trust in the Word of God.

Let’s stop for a moment and have a reality check – life is hard. There is a long line of trials waiting their turn in our lives. We can see some of them coming from a distance, and sometimes they sneak from around the corner, but they still come and keep coming. Even if we see them from the distant horizon, it doesn’t make them any easier when they arrive.

I’ll admit that most of the trials I had or am currently having are self-inflicted. I reckon yours are as well. Whether these trials were born a moment ago or from actions or decisions dated years back, when that train comes a’ rolling in, I know immediately it was from my own poor decisions or mistakes. But yes, there are events outside of our control coming from the world and others that cause us trials. Either way, we don’t look forward to them.

Now, when we are knocked down in a trial of some sort, it is easy to fall prey to the tunnel vision that comes with that moment. Our focus is solely on the problem, and like blinders on a horse, we can only see what is in front of us. It is like the saying “not seeing the forest from the trees” because we only see that which is causing us angst and nothing else.

When we turn our attention only to the trial in front of us, our mind’s aperture narrows, leaving everything other than the problem blurred out. This is what happens with our trust in God and in His Word. When we focus in on our present trial, our trust in God gets fuzzy. We need to ask ourselves why.

What I mean, in a different way, is when we have issues with our trust in what the Word of God gives us regarding the surety of God, we need to question our trust level with Him. Why? Because God does not change (Isaiah 40:8; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8, etc.). We, on the other hand, in our fallen state, do.

When times are good and the faucet of blessings is pouring out, we have great trust in the Lord. Why wouldn’t we, right? Things are great! Yet once that smooth road starts getting bumpy, we begin to falter in our trust. When the blessings stop flowing and only drips or stops, this is when our ‘great’ trust starts forming question marks in and around our minds. We start asking why, not in an attitude of seeking comfort or guidance, but we ask why in a pitiful and condescending attitude toward God.

An unexpected medical diagnosis. Losing a job. A spouse walks out on the family, or a loved one dies too soon. Unexpected and bad things happen. This is life. This is what happens in a fallen world. When things like these occur, we can quickly imitate the unsaved by blaming God instead of having the trust in God that He deserves from us, regardless of the situation. This, in turn, leads us to turn to man and the world for answers and comfort.

When things do go awry, what we need to do and what we commonly do as Christians can turn into a contradiction. We know we need to turn to our faith and prayer to seek God first, and yet, we turn to ourselves or others for answers or comfort, leaving the things of God as a last resort. We are quick to turn to an internet search engine to seek answers man has provided, not God’s Word for wisdom, hope, or comfort.

The question to ask ourselves is, why do we do this? When things are not going so well, why do we turn to the things of man instead of the things of God? Why do we move our trust indicator from God to the world? More than this, why do we turn our trust in Him and question (or ignore) the guidance or direction that God shows us in the moments of trials and tribulations through His Word?

I see it as a matter of holding on to our foundational faith and trust in God and His Word. The key here is to “hold on.”

For those who have played sports or were in the military, you know there is a lot of training involved in these types of activities. Training is what honed and reinforced the basic skills needed, so foundational actions became second nature. Through training and building on the basics, one can face and adapt to challenges because of that foundation beneath them.

The same is true with our faith. To face and come through trials with full trust in God from beginning to end, we need to practice the foundations of trust in God so that when a trial plows into us, we know how to react. It is quite simple to begin this foundational training – just pick up your Bible and begin to read.

Once we begin to learn and practice the foundations of our faith to trust God, we can start to superimpose God’s Word in our lives so we can see God in action, whether in retrospect or in our current moments. Being able to superimpose God’s Word in our experiences creates anchors in our lives for us to reference back to for helping us in current and future trials.

Anchors, for me, are pivotal experiences in my life that are, without a doubt, from God operating through the Holy Spirit or another person or other means. These are very clear and lucid moments that when I recall them, and superimpose God’s Word on them, I am re-grounded in the promises and truths of God. This helps me remember that God is in control, not anyone else, including me, but God and God only.

Again, this happens only when I can superimpose the Word of God on those events. If I am not familiar with the attributes or the ways of God as spelled out in His Word, how can I testify with surety that God was involved or not? I could guess, but that would not be a truthful biblically based assessment.

What I am saying is one cannot superimpose the Word of God in and on their lives without being familiar with the Word of God to be able to recognize that He is involved. If you are not familiar with the Bible, how can you know with certainty what is and is not from God in your lives?

Don’t get me wrong; one doesn’t have to be a Bible scholar to imprint the Word of God on their lives – not at all. The great thing is that as we develop and mature as students of our faith, as we study and become more familiar with the Word of God, we will be able to look back in our personal histories and todays and see the truths of God operating in our lives.

This will give us more confidence in His Word, and with more confidence will come more trust in Him for our now and futures, whether in times of trials or blessings.

God Bless!