The Eternal Power of Trust

Danny Peters
“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.”
-George MacDonald

Trust is a tricky beast.

It can be as lasting as it is fleeting, as nebulous as it is definite, and as rock-solid as it is transitory. Trust is hard-won and hard-earned yet desperately easily lost.

Trust, in many ways, is everything especially in any sort of meaningful or serious relationship — be it marriage, close friendship, or even a professional connection. Trust is an elemental force that binds us together as a society. Trust leads to growth and trust unites, never divides.

Truth is nothing matters much more than trust in this crazy old world of ours.

The Bible is clear on trust and more specifically where we need to place it, as these verses in Proverbs remind us:

Proverbs 3:5–6 (ESV)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Now there’s a lot going on here.

We’re told to trust God with all our heart: not some of it, not a bit or a part of it, but all of it. We’re reminded not to trust our own ways of thinking. Trust me, no pun intended, that’s often a fast track to disaster, as I can personally attest from time to time in my life. Can I get an amen someone?

We’re also encouraged to acknowledge God in all our ways — there’s that word “all” again — and the result is he will set us right, making straight our paths. Put more simply, trusting in God is the way forward. We need to give it all to him — lock stock and smoking barrel. We can cast our worries, ephemeral or lasting, onto him and not fear. It’s quite the pair of verses, isn’t it?

This notion of trust is built on in Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 17:7–8 (ESV)
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

The inference here is pretty clear. Come what may, and let’s be honest for a minute here, life has a quiver full of slings and arrows ready to fire at you at a moment’s notice, we need to trust God. We can rest assured that the Lord has got us regardless of the individual and personal circumstances we face. Regardless. And not only can we trust that God has us, but our faith and trust in him can also lead to a life of fulfillment and happiness. Like Psalm 56, verse four reminds us.

Psalm 56:4 (ESV)
In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?

This brings to mind one of my favorite Bible verses from John.

John 16:33 (NIV)
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Now there’s a promise right there, huh?

Side note, here: Ask Pastor Trav for his favorite Bible verse if you ever get the chance. You can measure his response not by minutes or hours but by days on a calendar. Sorry, P-Trav, I kid, I kid but only sort of. Back to trust, though, and maybe after that last paragraph I’m writing my last midweek devotional, here’s another important aspect of trust.

Psalm 28:7 (ESV)
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.

This verse tells us that trust can bring us joy which is the definition of the fancier word “exult” used here. (And yeah, I did Google it just to make sure.) That’s some promise, though isn’t it? Trust brings us joy.

Trust is also about obedience which is a word my son Theo, my rambunctious two and a quarter-year-old bundle of energy and excitement, needs to learn a little more about; I love my boy so much, I should add, he’s my precious beautiful gift from God — the son I prayed for my whole life. But obedience (a bit like his Daddy to be fair) isn’t his strong suit. There’s an old hymn that encapsulates this thought, written by a Presbyterian minister, John H. Sammis all the way back in 1887. It’s called “Trust and Obey” and it’s one I used to sing in church growing up.

So, this week, think about the areas in which you don’t put all your trust in God. What do you need to give over to our Lord anew this week? Perhaps even write them down and then spend some time doing just that. As the old hymn goes:

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.