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TRUSTING GOD

PROVERBS 3:5-6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

The grace of God is demonstrated by the fact that He has a plan and purpose for our lives that He wants to reveal to us. It's a pathway He's designed specifically for each one of us, yet some of us may fail to consider this. We move through life without giving God a second thought. Instead of wondering whether our lives have counted for anything, we can choose to believe that the Lord has the best plan for us, discover His path, and get on it as soon as possible. If we don't fully trust God, we may be reluctant to follow the path He's chosen for us.

God commands us to trust Him. Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.

Even though He always leads us the right way, our fears or uncertainty could cause us to sidestep His commands and opt for our own course. This is the kind of confidence we are to have in the Lord. Then whatever He says or requires of us, we will know with certainty that it is right. If we lack trust, we won't follow Him and will find ourselves living outside the will of God.

The basis for trust in God is His sovereignty. He is the divine Ruler over all things and all people at all times. His sovereignty is His wisdom, power, and righteousness all wrapped into one. Sometimes we can't understand why He
allows illness, trouble, or heartache, but we can know that He is a loving and trustworthy God. That's why we're told not to lean on our own understanding. Knowing that He's always gracious, merciful, and kind allows us to rest in His sovereign will for our lives. He knows us intimately and has chosen the exact right path.

The degree to which we are to trust God is with all our heart. Instead of relying on our own knowledge, perception, or reasoning, we should put our total trust in the Lord. Agreement means we believe something is right, but genuine faith responds to that belief with action—we do what God says because we trust Him to guide us the right way. He will make your path straight.

When we follow the Lord's guidance, He protects us from side roads and eliminates obstacles and confusion along the way. In basic terms, the straight path is the one of obedience. We may stumble along the way or need redirection, but God repeatedly brings us back when we have a heart to obey Him. His path isn't always easy, but it's always the best. When we think we can do a better job of plotting our own course for happiness and prosperity, it may look good for a while, but eventually we’ll suffer the wear and tear that comes from taking unprotected detours.

This wholehearted reliance upon the Lord becomes especially important as we walk through difficulties and trials. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

To acknowledge someone is to recognize him. But when we acknowledge God, we are not merely admitting that He exists but confirming that He is our Lord who has authority over us and the right to give us direction in every area of our lives. It's foolish to rely on our own perception because it is so limited, but God's understanding is complete and eternal. (Philippians 4:7)

Why does our Faith waver? Sadly, there are many people who struggle with faith throughout their lives. When we examine what governs them and how they relate to the Lord, we see they are unstable in their faith. They do not fully trust God in some area and are sometimes inconsistent in pursuing a relationship with Him.

  • When trusting God is in conflict with human reason, we will be tempted to doubt. At times, the Father may instruct us to do something that seems illogical. We must always remember that our omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God is not limited to the natural laws that guide our reason.
  • We will waver in our faith when we allow our feelings to rule us. We may think ourselves unworthy of God's favor and blessings. We may also fear the consequences of doing as He says.
  • As long as we are ignorant of God's ways, our faith will continue to stagger.
  • When we focus on circumstances rather than God, our faith may waver. Concentrating on our difficulties is a sure way to make them more daunting than they actually are.
  • Our feelings of guilt about past sins may also impede us from fully trusting the Lord. Sin short‑circuits our faith, destroying our relationship with the Father. We must accept His promise to forgive us completely and realize our pardon is not based on our worthiness, but Christ's sacrifice on the Cross.
  • Our faith will waver if we listen to the enemy's lies. The Devil will try to separate us from God, steal our peace, and trap us in sin. (John 8:44)
  • When we fail to see God at work in our circumstances, we may stagger in our faith. The Lord does not always demonstrate how He is working in our situations, but we must trust Him even when we don't see His activity.
  • Negative counsel from others can often cause us to doubt, so be careful when listening to others' advice.

Unfortunately, when we nurse our unbelief, we leave ourselves open to terrible consequences. We are in danger of:

  • Being double-minded.
  • Becoming unstable in our ways.
  • Missing the blessings of God.
  • Having our faith destroyed.
  • Misleading others about God's character.
  • Losing our influence.
  • Weakening our testimonies
  • Making wrong decisions.
  • Forfeiting our peace.
  • Committing costly mistakes.
  • Being discouraged in prayer.

So how do we overcome our unbelief and steady our faith? How do we conquer our doubts when they arise?

First, we must stop and ask ourselves these questions:

  • Where are these doubts coming from?
  • Has God been faithful to me in the past?
  • Didn't the Lord promise to meet my needs?
  • Don't I have the help of the Holy Spirit?
  • Isn't the Father with me at all times?Is anything hard for God?
  • Is my focus on the Lord as it should be?
  • Could my unbelief in this situation cost me a lifetime of regret?

Second, we must meditate upon the Word of God. The Lord speaks to us in many ways, but one of the primary avenues is through His Word. Therefore, we should study Scripture, deliberately considering how He may be instructing us through each passage and applying His principles to our lives.

Third, we must recall times when God faithfully answered our prayers.

Fourth, we must courageously choose to obey God and leave all the consequences to Him. There will certainly be times when it takes a great deal of faith to obey God. But when you are walking in an intimate relationship with Him, He will give you the confidence to take the leap.

When you live without faith in God, you are limited by your own strength and must endure difficulties without His awesome ability to help you. It is a terrible way to live and is certainly not what the Father wants for you. The Lord desires to show you His grace, love, and generosity, but your unbelief is hindering you from experiencing it. Trust God with every detail of your life and make your relationship with Him your first priority. Be confident in His presence, power, and provision, and His peace will fill your heart.

What event/situation/person has caused your faith to waver? If you overcame that doubt, how did you do it?  If you are still struggling, whose godly, Biblical wisdom can you seek?

Often, God's answer to our prayers about challenging circumstances is "Trust Me!” This is because the first step in overcoming our difficulties is to focus on the Father and have faith in His direction. We can be assured that the Lord will lead us in the best way possible because He loves us unconditionally. When we have faith in God, it glorifies Him. Unfortunately, when we fail to trust the Father, it dishonors Him.

Numbers chapters 13 and 14 give one of the most devastating examples of unbelief. It occurred when the people of Israel gathered at the edge of Canaan—the Promised Land. Although God had faithfully delivered them from Egypt and led them successfully through the wilderness, they were still unwilling to trust Him. God commanded the Israelites to send 12 spies into Canaan to inspect the fruit of the region. Sadly, only two returned with positive reports of the land, which flowed with milk and honey. The other 10 spies were more focused on their inability to overthrow the inhabitants than they were on God's great provision for them. (Numbers 13:31)

The people of Israel experienced a faith failure. Even though God had promised to give them the land, they refused to believe Him. They considered the obstacles simply too immense to overcome. Regrettably, this faith failure resulted in 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, and an entire generation of Israelites missed the blessings of the Promised Land.

Likewise, we experience faith failures when we refuse to trust God in our own challenges, temptations, and difficulties. These are some causes of failing faith:

Fear of failure. When we consider our trials from our own ability to handle them, it is normal to become afraid. However, it is not up to us to solve our problems. This is God's responsibility. David understood this. (Psalm 27:1)

Listening to false information. We must always be careful about whom we ask for advice. Others may not understand what the Lord is accomplishing in our lives or what He's promised us. They may counsel us in a way that works contrary to His will. We must obey Him regardless of what others say.

Failing to recall the power of God in past situations. The Lord is intimately involved in our lives, blessing us and working through our circumstances to reveal His goodness to us. However, it is easy to forget this when we're focused on our problems. This is why it is always necessary for us to actively recount the ways the Father has worked in our lives. It gives us confidence He will help us again.

Failing to consider God's perspective. The Lord desires that we learn to depend upon Him. (1 Thessalonians 5:24)

Focusing on the obstacles rather than God. We catalog our weaknesses and dwell on what we lack, imagining our trials to be much larger than they actually are. This shows our focus is misplaced. Instead we must pray to God, who is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. When we keep our eyes on Him, we will see the difficulties in the proper perspective.

When we refuse to believe that God will do as He's promised, we can experience devastating consequences. We are in danger of:

  • Suffering disappointment.
  • Developing a distorted view of our trials.
  • Causing others to suffer
  • .Blaming others for our failings.
  • Missing life at its best.
  • Experiencing God's correction.

So how do we keep our faith from failing?

We must turn to God's Word, for Scripture not only gives us courage to move forward with God's commands, but it also keeps us connected to His unfailing love and presence.

We must plant the right seeds in our minds and hearts. We must examine what we tell ourselves. Do we think about how God has helped us in the past and the promises of His Word, or do we rehearse our failings?

We must keep our focus on God. We have no reason to fail as long as our focus is on our all-knowing, all-powerful, and ever-present Lord.

Is your faith floundering? Are you facing an overwhelming challenge that seems much greater than you can handle? Are you doubtful that there can be a good outcome to the problem you're encountering? It may very well be that your focus is distorted and you're in danger of failing to trust the Father. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

So do not allow your faith to fail. Instead, place your trust in God's provision with complete confidence that He will never let you down. In what aspects of your life are you still not fully trusting God?

Throughout Scripture, it has been made evident that God honors faith. Our wholehearted belief in the Lord is important because, when we truly place our trust in Him, the Savior is glorified. Unfortunately, we often face many obstacles to our faith. As we encounter situations that cause us to question God's involvement in our lives, our trust in Him can waver. Some of these obstacles are:

Human Reason. At times, the Lord may command ­us to do something that appears absolutely unreasonable. His instruction defies logic from our point of view. However, we will miss His best blessings if we fail to do what He asks.

Living by Sight.

We must trust Him even when we don't see Him working.

 

Surrendering to Our Feelings. There are times when we reach the limit of our emotions. Feelings of insecurity or inadequacy paralyze us and stop us from proceeding. But God wants us to push through those emotions and trust Him.

Feelings of Guilt. Our regret of past sins may impede us from fully trusting the Lord. But we must always remember the Father forgives us on the basis of Christ's shed blood on the cross, not by our own merit.

Neglecting the Word of God. Daily study and meditation upon Scripture is absolutely vital to our faith.

Continuing in Sin. When we insist on holding on to habits and behaviors, we lose the ability to believe God for all He wants to do in our lives.

Satan's Tactics. The enemy will do whatever he can to thwart our devotion to the Lord. Never believe the Devil's lies.

We cannot allow unbelief to drive us away from the Lord. Instead, we must focus on His unfailing character, taking Hebrews 11:6 to heart. When we do so, we can move through the stages of faith, which are:

Little or restless faith. The person with little faith says, "I think the Lord can do as He says, but I'm not certain He will." He or she struggles to believe in God's promises. The disciples displayed this weak confidence in the Lord in Matthew 8:23-27. Jesus slept while a great storm arose on the Sea of Galilee. Overcome with fear because of the thrashing winds and the waves pouring over the side of the boat, the disciples woke. Him saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing!" (v. 25). He responded, "Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?" (v. 26). Their focus was on what they were seeing and feeling instead of the fact that the Son of God was with them.

Great or maturing faith. The person with great faith trusts the Word of God and relies on the unfailing character of the Lord. He or she says, "Not only do I know the Father can help me, I am sure He will." When we read 1 Samuel chapter 17, we see that David showed this deep reliance upon the Lord when he fought Goliath. So did the woman in Matthew 9:20-22 who touched the hem of Jesus' garment and was healed. They had great faith and could trust God's timing and provision, regardless of how their circumstances appeared.

Perfect or resting faith. People with perfect faith say, "God has promised me, so I trust what He has said is already accomplished." They no longer ask the Lord for the desires of their hearts. Instead, they thank Him that His perfect provision is already fulfilled—whether they presently see it or not.

How strong is your faith?

You trust that God can help you, but do you really believe that He will?

Do you need to see evidence of His activity in your situation in order to rely upon Him?

Or do you trust that His promises to you are already fulfilled regardless of what you see and feel?

Perfect faith is the Father's goal for each of His children, but it does not occur overnight. You must read God's Word, make sure your heart is clean, and surrender your life to Him completely—trusting that He has the most wonderful plan for your life.

What stage of faith are you currently experiencing?

What might you do to strengthen your faith?

Does your behavior positively reflect the Lord and His goodness?

Do you exhibit faith in a way that shows God's sovereignty in your life?

Walking with the Lord Jesus is the most exiting life a person can live.

  • Your eternal home in Heaven is assured.
  • The opportunities ahead are full of hope.
  • You have the very best Companion on the path of life that anyone could desire—the living God.

Although being saved is a one-time experience, you have entered into a relationship with the Lord that is continuous. But what can you expect on this daily walk with Him?

First, you are assured that you will get to know God in an intimate and personal way.

Second, you will discover His will and purpose for your life.

Third, you will learn to listen to and obey Him.

Fourth, you will experience His unfailing presence, power, and wisdom in your life.

Fifth, you will learn to walk by faith.

God wants you to grow. Many people accept Christ as their Savior and do not realize this is only the beginning of their relationships with Him. Some believe they can stay where they feel safe and comfortable and merely talk about trusting God. The Father desires more than that for each of us. His plan is that we mature in our knowledge and understanding of His ways—living vibrant lives in obedience to Him. Many believers are not being used by the Lord because they're unwilling to rely on Him. But if a person is to advance in his or her faith, dependence upon God is absolutely critical.

You have the presence, power, and wisdom of almighty God to help you through anything you must face in life. You can have complete confidence that He will do as He has promised. And you can trust Him to increase your faith through facing and overcoming adversity and trials.

Here is the challenge for you. Take a moment to evaluate your life. Is there anything that the Spirit of God brings to your attention that you know doesn't fit who you are as His child? If so, then it is hindering your walk of faith with the Father. Deal with the issues that cause your confidence in the Lord to waiver, and embrace the ways He grows your faith. The Lord has awesome plans for your future. Don't miss out on experiencing life at its very best. Our faith grows when we confess our faith failures to God. The Father will not reject us because we've failed. He wants to forgive us, give us another opportunity, and bring us back into an unhindered relationship with Himself. When we fully experience His unconditional love, it will deepen our trust in Him and help us continue growing in our Christian walk

THE INVITATION

You can't depend on your own goodness to get to Heaven. We've all sinned  (Romans 3:23). Jesus paid the penalty for your sins with His death on the cross and His resurrection (John 3:16).

To be forgiven and be guaranteed a place in Heaven, you need to repent of sin, confess that you are a sinner, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in your heart (Acts 2:21).

You can use the following prayer or your own words, but you must actually believe in your heart that your prayer is real:

Lord Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God. I confess that I have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed. Please forgive all my wrongdoing and let me live in relationship with You from now on. I receive You as my Savior and recognize that the work You accomplished once and for all on the cross was done on my behalf.

Thank You for saving me. Help me to live a life that is pleasing to You. In Your name I pray, Amen.