We all trust in a lot of people and processes and systems all the time, everyday of our life! In fact, we’re all trusting in so many ways that we don’t even think about it anymore. We trust the mail will be delivered. We trust the traffic lights to work. We trust our cars to start each time we get in them. We trust that we’ll have a warm shower each morning. We trust Dunkin Donuts will have our favorite donut when we arrive or Starbucks to always have the food we like and coffee.
When it comes to trusting the Lord for truly important things like health, and jobs and safety and protection, if we’re honest, we’ll all admit times when we find it very difficult to trust in the Lord. For me, those are the times when I jump the gun and take matters into my own hands. You know what I mean? – When things aren’t going the way you want at your job or at home or in ministry, you try and push things along. You don’t wait. Your patience is running thin. You want to act! You want to lean on your own understanding of what you’ve heard and seen and experienced before. The temptation is to rely on your own sense of what’s best. And in my experience, when I don’t trust the Lord and I don’t wait on his leading – but instead jump the gun like a runner jumping out of the starting block before the gun is fired in a race – then that’s when things start going wrong. Has that happened to you? Trust.
When life doesn’t go our way… or our prayers are not answered the way we want… it has an effect on us. If we let disappointment and discouragement and fear creep into our soul, our trust in the Lord erodes. It raises questions in our minds: Is God really there? Does he really listen? Why doesn’t he respond? Anxiety… worry… fear… apprehension… fretting… anger at God… all of that erodes trust. So, here’s the challenge for us: our trust in the Lord cannot depend on circumstances or even answers to prayer. You cannot trust only when it’s a beautiful morning and everything’s goin’ your way with little or very few problems. That’s situational trust. When the storm rolls in and the situation goes south, what happens then? Listen to the beautiful way the OT Prophet Habakkuk says it: Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. (Habakkuk 3:17-18) Let me paraphrase the last part: “yet I will trust in God my Savior”. That is powerful! This is where we all need to get to.
This kind of trust is not built on circumstances, answers to prayer, success, prosperity, good health, pain-free living or anything else you can think of that you would like to have. The depth of relationship you have with Jesus is revealed in your level of trust during hard times. Or put another way: the deeper your relationship (with Jesus), the deeper you trust. The more you experience the presence and power of God inside you, the more you trust him. The more you know him, the more you trust him. The closer you walk with him thru the valley of the shadow of death, the more you learn to trust him no matter what. Trust is built on deep, abiding relationship with Jesus.