Trust in the Lord. This is the anthem of Christianity. Well, this year has been filled with one test after another where God has clearly shown me I am not fully trusting Him with my parenting or my marriage.
It’s funny because if you had asked me a year ago if I understood about trusting in the Lord in difficult times I would have preached it to you straight. But then this year came in and knocked me down again. Again I have had to go back to the Lord and say, “I’m sorry for not trusting You. Help my unbelief.”
The Struggle To Trust in the Lord With All My Heart
This is where I struggle with the whole trust in the Lord with all your heart verses. I know God is good and faithful and trustworthy and righteous and just and kind and compassionate and over all things. But I’ve also seen God allow rape and murder and suicide and mental health and trauma and war and incest and divorce and abuse and homelessness and starvation and…
So God is good, but God doesn’t stop all the bad things…
Trusting A Good God Who Allows Suffering
Understand that I am not a Bible Scholar or a Theologian by any means. This will not answer the age-old debate about how we can call God good while also acknowledging that He allows suffering in the world. I don’t have that answer. Rather, I will speak from my own experience with this good God as I struggle with the call to trust in the Lord with all thine heart.
God didn’t stop the bad things in my personal life. Rape, abuse, betrayal, hunger, poverty, sickness, divorce, miscarriage…
Neither did He stop the bad things all around my life. Murder, suicide, infidelity, abuse, betrayal, homelessness, crippling mental illness, debilitating injury and illness, cancer, addiction, overdose… I see them with my own eyes.
In most cases, as I look back over the bad things, I can see how God used them for good… but they were not good.
I can see how He has given me a testimony that can reach many through compassion and understanding because of the trauma I’ve survived… but it was traumatic and painful.
Why Trust Him Regardless of the Hard?
Trusting God through trauma and pain has been a lifelong struggle. Why trust Him anyway?
- He is real.
- I know because of the countless answered prayers.
- Miracles are real.
- I’ve seen Him move miraculously when no other explanation fits.
- His peace is overwhelming.
- I’ve felt it in the midst of trauma.
- The joy of the Lord really brings strength.
- I’ve walked in it through many seasons.
- He speaks and moves and changes things right in front of my eyes.
Why trust in the Lord with all your heart as Proverbs 3:5 instructs? I know my answer is experiential, but no amount of Trusting God in difficult times Bible verses speak to me as well as my own history with the Lord when trials begin. Anyone else?
God Doesn’t Always Quiet the Storm But He Quiets His Child
One of my favorite trust in the lord quotes is, “God doesn’t always quiet the storm, but He quiets His child in the storm.” I don’t know who said it, but I have found it is true.
So, when last year began to ramp up toward a crisis like I’ve never experienced and I began to be tempted to not trust Him, I had to remind myself of all the ways He has been good to me… Notice I didn’t remind myself of all the ways He has saved me or rescued me… because experience has proved He doesn’t always rescue me from the storms. He does, however, hold me together through the storms.
He holds me together through the trials and on the other side I know Him better, understand Him more, and have grown in ways I never imagined possible. The storms are worth it if just for that. But the storms are difficult.
What The Bible Says About Trusting the Lord
Reminding myself of all the ways God has been good to me is often enough to get my mind back to trusting Him. Then this year hit so hard I began to doubt even my own experiences. I literally had to go all the way back to the beginning of this faith journey.
I asked what the Bible says about trusting the Lord. A lot. The answer is a lot. The exact words, “Trust in the Lord,” is found about 200 times. But the concept of trust in the Lord verses and phrases is found over 350 times through the Scriptures.
Let’s look at a few together for context
What is the Scripture Trust in the Lord and Do Good?
“Trust in the Lord and do good;
Live in the land and cultivate faithfulness.” (Psalm 37:3 NASB)
The Bible tells us to trust God, it says it over and over, and many times it is tied to something we are supposed to do. In Psalm 37 we see the command to live in the land (which can be challenging) and to cultivate or grow faithfulness. In other words, keep trusting the Lord while you live through challenges.How Do you actually trust in the Lord with all your heart? Did you know there are specific directions? Learn more here! Click To Tweet
Those Who Trust in the Lord
What helps me in some seasons is that there are promises tied to the Scriptures about trusting in the Lord.
“But those who trust in the Lord for help
will find their strength renewed.
They will rise on wings like eagles;
they will run and not get weary;
they will walk and not grow weak.” (Isaiah 40:31 GNT)
Living in this world can be filled with struggles. Period. But, those who keep trying to trust Him receive the blessing of His strength and endurance.
We NEED His strength and endurance to live life in this world while growing in faithfulness. It is another testament to the goodness of God that He provides exactly what we need.
Those Who Trust in the Lord are Like Mount Zion
“Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
which can never be shaken, never be moved.” (Psalm 125:1 GNT)
Mount Zion is a place of strength and promise and blessing and hope for the people of God. To be compared to Mount Zion when we choose to trust God is huge. It is a promise that when life is difficult when the storms come, we do not have to be shaken or moved. We can choose trust and stability in the storm.
Those Who Put Their trust in the Lord
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose trust is the Lord.
For he will be like a tree planted by the water
That extends its roots by a stream,
And does not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought,
Nor cease to yield fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8 NASB)
So we will be unshakable, given strength and endurance for this challenging life, but there is more! Another blessing for those who put their trust in the Lord is a fruitful life. We will be like a healthy, nourished tree of life that bears fruit even when there is a drought.
They That Trust in the Lord
“In you our fathers trusted;
they trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried and were rescued;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.” (Psalm 22:4-5 ESV)
The years of drought will come. Life will be challenging. Storms will swell up threatening to shake us and wreck us. But trusting in the Lord brings deliverance and rescue. Not always in the way we asked for deliverance or rescue, but in the way God knew we needed.
Something else I love about this passage is the promise that there is no shame in asking for deliverance. Sometimes I feel bad asking for help, but that is not of the LORD!
Put Your Trust in the Lord
“Be angry, and do not sin;
ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah
Offer right sacrifices,
and put your trust in the Lord.” (Psalm 4:4-5 ESV)
Then there is this promise that when we trust in the Lord, we can overcome temptation. It is so helpful to know because there are times when the temptation to not trust comes in, especially at night in bed when all the things are running through my mind. In those moments we can trust and know that He has it all under control.
Trust In The Lord With All Your Heart
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5 NASB)
Okay, so I left this one for last on purpose. It is one thing to trust Him, but all my heart is another thing altogether. It doesn’t matter if you learned Proverbs 3:5 as trust in the Lord with all your heart KJV, NIV, NKJV, or NASB, it is challenging!
We will spend the rest of our time studying it specifically.
What is The Meaning of Proverbs 3:5?
When people say I will trust in the Lord, they are often thinking about Proverbs 3:5-6. If you’ve been around Hope Joy in Christ for very long, you know that is one of my life verses.
“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 your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB)
Still, I have so many questions about it as I wrestle through a season of life that has almost knocked me out.
- How do you trust in the Lord with ALL your heart?
- How do you ignore what you understand about life in the midst of the hard?
- Is it possible to acknowledge God in all your ways?
- Does He really make your path straight or direct your path?
These answers to the questions become clear when we look at the passage in context. To do that we need to go back to the beginning of the chapter.
Notice, that with each way to trust the Lord we are given a blessing. It encourages my weary soul and I pray will refresh you as well.
1. Know The Word
Christians often quote Proverbs 3:5-6 as a stand-alone passage, but did you know the entire chapter is amazing? The Author of this song begins by instructing us to be mindful of the teachings of the Lord!
My son, do not forget my teaching,
But have your heart comply with my commandments;
For length of days and years of life
And peace they will add to you. (Proverbs 3:1-2 NASB)
When you remember and cherish God’s Word, peace will be added to you. Peace and long life are the promises given to those who trust in the Lord!
2. Keep Mercy and Truth
Next, we are instructed to keep kindness or mercy and truth. In fact, we are told to bind them around our necks so we can never forget the. Wow! This has to do with forgiving others and turning from the false in our lives.
“Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and a good reputation
In the sight of God and man.” (Proverbs 3:3-4 NASB)
There is also a promise given for this instruction. Favor and a good reputation both with God and man are the results of trusting in the Lord in this way.
3. Pursue Humility
Humility. Trusting in the Lord requires us to admit we are not in control, we do not know the next right step and we can not survive this storm without the guidance of the Lord.
“Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.” (Proverbs 3:7-8 NASB)
Did you catch the blessing of humility? Healing for our body and refreshment for our bones will follow. I need that. How about you?
Related Post: Why Jesus is the Rock that Never Leaves Me
4. Honor God With Your Stuff
God has provided for you. One significant way we prove we trust God is when we honor Him with what He has provided. This is about tithing, giving of the first portion of your gain to the LORD. However, this is also about living with open hands to help those in need with your treasure as well as your time and talents.
“Honor the Lord from your wealth,
And from the first of all your produce;
Then your barns will be filled with plenty,
And your vats will overflow with new wine.” (Proverbs 3:9-10 NASB)
This is not the first time that giving is promised to bless the giver. Here we see that you will not want for the things that you need when you are generous.
Related Post: How To Really Give Your Life To God in Full Surrender
5. Accept Correction
When we live in humility we recognize that we are wrong at times (many times) and need correction. The Lord shows His love through discipline. Accepting the discipline of the Lord shows we are trusting in the Lord with all our hearts!
“My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord
Or loathe His rebuke,
For whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
Just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.” (Proverbs 3:11-12 NASB)
The blessing here is one we often overlook. Discipline proves God’s love to us. If He didn’t love us He wouldn’t bother to correct us. The love of God is a beautiful blessing.
6. Find Wisdom
The last piece of knowing we are trusting in the Lord is both a blessing and a proof. As we grow in our trust we gain wisdom, but to trust requires wisdom. Gaining wisdom requires us to set aside foolishness and childishness and actively pursue wisdom. See the confusing piece.
“Blessed is a person who finds wisdom,
And one who obtains understanding.
For her profit is better than the profit of silver,
And her produce better than gold...” (Proverbs 3:13-18 NASB)
The blessing of growing in trust and wisdom is something that can’t easily be compared. It is compared to profit, jewels, pleasant ways, a tree of life, and happiness. Wisdom is something we need in order to trust the Lord.
Trust in the Lord With All Your Heart Meaning
Understanding Proverbs 3 helps us grasp the trust in the Lord with all your heart meaning. To say I will trust in the Lord is to say I will seek the Lord, honor the Lord, and rely fully on the Lord. Just think through the 6 ways to trust in the Lord that we explored.
- Know the Word
- Keep mercy and truth
- Pursue humility
- Honor God with your stuff
- Accept Correction
- Find Wisdom
Notice that they build on each other. This is a process you can begin with a single step and one step will lead to the next.
Read the Word
To know the Word, you must read the Bible. It makes sense as the first step right? To trust God you need to know God. To know God you have to know what He says and become familiar with His voice. He speaks primarily through the Bible.
Are you reading the Bible?
Do you need help starting?
Here is a FREE 40-day devotional series: 40-Day Fast Guide: Be Still and Know God More
Related Post: How to Read The Bible Daily in 4 Steps
Turn Away From Vengeance and Falsehood
To keep mercy and truth you must turn away from vengeance and falsehood. This is about forgiving others and turning toward the truth.
How are you with forgiveness?
If this is an area of struggle I have a whole series to help you learn and apply it heart-deep: 7 Ways to Embrace the Power of Forgiveness
I battle pride in such a big way. My way is the best way… if not the only way… in my mind most days. It’s ugly! To pursue humility you must fight pride. Fighting pride is about admitting God’s way is better, His timing is better, and releasing my own preferences about things.
Easier said than done right?
How do we embrace humility? Lots of prayer. How is your prayer life?
Fight Selfish Greed
We saw that giving to others is a way to trust in the Lord with all your heart. The problem with giving is selfishness, greed, self-centeredness, and fear.
I added fear to the list because for me not giving freely is about a fear that I will not have enough. Do you ever feel that way? There have been times in my life when there wasn’t enough. I long to avoid those times.
But giving to the Lord and to others is listed as a way to trust Him. Remember the promise of generosity is that God will meet our needs.
To honor God with our stuff we must fight the urge to be greedy, self-seeking, self-serving, or fearful.
Humility and giving and forgiving all flow from a heart that trusts in the Lord. They lead us to a place of acknowledging our sins and faults and allowing the Holy Spirit to change us. It is tough to admit my faults though. Anyone else?
The truth though is plain here. To accept the Lord’s loving correction we must acknowledge our faults. And remember that knowing we are loved is the benefit of this. I want that. Do you? So let’s lean toward Him in humility here.
Related Post: Powerful War Room Prayers for Spiritual Battle
Put Away Childish Things
Wisdom is a sign we have spent some time trusting God. To find wisdom we must put away childish things and foolish things. It is hard to adult some days. But setting aside childish things or foolish things is necessary for faith to grow.
If we refuse to put away childish things we resist God’s hand in our lives Pride is the hallmark of children. We can not trust Him and walk in pride.
How do we set aside childish things? Work on the first steps and you will find it falling away slowly.
I Will Trust In The Lord Today. How Will You?
The season is difficult. The storm is swelling with waves so high I can not stay afloat. Still, I will trust in the Lord today. How? I will go back to the first things and re-enforce what God has taught me for years. That is usually what is needed. Can you relate? Not a new lesson, but a review.
What is Philippians 4:13 and how does it apply to trusting the Lord?
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 NASB)
God will supply all our needs. We can trust Him because He does just that. He never leaves us and He always takes care of us… even if it feels like He has forgotten or His plan is crazy… we can trust Him.
in HIS love,
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