Friday, January 13, 2023

Trust in the Lord (Proverbs 3:5-8)

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding" (Prov. 3:5).

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” The trust spoken of here “is the trust of the heart, of all the heart,” Bridges wrote. “It is a child-like, unwavering confidence in our Father’s well-proved wisdom, faithfulness, and love.… He is truth itself. Therefore He would have us take Him at His word, and prove His word to the utmost extent of His power. Man with all his pride feels that he wants something to lean to. As a fallen being, he naturally leans to himself, to his own foolish notions and false fancies. Human power is his idol. His understanding is his God.… Many bring God’s truth to their own bar and argue at it, as an excuse for rejecting it.

“Once, indeed, [understanding] gave clear unclouded light, as man’s high prerogative, ‘created in the image of God.’ But now, degraded as it is by the fall and darkened by the corruption of the heart, it must be a false guide. Even in a prophet of God it proved a mistaken counselor (2 Sam. 7:2–5).… The Christian on his knees, as if he cast his understanding away, confesses himself utterly unable to guide his path. But see him in his active life. He carefully improves his mind. He conscientiously follows its dictates. Thus practical faith strengthens, not destroys, [our understanding].

“It is therefore our plain duty not to neglect our understanding, but to cultivate it diligently in all its faculties. In a world of such extended knowledge, ignorance is the fruit of sloth, dissipation, or misguided delusion. But lean not to thine understanding. Lean—trust in the Lord. Self-dependence is folly, rebellion, ruin. ‘The great folly of man in trials’—as Dr. Owen justly remarks—‘is leaning to or upon his own understanding and counsels. What is the issue of it? Whenever in our trials we consult our own understandings, hearken to self-reasonings, though they seem to be good, and tending to our preservation; yet the principle of living by faith is stifled, and we shall in the issue be cast down by our own counsels.’ ”

Walking by faith means obeying and trusting in God even when you don’t have all the facts. Those who lean on the Lord even in the most difficult circumstances have found those glorious seeds of wisdom, from which grows the fruit of peace.

Is there something in your life that you do not understand? The death of a loved one? The loss of a job? A serious illness? Whatever the problem, talk to God about it. Acknowledge that He is in control and trust in His wisdom. If you continue to fret over it, continue to pray about it, daily committing the situation to Him.