by Pastor Scott
What is trust?
The dictionary defines it as a firm belief in the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing; confidence or reliance. It goes on to say that trust is to believe, to expect confidently or hope, like “I trust that the job will soon be finished.”
When I think about trust as it pertains to the Bible, the verse that always comes to mind is from a song I’ve sung in worship. It’s from Proverbs 3, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”
Trust is a very important part of a healthy relationship, but it’s something that many people struggle with, for a lot of different reasons.
Maybe you have trust issues. The ability to trust is based on many factors, it may be our personality, life experiences, beliefs or values. It may be the culture that we live in or even our emotional maturity. It may also be a combination of factors that lead us to be able to trust or not to trust in someone or something. Not being able to trust can hold us back from experiencing true joy and fulfillment in life and especially in relationships.
Often our lack of trust comes from unrealistic expectations. Trust usually isn’t something people openly talk about or address in relationships until it’s been broken, and by then it’s often too late to salvage the relationship. I know that when things happen in life that hurt us, we tend to place blame somewhere else. When we expect certain things in life to happen and they don’t, we may even blame God for those things. A better way is to talk with Him about our pain and disappointment and look to Him to get us through and teach us how to trust.
Trust is also something that is broken through past hurts. It’s critical to not let our past hurts dictate our present relationships. Sue Augustine, author of When Your Past Is Hurting Your Present says, “You may not be able to control what happens to you, but you can control what happens within you.” I think that not only deals with trust, but also with forgiveness and the decision to extend grace to others.
Trust is as vital to healthy relationships as oxygen is to a scuba diver; survival is impossible without it.
Psalm 56 tells us that “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust…” and Jeremiah 17 says, “Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.”
Here are some strategies to help you trust the Lord:
Keep your expectations realistic. Don’t expect people to be perfect and don’t expect life to be perfect. And when you hit a bump in life, roll over it, learn from it and move on.
Think more about God and less of yourself. Give God the credit for what He is doing in your life. The Bible is full of those who put their trust firmly on the Lord, and they were very blessed.
Run from Evil. Run, don’t walk. The world we live in works to ruin our relationship with God. Running from evil and pursuing God is not something that’s always natural to us, but it’s important that we do it.
Put God first in your life. I always tell my pre-marriage couples that God should be first in their lives and their spouse number two. I often get a questioning look back, but when you think about it, if God is first, our relationships with others always benefits.
Check yourself with God’s word. Be honest and compare how you are living and the words you are saying with God’s word. We are not perfect, but the closer your life lines up with God’s word, the richer and more effective your life will be. God’s word is convicting at times, but always to your benefit.
Listen to the Holy Spirit. This past week I gave a message on the Holy Spirit and how this gift from God can empower us to do great things here on earth. Trust is one of those great things.
And finally, rest in God’s love. We all face difficult times in our lives, and when we put our trust in God’s love, we know that God sticks with us and uses those challenges to shape us.
When you trust in the Lord, you’ll feel as if the weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders. God will make something beautiful of your life, but He needs your trust in Him to do it.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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