Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart
1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments,
2 for length of days and years of life
and peace they will add to you.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
11 My son, do not despise the Lord‘s discipline
or be weary of his reproof,
12 for the Lord reproves him whom he loves,
as a father the son in whom he delights.
I am struggling right now. I feel like Jacob wrestling with God, and losing. Which is how it always turns out, I suppose.
I have always had trust issues. I’m sure it goes back to my childhood, though I can’t pinpoint what about it caused me to doubt every motive and question every word spoken. If you can’t prove it, I don’t believe it. It suits me well in many areas, for I am not easily taken in by fakeness.
But when it comes to God, that inability to trust is not serving me well. I have lost the intimacy I have felt with Him, and I am sure it is in no small part due to the fact that I have these trust issues. Accidents, diseases, deaths, and dysfunctions in my immediate family have just brought me down, step by step, to this place of doubt and lost intimacy. As I’ve been made aware of this trust problem, I’ve been worried about how to regain it. How to talk myself back into fully trusting God. But as James Macdonald says in his devotional on Proverbs 3, I don’t have to have trust in my trust, I just have to trust in the Lord. Instead of focusing on my lack of trust, or my worries and anxieties and doubts, I just need to focus on Who He Is. I will trust Him because He is God.
And I need to fight Satan, because I know ultimately he is the puppet master behind so much of what is going on behind the scenes. Not everything. I know my own sin and hardness of heart play a huge role. And I am at the place of confession, crying out to God to forgive me for those areas. But I am still often blind to Satan’s tactics. I am not fooled by fakeness, but I am fooled by evil, because it often seems to be more real or more true than the truth.
I love how verse 1 says let your heart keep my commandments, because that is my issue exactly. My head can believe one thing but my heart refuses to trust it. Not that everything is ruled by our hearts (because Scripture pretty much tells us that our hearts are not to be trusted), but that if we are obeying with our heads only, we are not loving subjects, we are more like soldiers, and maybe even like soldiers ready at any time to mutiny and take over. James Macdonald has also said, “If your trust in God is limited to your understanding of His ways, you will always have a limited trust.” When we love our captain, we are much more ready to believe that His decisions are right, even when we don’t understand them.
Verse 2… peace! Yes, that’s exactly what I’m missing. In this season when I’m not in loving obedience to God, I’m missing out on peace. There are times when I have peace in a certain stressful situation (praise God for that), but the overarching theme of my life right now is definitely not peace.
Such a familiar bit of Scripture – 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 straight your paths. When my heart doubts that my circumstances are for my good (whether they are straight from God’s will or whether they are the discipline for my own sin or lack of faith that verses 11 and 12 speak of), I need to trust anyway. Because I don’t have to understand. And I don’t have to see. I just have to meditate on the fact that the Lord is good (1 Chronicles 16:34) and He is faithful (Deuteronomy 7:9) and my circumstances and trials will turn out for good (James 1:2-4).
I never know how to end these things. Because I don’t know how to “do” what I want to “do.” I only know that today I’m going to say these verses whenever I struggle. Tomorrow will need its own grace and mercy. But if I’m not wrong, God tells me He will provide it anew each day. I’m going to trust Him for that.