Revisiting ‘Trust’

This past week communities in Florida and Georgia felt the force of Hurricane Irma as it made its way across the southeastern United States. Trees were downed and large areas without power are still common. (We personally lost power for 24 hours.) In the meantime, folks in Houston Texas continue to recover from the unprecedented flooding that occurred in the wake of Hurricane Harvey only a few weeks before. With so many people forced to do without power and basic services, as a part of my month long retrospective on the 5 year history of my blog, today seems the perfect day to bring an updated version of a post reminding believers of what it means to trust the Lord.

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“Trust the Lord”

What would you do if there were a major disaster that affected a large area of the country? How would you provide for your family or yourself if the food supply was interrupted or there was a widespread power outage for an extended time? Could you survive if the banks were shut down and you had no access to your money?

A survey from a few years ago revealed that a stunning 55% of Americans believe that if a major catastrophe occurred, they would expect the government to take care of them, providing such basic needs as water, food and shelter. The same poll showed that 48% of Americans have no basic emergency supplies, 53% don’t have a 3 day supply of food and water stored in their homes, and 44% do not even own a first aid kit!

Many people prefer to not think about possible disaster scenarios and just go along with their lives, believing that because nothing has happened so far, then nothing bad will ever happen… at least not in their lifetime. Christians tend to put a more spiritual spin on the same kind of thinking, saying that in lieu of basic plans, they are just “trusting the Lord.” But I think there’s a lot of confusion about what trusting in God means, especially in the context of a practical discussion like planning for the future.

Here’s a simple example. My daughter is getting married in October. For most of this year, we’ve been making plans, purchasing items, consulting event providers and amassing a variety of things in a central location to await the ‘big day.’ You know why I have been doing all this work? Because I believe Matthew and Laura when they said they are getting married this fall. That’s a brief illustration of essentially what it means to trust the Lord… that is, believe what He says and act on it.

The truth is, on a human level, we do this all the time … Haven’t you taken the advice of someone you hardly know on a health issue, a new dietary regime, or a financial investment? Have you ever gone to (or avoided) a restaurant, tried a vacation spot, or bought something new based solely on the recommendation of a friend or the review of a someone you don’t even know? How much more should we be willing to adjust our lifestyles based upon on the trustworthy Word of our God!! Of course, there is a careful balance to maintain. Our preparations are never to be our source of security, but at the same time, having nothing in store for the future isn’t a sign of faith either… instead it might very well be an indicator of a lack of belief.

So whenever we think about the future, we need to ask, what does God’s Word say about the subject? All it takes is a quick scan of Proverbs to find an astounding number of verses about saving and being prepared. For example:

In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has. – Proverbs 21:2

Go to the ant you lazy person. Consider her ways and be wise, who having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer and gathers her food in the harvest. -Proverbs 6:6-8

A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it. -Proverbs 22:3

The wise man saves for the future but the foolish man spends whatever he gets. – Proverbs 21:20

The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty. – Proverbs 21:5

Local Store Shelves during Hurricane Irma

If we consider the agricultural communities to which the Proverbs were written, we realize that their whole lives revolved around growing, gathering and storing for the future. There were no governmental agencies to save them, and no bail out if they didn’t plan. The ultimate consequence of not preparing for winter and beyond was starvation or death. Taking basic survival measures (then or now) isn’t a lack of faith in God to provide; instead, the Bible commends it as wisdom.

The principle I want you to walk away with today is one that goes much deeper than whether to store extra supplies or not. I really want you to consider carefully what following Jesus is all about. Trusting in the Lord isn’t complicated or mysterious. It simply means you believe what He said and act on it. He has given us His guidelines and commands for wise and godly living, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we need to commit ourselves to make whatever changes are necessary to bring our lives into conformity with what He says on every topic or issue that concerns us.

Simply put, belief is demonstrated by action.

If we really believe, we follow through and change how we behave. As Christian author David Platt writes, “Jesus’ call to follow Him is more than an invitation to pray a prayer. It’s a summons to lose your life. … and find new life in Him.”

 

Jesus said, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice.
He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.
But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation.
The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
Luke 6:46-49

 

16 thoughts on “Revisiting ‘Trust’

  1. Great post Karen. I believe planning is part of trusting God. It is an evidence that we believe in what He has said. The parable of the 10 virgins is a parallel example. When we plan, it means we are setting ourselves up for divine partnership and intervention. Proverbs 16:1

  2. Karen, I love this post. This is something I am excited to read about because yes there is confusion in the Christian churches about it. We need true teaching, not over spiritualizing things and not undermining God’s word either. Thanks for this wisdom and reminding us we really can look to scripture for guidance for our day to day living!

    1. The wonderful thing about the scripture is that it does give practical guidance for daily living as well as spiritual wisdom that leads to eternal life. We just need to learn to consult it before we make decisions that lead to disaster! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Thank you for sharing this message! God’s word reassures us in the times of trouble. His promises give us the strength to persevere. I place my trust in Him. Psalm 31:14, “But I trust in you, LORD; I say, “You are my God.” (NIV)

  4. This was incredibly thought provoking! It’s not wildly off track to either side (apocalyptic fearful hoarding OR we don’t need water-we have the Bible nonsense)
    This is solid stuff.
    I felt something just click for me today when I read this. That ah ha. This is it! The balance I’m looking for grounded firmly in the word.
    I feel very grateful for this article!

    1. Thanks Dawna. We do need to find balance in planning for the unforeseen future. It’s so easy to fall into fear and then think that our efforts can save us. Of course, we need to do what we can to be responsible and wise, without falsely believing that we can rely on ourselves without Him.

  5. “…having nothing in store for the future isn’t a sign of faith either… instead it might very well be an indicator of a lack of belief.” Amen! It would greatly benefit many Christians to realize the truth behind this statement. Far too many believers use the “I trust the Lord” card as an excuse for not planning for the inevitable “troubles” Jesus said we would encounter in this world (John 16:33). Failing to plan ahead is actually disregarding His warning, or simply put, not believing Him. I believe there will be more trying times for us Christians, especially here in America. It is quite evident that we are becoming a very painful thorn in an increasingly immoral society. The question is, will we only trust God to keep us from harm or will we also trust Him enough to prepare for WHEN persecution comes? Thank you, Karen, for this eye-opening reminder.

    1. For generations, it has cost people relatively nothing to be a Christian, but as you said, those times are coming to a close fast. So we need to take Jesus’ warning about coming persecution seriously and not be surprised when it arrives. Plan now. Endure later! Thanks for the encouragement, Joe!

  6. “Simply put, belief is demonstrated by action.” This is so true. We can say we believe, but we need to put it into action. If our faith is weak, we need to ask God to strengthen it and He will.

    Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #TeaAndWord.

    1. Our faith is strengthened as we step out and do what he says. Then we can look back and see his faithfulness and be encouraged to step out and trust again! Thanks Gayl!

  7. so true. it means nothing if I don’t step out on what i believe. it can be easier to trust God in a hurricane than for my daily to-do list. so silly. and inadequate but God keeps on going after me. as far as i’m concerned, trust can be re-visited daily. (:

    1. Exactly! We can say we believe until we’re blue in the face, but it means nothing at all until we act on it! We need to study the scripture for daily guidance and then put our feet and hands to the follow-through!

  8. Having recently moved away from the coast of Texas, 20 miles from where Harvey made a direct hit, we watched Harvey and Irma rip through thousands of homes and lives. We feel grateful that it was not us and that God moved us away in His perfect timing. We prepared and knew the routine every year yet we were one who “hoped” that it would not happen. A few times, we did have a Cat 1 come through during the 30 years we lived there, but never anything more.
    We have moved inland and northward and have other things to be prepared for…including growing older and dying. We want to be ready for the Lord. Thank you for a fine post and great Scriptures to coincide with this.

    1. Sometimes storing water and supplies is easier than preparing for the things you talked about. But death is inevitable too and it doesn’t always come at the end of old age. we need to prepare today by trusting Jesus as Savior and be ready to meet Him face to face! Thanks for this reminder, Linda!

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