We have all read the passage in Proverbs 3:5-6 that advises us to 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight' (NIV). But to be honest, I still have a difficult time handing the reigns over to someone whom I know is perfect, and has my best interests at heart. So if I know that God is perfect and that He can make my path straight, why is it so difficult?
If we all rewind our lives back to when we were young children, we would believe almost anything our parents said. We would go wherever they took us, and we wouldn't worry about our next meal or what we were going to wear. We were more than happy to let someone else steer our lives in the direction that was best for us.
So what changed? In a word - independence. We grew up, and started to make our own decisions based on our reasoning and the examples set by those around us. Trust became something that we only gave to a select few people, because we were more than capable of running our own lives with minimal influence from others who could potentially disappoint us. So, when we found the cross of Christ, and asked Jesus to become Lord in our lives, did anything change?
Of course! In order to be redeemed, we had to trust that the blood of Jesus had washed away our sins. We had to place our confidence in God to forgive us of our past, and accept us into His Heavenly kingdom, because of Christ's sacrifice. Just as salvation starts with a choice to rely upon God and His promises, our Christian walk must then continue to reflect this trust in our daily lives.
When Jesus' disciples asked Him, 'Who gets the highest rank in God's kingdom?', He answered, 'I'm telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you're not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in' (Matt 18:1-3 MSG). Therefore, we must become once again like children; trusting Him to direct our path, relying on Him to guide our intellect, and surrendering all of our burdens, cares and desires to Him in the same way we surrendered our sin and shame.
Unfortunately, as an 'independent' person, trusting our lives into our Creator's hands does not come very naturally to us. This is because trust implies that we are willing to accept His commands and His will over our lives – in other words – being willing to obey. And just like when we were children, our sinful nature does not take to kindly to the concept of obedience. However, when we think of the character of Christ, and the promises He made to never leave us nor forsake us (Matt 28:20b), we can be assured of Christ's faithfulness to us. "That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday lifeâ€"whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing?" (Matt 6:25 NLT)
Our reliance on Him as Saviour, and our willingness to follow Him as Lord are the hallmarks of our Christian faith - a living testimony of peace for which the rest of the world aches. As Charles Spurgeon once said, "Trust in Christ is the invariable and infallible mark of the saved ones."
So by now you're probably thinking that the word 'trust' is even bigger than when you first started reading this. But with all of the decisions, burdens and circumstances that we must all face everyday, how can we afford not to? We have a God that cares more for us than the birds that He feeds and the lilies that he clothes (Matt 6:26,28). So how much more will He care for us, the creations for which He sent His Son to die.
There's a song that I listen to written by Brandon Heath which says, "You took Your life and gave me yours, there's no reason why I shouldn't trust you with mine," and I think that just about sums it up!
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Romans 15:13 NLT
Blaine Packer is studying a Bachelor of Cross-cultural Ministry at Worldview Centre for Intercultural Studies (WEC) in Launceston, Tasmania.