How does one really learn to trust God? As someone who grew up in a Christian home and attended all the requisite church functions that accompany, I've heard a million anecdotes on trust, faith, & the like. 'Trust God, even when life hurts,' etc. How many of us learned Prov 3:5&6 as one of our first memory verses?? "Trust in the Lord with all your heart & lean not on thine own understanding... in all your ways acknowledge him & he shall direct thy paths." Well and good, but HOW does one learn to "trust in the Lord"??
I was reading a FOF (friend of a friend)'s Xanga site this afternoon... the post from June 9th about the forgiveness of God--the painfulness & wonderfulness of it all. Somehow it all tied together in my head, hopefully I can 'splain. Maybe we're afraid to trust God because we're afraid of pain. If we trust Him, maybe He'll still allow hurts into our lives that we don't understand.... and I have to realize I need to trust Him in spite of my fears. He says "perfect love casts out fear" (1 John 4:18).. and as I learn to love Him more, I learn to trust Him... and we don't fear those we trust. Hmmmm.
Since I just put an over-tired 10-week-old down for a nap it's on my mind... how much easier trust is for small children... nothing like being picked up by someone who loves him to put a baby right back to sleep. Jesus said we need to have "child-like faith" (Matt 18:3). Hmph... must be easier for kids to have it. (Hey! Maybe it's because they're short. If they fall, the ground isn't so far away...but I digress.)
Faith...trust.... Bought a cool CD for my dad the other day. Completely not related to Father's Day, but he'll prolly get it about then anyway. He has Parkinson's & is struggling with his attitude. Always has struggled actually, but being mostly house-bound is making it harder for him to keep things in perspective. So..... he's determined that he needs to keep his focus on Christ--a good place to keep it, eh?! To that end he's working on memorizing Scripture (a good mind-renewing exercise) and looking for CDs of Scripture reading. I found a couple CDs that I'm sending him, but of course I had to give them a listen first. They're just a person reading Scripture passages, accompanied by orchestration, but one of the compilations struck me. It's a meditation on 'peace' that got me thinking about this trust question again.
Ps 4:8-I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
Ps 119:165-Great peace have they which love thy law (there's a clue for how to get that peace):
Isa 26:3-Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee (another clue about getting that peace).
John 14:27-Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you (God's not an 'Indian giver'). Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Rom 5:1-Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Rom 8:6-For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Gal 5:22-But the fruit of the Spirit (not something I work up for myself) is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith...
Rom 14:17-For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (joy is an outcropping of peace).
Rom 15:13--Now the God of hope FILL you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope(so hope is a fruit of that peace), through the power of the Holy Ghost (see? it's done in the power of the Spirit--not my own strength).
Col 3:15-And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful (apparently thankfulness is related to peace too?).
And my personal favorite for explaining how all this is supposed to happen: 2 Pet 1:2-4 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises.
2 Cor 1:4-Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
So... what I've gotten out of this:
1. God wants me to be at peace.
2. Apparently joy & hope also tag along with His peace.
3. I can get this peace by/through getting to know God better.
4. I get to know him better by studying his Word & through the ministry of the Spirit.
5. The better I get to know my God the more I will trust Him.
6. When I trust him I can be at peace.
Remember the way a baby will sleep peacefully in the arms of his mother? Check out Deuteronomy 33:26-27--"There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky. The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them." How cool is that??? He comes to my aid & chases out the enemy that's facing me... all the while supporting me with his Almighty arms. That's where the peace is--in His arms.
This has gotten long... Hope it's been worth reading...has definitely been a sermon(ette) to myself. So to close: Phil 4:6-9--Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ..... Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. (The things we spend our time thinking on have a tremendous impact on our peace or lack thereof).
OK, now I'm done.... II Thess 3:16-Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.
Peace y'all!! =)
The 11th Annual is here ...
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