Devotional Week 9 Friday
“You who sit down in God’s presence, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Say this, ‘God, you are my refuge, I trust in You and I’m safe.’”
Psalm 91: 1, 2
The Message Bible
New International Version
God’s Gift of Understanding
Day 5: Learning To Rely On A God I Can Trust!
How does understanding another person help me trust them?
Do I believe my heavenly Father is trustworthy?
How does my belief help me traverse the rough places in my life?
“Quit sweating, quit wrestling. It is not TRY but TRUST.”
John G. Lake
“The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid.”
G. K. Chesterton
I deeply appreciate the words above because in this day and age, when the Bible reveals to us that “knowledge will be increased,” it is very evident mere information doesn’t necessarily shed light on the truth. With the unstoppable barrage of information we are pummeled with on a minute-by-minute basis, it becomes overwhelming to try and sort through the minutiae in order to identify truth from error. I believe it is this very problem that acts as an accomplice in the crime we may commit when we are not trustworthy or when we are unable to learn to trust others.
When we have been let-down, when the bond of trust has been broken, it makes it difficult for us to extend this gift again to another. As William Ward observed, “Trust is a treasured item and relationship. Once it is tarnished, it is hard to restore it to its original glow.” Because trust can be broken, once this tragedy has occurred in our own lives, the consequences can spill over from our emotional relationships to our spiritual relationships. I know for I’ve struggled with this very situation. I’ve even found myself at the depths of a heartache thinking that no one could be trusted – not even my Father in heaven. When your heart or mine is broken by the pain of an unfilled love or an unanswered prayer or a dream that’s been dashed to pieces, it can become easy to toss everything over and ask the question, “How can I trust a God who has let me down”?
Not long ago, I read an interesting story that gave me a wonderful view of God by someone who was asked to speak “on behalf” of our heavenly Father to a group of University students who made it clear they didn’t believe or trust any “god” at all. In what I think was a brilliant move, this individual asked the students to create the kind of “god” they would like to run the universe. But, there was one stipulation – each student could give only a one-word characteristic they would like for their “god” to have. Interestingly enough, after 30 minutes of taking words and filling a chalkboard with the one-word characteristics, what do you imagine happened? Arrayed in a beautiful word picture were the longings from the hearts of a group of young people who claimed they didn’t believe in “God,” the very qualities of the God the Bible tells us about – characteristics like honest, compassionate, wise, loving and yes, trustworthy. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible reminds us that our Father is a reliable, trustworthy Father whom we can count on every day. And even those who claimed they didn’t believe in God, in the situation I just shared with you, had a deep aching in their hearts to know that a trustworthy God, not only has His almighty hand on this universe, but also on the small little dot of a world I call “my life.”
As I was reflecting personally on my own relationship with a God I have learned to trust, I got to thinking about our precious dog, a miniature dachshund, named Ethel. She is a dependent little thing. She relies on Jim and me for everything. Everyday, at 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. she goes to her food dish and just stands by it. Why? Because she trusts that Mom and Dad will arrive with her food. She doesn’t spend the day worrying if we are going to feed her. In fact, right now she is sleeping in perfect peace on her blanket, unconcerned about what might happen. Why? Because when bad and good things have happened in her life, Mom and Dad have always been there for her. Ethel is a lot like young children with loving parents who are not fearful for they trust they are in the protective care of those who love them and have their best interest at heart. And to think that our heavenly Father cares for us even more than earthly parents care for their children or for their special pets.
Recently I was listening to a pastor talk about Jesus’ words on the cross, recorded in Luke 23: 46. This is what Jesus said, “Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.” Of course, the inquisitive spirit in Dorothy wanted to check out the word “commend” in the Greek translation and to my delight I found that one translator really put this word into a practical application by noting that it is as if we put our lives into our Father’s safety deposit box for continual safe-keeping. What an example of a God I know I can trust. Just as Jesus did, each moment of my life, even when faced by the unthinkable, as Jesus was on the cross, I can say with a resolute voice, “Father, I trust you so much I’m in the safety deposit box of your keeping, forever.”
It is this knowledge and understanding of our Father, as revealed in His word the Bible, which gives us the confidence to rely on One who promises to be trustworthy, not only today, but forever. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to close our minds on the solid truth that we have a heavenly Father we can alwaystrust!
“Let nothing disturb you,
nothing frighten you;
All things are passing;
God never changes;
attains all things;
Whoever possesses God
God alone suffices.”
Teresa of Avila
“‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know ‘Thus saith the Lord.’
Yes, it’s sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life, and rest, and joy, and peace.
I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Saviour, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me
Wilt be with me
Till the end.
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him;
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!”
Louisa M. Stead
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus