“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding.” – Proverbs 3:5
One of the greatest struggles and challenges you may find yourself facing in this life is the struggle to trust God. Trusting God is easy when you can see how everything is going to work out. When you have a secure job, money in the bank, all the bills paid, your marriage is going well, your children are all serving the Lord, you are in good health, and everything just seems like it is going wonderfully. You are living on the mountain top. If you want to be completely honest, during these times it doesn’t take a lot to trust God.
The challenge to trust comes when life happens and you go from the mountain top of joy into the valley of despair. How do you trust in the Lord when you don’t know what to do? How do you trust in the Lord when you are not sure how you will pay your next bill, or put food on the table, when your job is unsteady or non-existent, when your marriage is falling apart and when your kids have turned their back on the faith you instilled in them for all of their lives? How do you keep trusting in the Lord when all ‘hell’ seems to be breaking loose in your life.? These are not easy things to deal with and yet in the middle of life, there is this verse that leaps off the page in Proverbs.
There it is laid out in front of you the command to trust and lean not on your own understanding. Yet it doesn’t solve the problem of how can we trust in the Lord with all our heart? More importantly, how do you do it when your world is falling apart and the walls are caving in? As difficult as it may seem it is possible to do or God wouldn’t ask you to do it. The question remains how do you get to this place of trust? That’s what I want to encourage you with today. I want to remind you of four simple truths that will show you how you can trust in the Lord with all your heart.
What Does ‘Trust in the Lord With All Your Heart’ in Proverbs 3:5 Mean?
Before we talk about the how let’s talk about the what. What does it mean to trust in the Lord with all your heart? Let’s define what the word trust means. To do this I am going to our good friend Merriam-Webster. This is how they define this word. Please pay careful attention to this definition.
- A firm belief or an assured reliance in the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something
- One in which confidence is placed…
- A dependence on something future or contingent
For a moment please take this definition and apply it to this verse. Here is what it is saying. You should have a firm belief and an assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of the Lord. You should place your confidence and hope in the Lord and depend on him to produce a future outcome that is good for you.
I don’t know about you but this just resonates in my heart. Hopefully, this excites you and builds your faith. By the way, as I write this I am just like you in a place where I have to trust the Lord. In the middle of a situation where I don’t know how it will work out. Honestly, just writing these words and thinking about this Scripture is encouraging my own soul. I know it is tempting to look at what is happening around you. (I’ve been there.) I know it is tempting to try to create a plan or strategy for how you are going to overcome (I’ve been there too.) The truth is that God wants you and me to put our complete, wholehearted, undivided trust in him. I know it’s not easy but you can do it.
I always find it interesting and helpful to take a look at how other translations compare. Here is Proverbs 3:5 in popular versions:
- Put all your hope in God, not looking to your reason for support. – Bible in Basic English
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. – Good News Translation
- Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. – The Message Bible
4 Ways to Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart
1. Remember That God Can Be Trusted
Trust is only as good as the object of that trust. Remember in the definition it is belief or reliance on the strength, character, and ability in someone. In this case, you are putting all of that in God. He can be trusted. You must remind yourself that he can be trusted. That is why it is so important to remember the things that God has done for you in the past. When the Israelites crossed the Jordan River to go into the promised land God gave them an interesting command.
“When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe,and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.’ So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe,and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.” – Joshua 4:1-7
Did you catch that? God told them to take up the stones to remind the people forever of what he had done and that he can be trusted. I am positive if you look back over your life you are going to find some stones that can mark where you trusted God and he delivered. I know I have some. When life gets hard, go back to the stones. Remember how you trusted God then and he was faithful because he is the same God and he will be faithful again.
“God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” – Numbers 23:19 (NLT)
2. Remember That God Cares
When life hits you, the challenge is to think that God does not care about your situation. Nothing is further from the truth. Satan may try to convince you of this, but let’s be clear it is a lie. God cares deeply about you and your situation. When you understand this, it will help you to trust him. Consider for a moment that you have a God who cares and a God who can do something about your situation. This is the one you are trusting in. I will caution you that sometimes God does not always do what we want or think he should, that is not his promise. His promise is to do what is good for you. That is what you are trusting in.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28
3. Remember That God Is with You
One of the things to always remember, and it is crucial to understanding how you can trust the Lord with all your heart, is to know that God is with you. Again this is one of those things that happens when life hits because you can feel forsaken. You can feel as if you have done your best and wonder why this is happening. If you are in that moment remember God is with you. The beautiful thing about our God is he doesn’t desert you when things get rough, but his grace goes into greater effect when things get rough. In the classic poem ‘footprints,’ there were two sets of footprints in the sand, signifying walking with God. However, during the lowest and most difficult and stretches of life, there was only one set as if God had deserted the man. Here was the conclusion of the poem. “When you saw only one set of footprints, It was then that I carried you.” God is with you and because he is with you he can be trusted.
4. Remember That God Is Going to Bring You Through
One last thing to remember and understand, which helps you know how to trust in the Lord with all your heart, is knowing God will bring you through whatever situation you are in. The waters of the situation will not overtake you. The fire of the trial will not burn you up. You will come out of this. The reason I can say this with confidence is that this is what God says toward you. Please read these next words carefully knowing who is saying them.
“When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” – Isaiah 43:2-3
When you remember the truth of God’s Word and who he really is that is when you can trust him with all your heart. When you go through life’s trials there are sometimes songs that speak to the moment. Here is another one for you. This song was written by Hillsong United called Another in the Fire. I think it will bless you. Here is what I want you to take away today. God can be trusted. He has the character to be trusted. He has the track record to be trusted. He has proven himself over and over again. Because of this, there is nothing more to say than this. Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
A Prayer to Trust in God
Lord, you see the circumstances I face today, and you know the fear and anxiety I feel. Forgive me for letting worry overtake my thoughts.
Pour out a spirit of belief over me, so I can choose to trust you. There is no God like you, awesome in power, working wonders. I praise you for the faithfulness you have shown me so many times in the past.
Lord Jesus, even though I feel worried, I will choose to trust you. Help me remind myself today of your great love and power. Help me identify fearful, anxious thoughts and lay them at the foot of your cross. Give me the grace and power I need to meditate on truths from your Word instead. Help me also speak positive words that will inspire others to trust you as well.
You are my salvation. You have already saved me from sin, and I know you have the power to save me from my troubles now. Thank you for being with me. I know you have plans to bless me and work for my good.
Lord, you are my strength and my song. I will worship you today and sing your praises, even if I cannot quite understand what you are doing. Thank you for putting a new song in my heart.
In Jesus’ name, Amen. (by Betsy de Cruz)