Friday, August 13, 2010

Trusting God

Read this, and ponder the extent of its application:

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;

6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil.

8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.

--Proverbs 3:5-8 (NIV)

I had a moment of revelation the other day about what it means to trust God. I have usually thought of "trust" in "trusting God" as the same sort of "trust" that you have when you ask your friend to keep a secret, or when you expect your child not to lie. To "trust" means to have faith in someone's character. Since God is perfect, we should always "trust" Him, which I've always taken as a synonym for having faith in His character and in His promises.

However, I was reminded that my "trust" in someone is not solely measured by my faith in that person's character; it is also measured by the way I respond to that person.

Let me explain with a real life example. While I was a chemistry student at Notre Dame, I did experiments in the laboratory. There was a stage of time where all my experiments were going nowhere, and I was becoming disheartened. I talked with my advisor, and she gave me an outline of some precise things she wanted me to do. I didn't see the point of why she told me to do the things she did, so I responded by asking questions. My advisor interjected, "Just trust me."

You see, by questioning my advisor's instructions, I was conveying a certain amount of distrust. I recalled this experience with my advisor when reflecting on what it means to trust God, and I felt like my eyes were opened to new understanding. When the Scriptures repeatedly instruct us to "trust in the LORD," the context of our trust is not limited to having faith in God's character or to having faith that God will do what He says He will do. To fully trust the LORD, we need to do what He says. And not only should we do what He says, we should do it with joy and without hesitation. Otherwise, we display some degree of distrust.

God is the creator of the universe, and He knows how our psychologies operate. He knows what's best for us. He's also not obligated to tell us all His reasons for giving us the commands He does. By obeying God's commands, we probably avoid lots of troubles that we could never foresee or imagine. Neuroscience has discovered lots of previously unknown physical effects that our brain can impart on our bodies. Why would we wait for science to tell us that we can live longer and healthier lives if we have joyful hearts when God has been calling us to have joy all along? God desires our benefit, and He wouldn't tell us to do something that wouldn't be good for us. I think it's about time that we all started trusting God more by submitting ourselves to His Word. Maybe we'd all be a lot healthier if we would!

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