Trust in the Lord
Solomon the wise wrote, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5). Full trust in the Lord is the only rational course for believers to take. This is so because God has all knowledge, all strength and foresees and plans against all the hardships that may come upon humans as unexpected catastrophes. For anyone to depend on his own knowledge under such situations is unwise. It is also unwise to stagger between trust in self and trust in the Lord.
To place little trust in one’s own knowledge does not mean that a person must set aside wisdom and give up the power of his will. Wisdom is needed to decide from the Word of God what is His will. A will empowered and sanctified by God is needed if a person is to follow the right path till the end. And God Himself will make straight the path of His child, when the latter acknowledges Him in every phase of life’s many activities.
Solomon points to the danger of trusting one’s own wisdom. Many have started to walk the path of God with full trust in Christ, but have later begun to take the credit to themselves for their accomplishments and have ended up in wicked paths away from God. This was the experience of Solomon himself, but he was fortunate at the end of his life to change his course of action and repent before it was too late (1 Kings 11:1–13).
Test the Conscious
Man’s knowledge is deficient (1 Corinthians 13:9). And Solomon warned, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12 ). The warning here is against having faith in the guidance of the conscience without checking the conscience against the Scriptures. Many men have convinced themselves that God will accept a replacement for His precise commands, only to find that they have lost all.
The Roman governor Pilate is such example. While he was perhaps not acquainted with the scriptures, Christ taught him directly. But the governor thought that he could compromise with evil and still keep his prestige and position. But his compromise led to his shame and death (Matthew 27:11–26). Evil stains the heart and leads to death (Ephesians 4:17–18).
The Blessings of Trusting God
The prophet Jeremiah wrote, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit” (ch. 17:7–8).
There are three blessings promised to the godly as a result of his trust in God: (1) he lives a useful life, producing the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23; Hebrews 12:11); (2) he is vigorous (Psalm 92:12, 13); (3) he ultimately succeeds in his work. As the tree is rooted in the solid earth and draws its water from the ever-flowing stream, so the godly man sends his roots and derives nourishment from the water springs of life. He is devoted and successful in all that he does.
Thus, though the believer may be attached by hardships and tests, he stands strong; and the bigger the trial, the stronger his hold on the Lord. David affirmed, “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3).
In His service,