Proverbs 3:5-6. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of the best known and most loved of all the scriptures. For many Christians it’s their “life verse.” You can find it on mugs, art work, and screensavers. Some commentators have even called it a summation of the entire Bible – Trust God, and he will bring you home.
But how many of us are struggling to trust God? Fear of the unknown grips our hearts. Each day we are confronted with circumstances that are beyond our full understanding or control. Each day it seems we only see more suffering. More injustice. More division. More violence. And each day we face new or ongoing personal crises that seek to rob us of our faith in God. It doesn’t take much before we’ve naturally shifted into hopelessness or self-preservation as we desperately try to gain a level of understanding and control in the midst of the unknown and the uncontrollable.
But what God wants us all to know is that we were never meant to be in control. And yet, at the same time, we were never meant to live in fear. We were made to trust in the LORD.
In the midst of all that would drive us deeper into fear, wisdom says that we can know the One who is in control of all things. And so we must fight to not let Proverbs 3:5-6 become simply a slogan on a mug. But rather we must let each inspired phrase overwhelm our souls:
Trust – from the Hebrew word that means “to lay down.” Can you lay your life face down, helpless, prostrate on the ground in front of God, allowing him to be your king?
in the LORD – the covenant name of God. Do you believe that God has made promises to you that he will never break? A promise to love you forever and bring you back home to himself?
with all your heart – your entire being. Can you trust God with your mind and your gut? Is every thought, every emotion, every part of your life resting in his care?
and do not lean on your own understanding – can you admit that your understanding of this life is infinitely less than God’s? And not only less, but also self-centered and self-destructive?
In all your ways acknowledge [know] him – is knowing God more than knowing all the answers your greatest aim in life? Are your choices, big or small, simply escape hatches to a “better life,” or are they an opportunity to know God and his love more deeply than before?
he will make straight your paths – the goal of all trust in God is a straight path to his presence, where we are free from the obstacles of fear and doubt, having been removed by his perfect love.
Yes, this sounds amazing, and who wouldn’t want this kind of life? A life without the fears of this world. The fear of death. The fear of loneliness. The fear of loss. The fear of pain. The fear of sorrow. But how? How can we trust God when he allows the world to crash down around us and sometimes on us? How can we trust a God who seems silent in our pain and sorrow? Who leaves us in the darkness?
We can trust in the LORD in the darkness, in the silence, and in the pain, when we trust that God is actually IN the darkness, the silence, and the pain.
Jesus Christ, the LORD, experienced our same darkness, silence, and pain. At the cross, God the Father removed his light, withheld his voice, and crushed his son. And on the cross God the Son, took the silent wrath of God’s darkness upon and into himself. All so that we would never have to. All so that no matter how fearful this life becomes; we never have to be afraid. We can trust the LORD with all our heart.
Because Jesus Christ experienced all this for us in his death, now, by his resurrection, he can be our straight path. Jesus said to his disciples “I am the way.” I am the straight path. Jesus doesn’t just show us the way. He IS the way. By our union with Christ we are on the path to God. By experiencing all that he experienced on the cross – all the darkness, the silence, the pain – and by sharing in his resurrection unto victory, every obstacle to God’s love has been forever removed.
“To live is Christ” means nothing can ever separate us from the love of God in Christ. No illness. No loss. No isolation. No affliction. Nothing in life or death. The path to God is clear. And when every obstacle is removed, there is nothing left to fear, and only trust remains.
What do you fear of today? What are you trusting in?
You in Christ
How does knowing that Jesus is your clear path to God allow you to trust God in all your ways today?
Christ in you
Where is Christ asking you to trust him today?
Playlist: Trust In the Lord
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