The readings for my devotions this morning came from Psalm 20 and Jeremiah 17:7-8. I’ve been using A Guide for Prayer for all Who Walk with God as my devotional readings for the last few years now. It, for the most part, not only follows the church calendar, but it also sets up themes for each week. This week’s theme is trust. Psalm 20 is a powerful Psalm about calling for the king of Israel to trust in God and not in chariots or warriors. A Good thing to know. Not to trust in things, that is, but to trust in God alone.
It’s the passage from Jeremiah that was a bit harder for me to read through.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
Blessed is hard to accept when it’s hard to trust in God. The word in Hebrew for blessed is בָּרַך (barak) and it has the idea of God giving this blessing. It is a blessing given by God to the one who trusts in Him. Not just that, but trusting in God creates a steadfastness that is every supplied by God’s sustaining power. The Hebrew for trust is בִּטְחָה (biteha). It has the idea of safety, confidence, and trusting. It’s a reliance upon someone else.
And in today’s world, reliance upon someone else is hard to do. We’re taught from an early age to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. Society has a way of looking down on those who can’t or are unable to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. It’s a virtue (not always a good one, but still seen as a virtue) of the American way. We are individuals and we can make it if we try.
And so it’s hard to trust in others. It’s hard to be reliant upon others and find safety in doing so. But that’s the thing, in trusting in God, it is a trust that is reliant upon God, a safety found in God. And in that trust, in that reliance upon God, there is a promise of being sustained.
But trust is hard. It is hard to trust in God when you don’t always see Him moving or at work. Yes, there are those mountain top experiences that people have where everywhere they look they see God at work. But to be honest, those are few and far between. And when we don’t see God working like we think he can, we begin to lose trust in what He is doing and able to do.
This is where faith comes in. The Apostle Paul says it this way:
“For we live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
Simple to say, hard to do. But faith is being certain of what we hope for and sure of what we do not see (see Hebrews 11:1). This involves trust. This involves a reliance upon the unseen. In the mountains, it is easy to trust in God because you can see Him moving every which way you go. But we don’t always live on the mountains. We live on the plains and in the valleys. We live in the mundanity of life and in the broken hallelujahs of pain. This is where trusting in God is most needed. This is where reliance upon God is needed. This is where we need to be sustained like a tree planted by the waters.
And it can be hard to trust in God. But when it’s hard to trust in God, that is where it is needed the most. It is when we need to lean hardest on Him when we’re the most frightened to lean. It is easier to say than to do, that I agree upon. But still, when it’s hard to trust in God, that is where you need to trust in Him the most and allow Him to sustain you in those plains of mundanity and the valleys of broken hallelujahs.