The Four Pillars Of Trust

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Proverbs 3:5-8

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
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This is one of those almost-too-familiar passages that we can often gloss over and say “yes, yes, I already know that one”.  But digging deeper it offers some clear guidance on dealing with the situations in our lives – including the situation with our difficult N.

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Proverbs 3:5-8 describes a very positive outcome, as well as three conditions for that outcome to take place.

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The positive outcome is “He will make your paths straight”.  A “straight path” may not seem like that big of a deal, but many of us may feel like we move forward in a very zig zag manner, careening against side walls like downhill luge racers that are out of control (if you have ever happened to see that particular winter sport).  A straight path represents moving ahead smoothly, without self-inflicted consequences created by our own unwise choices.  I don’t know about you, but I would consider that a nice change from the way I have often lived my life.

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Proverbs 3:5-8 gives three requirements to getting “straight paths”:

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  1. Trust in the Lord with all your heart
  2. Do not lean on your own understanding
  3. In all your ways acknowledge Him

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The first requirement – to truly trust in Him with ALL your heart – not just partially, occasionally, when the “reasons” are visible”, and during times of smooth waters – but also in times of difficulty – requires 100 percent confidence in four aspects of who God is, especially as it relates to you.  These four traits of God for which we need to be fully confident are:

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  • God really, wholeheartedly, completely, and infinitely loves you (John 15:9), and has only good in mind for you.  The essence of God is love, and that love expresses itself in goodness inherent in every thought and action He takes with regard to you.  If we are not fully convinced that God absolutely and boundlessly loves us, we will not be able to fully trust Him.

 

  • God’s knows every little detail about you (Psalm 139) – past, present, and future – knows everything about everyone and everything else that impacts you, and has the infinite wisdom needed to perfectly know what is the absolute best for you.  He knows everything about you, has thought through every possible scenario for your life, including every detail of those scenarios, and in His perfect wisdom has chosen just the path and details for your good and His glory.  If we are not fully convinced that God is fully aware of every detail (including all the options of what MIGHT happen), and fully convinced that He is wise enough to make exactly the right decisions, we will not be able to fully trust Him.

 

  • God has the complete, unlimited, overwhelming power to do what He has decided is best out of his love, knowledge, and wisdom.  Nothing – not anything Satan or your narcissist can do – can prevent His goodness toward you from happening.  If we are not fully convinced that God has the absolute power (and the willingness to use that power) to make all the “good” things happen, and prevent all the “bad” things from happening, we will not be able to fully trust Him.

 

  • God is completely, unhesitatingly faithful, and will consistently and without fail show his love, wisdom, and power on your behalf.  If we believe that God arbitrarily or according to whim applies His love, knowledge and wisdom, and power in His dealings with us, we will not be able to fully trust Him.

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If any one of the four pillars of trust – complete confidence in His love, knowledge/wisdom, power, and faithfulness – are missing, your trust in Him will waiver when the going gets tough, tempting you to violate the second requirement to not “lean on your understanding”.  Instead of relying on God’s wisdom regarding what is the ultimate best for you, you will instead try to figure out for yourself what is best for you.  With your limited knowledge of everything involved in your circumstances (compared to God’s unlimited knowledge), you are pretty much guaranteed to come up with the wrong answer if you try to determine the best path on your own.  That is one reason why Proverbs says…..

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Proverbs 14:12

12 There is a way which seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.

 

Not trusting Him, and instead leaning on your own understanding, will result in not acknowledging Him in all your ways – instead of praying for His guidance and direction in every situation, you will tend to take things into your own hands and “do your own thing” – leading to further heartache.  So, the very thing you are trying to avoid (heartache), is the very thing you will get through not leaving things in His hands.

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The third requirement is to actively acknowledge Him in everything.  This means that instead of constantly just deciding things on our own, we should acknowledge the existence and supremacy of God by bringing Him into the equation.  This can be done by seeking His wisdom and by inquiring of the Lord regarding specific situations we face.  David was particularly good about acknowledging HIM in all his ways by inquiring of the Lord when he had decisions to make.

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I, for one, analyze everything and always want to know why I am doing something.  But God knows that only HE really knows, and that no matter how much information I gather and how much I analyze, at the end of the day I know infinitesimally little compared to Him.  I might be aware of two things involved in my current circumstance, while He knows 2 million factors involved.  That is why He asks us to simply trust Him.  We will not truly understand why He is asking us to trust Him on this side of eternity.

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The ultimate test of whether we truly trust Him will come through the difficult times, not the smooth times.

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Proverbs 3 continues with the further admonition.

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Proverbs 3:7-8

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.

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May we all truly expand our understanding of God, and through that to learn how to trust Him more fully.

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Be Loved, To Love

We Love Because He First Loved Us

Boundlessly Good

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