"But now, this is what the Lord says - he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: 'Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.'" Isaiah 43:1-2
"But I trust in you, Lord; I say, 'You are my God.'" Psalm 31:14
Trust is a word that we carelessly throw around today. I trust this chair to hold me. I trust this map and this car to get me where I am going. I trust my friend to be honest with me. I trust in God. What does it mean to "trust"? From a dictionary standpoint it means "a reliance or confidence on the integrity, strength, ability, and surety of a person or a thing." Some dictionaries go on to say that "trust" means "a confident expectation or hope of someone or something." Trust is a strong word with a strong meaning, especially for the Christ follower. It is not a word that we should throw around lightly. Throughout the Bible, we can find verse after verse that talks about complete trust in God. Over and over again, we hear God telling us, "Do not fear," or "Do not be dismayed," or "Do not worry." Too many times, we allow the circumstances of life to temporarily blind us and disable us. Sometimes the temporary can feel more like permanent. School is hard. Work is hard. Marriage is hard. Parenting is hard. Friendship is hard. It seems like we have fewer victories in life and more failures. We fail in relationships. We fail in work. We fail in finances. All of these difficulties can come at us in singular fashion or multiple fashion. Yes, life is hard. It was never promised to be easy. In fact, James warned us that it wouldn't be easy. James 1:2-3 says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, WHENEVER you face TRIALS of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." Peter warned us that life would not be easy and that it shouldn't surprise us. 1 Peter 4:12-13 says, "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." Even Jesus warned us of the trouble that come each day. In Matthew 6:34, He says, "Each day has enough trouble of its own." The question I have to ask myself today is simple: Do I really trust You, Lord? Is my trust in the Lord more than my trust in the chair, the map, the car, or the friend? Is my life story proving my trust in Lord?
Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:25, "Therefore I tell you, DO NOT WORRY ABOUT YOUR LIFE, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?" He goes on verse 27 to ask the question, "Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" We live each day fighting battles, some small, some large, and some in between. We live each day with opportunity after opportunity to carry the worries and the anxieties of this life with us...to our homes...to our jobs...to our schools...and even to our churches. But we also live each day with opportunity after opportunity to cast the worries and the anxieties of this life on Jesus. He even invites us to do so. Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:28-30, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Peter encourages us to follow Jesus' command. 1 Peter 5:6-7 says, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." How can I live the full life that Jesus promises in John 10:10? How can I live the full life without worry and anxiety dragging me down? We admit our weakness. We admit our brokenness. We admit our need for the Savior. We turn from sin and self and turn to Jesus. We TRUST in God's great love for us. We TRUST in God's complete forgiveness for us. We TRUST in God's Word, His promises for us. Today, as Christ followers, we need to claim Isaiah 43:1-2. The waters and the rivers may get high and the waves may get rough, but my God is with me and He will not let the waters sweep over me. I may have to walk through the fires in this life, but my God will not let me be set ablaze. He has told me, "I have summoned you by name; you are mine," and I TRUST Him! Today, as Christ followers, we need to claim Psalm 31:14. I TRUST in you, Lord! You are my God! Paul's encouraging words to the church in Rome in Romans 15:3 will be my final encouraging words to you today: "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you TRUST in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Believe it! Claim it! Live it!