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, or will cease from yielding fruit. – Jeremiah 17:7-8
Trust is a funny thing. Trust is something that everyone strives to find, but for as many people who search for it there seem to be an equal number of sources providing it. Some people trust in science to provide them with answers. Others trust intellect and the rewards that come from learning. Some trust in their own physical strength and toughness to deliver them through hard times. Others trust in the relationships they have built with family and friends to help them solve problems through communication and networking. To a degree, all of these things are good and trustworthy; but only to a degree. There are clear and obvious limits to each of these things. Science can’t fully explain everything that happens. Intellect extends only as far as the learner’s studies have allowed. Physical strength diminishes over time or can be lost in an instant. Other people have independent ideas which can make them inconsistent and unavailable. The moral of the story: we can’t trust any of these things for everything we need.
So where do we turn? For believers the answer is obvious. We turn to our God who has promised us that He would provide for our every need. Psalm 91 provides a clear explanation of the power of God to defend and protect us from anything Satan and the world can throw at us. What’s more: this is not just some panic button we hit when things get too hard for us to handle. It’s a constant source of strength and protection that we live under every moment of our lives.
Some scoff at the idea of trusting in God because they don’t believe in His existence. It’s easy to see why people might feel that way. The world offers up many reasons that God isn’t real, isn’t powerful, isn’t relevant. But considering we’ve already exposed the world and its ideas as untrustworthy, why would this be any different? Satan thrives on the lie that we can do this on our own without God’s help. Don’t trust anyone but yourself. But you know yourself better than anyone. You know your weaknesses, shortcomings and fears. Can you accomplish everything you need to live here and now, let alone for an eternity in heaven?
There’s no reason to doubt the Lord. He created us, so He knows who we are and what we need. He didn’t give up on us in spite of our sin, but chose to sacrifice His Son, Jesus Christ, to make right the relationship we destroyed. He sent His Holy Spirit to dwell in and among us so that we would be given the faith we need to believe and the hope in Him needed to sustain us as we live lives of devotion to Him.
Consider the tree from Jeremiah 17. Planted by the waters, it has no worries when temporary weather and climate changes come. These things are a natural part of life that would devastate plants lacking sustenance. But because the tree was planted with a direct connection to the life-giving water, its survival is certain. There is no need to worry or doubt. Because the tree is so strong, other creatures will come to it to benefit from its health. And when the others discover the water that gives the tree life, they too will learn to trust in the source of life for themselves. God will use your faith to build faith in others, giving them peace, hope, and joy through faith and trust in the Him.
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” ― Corrie ten Boom