"Having thus chosen our course, without guile and with pure purpose, let us renew our trust in God, and go forward without fear and with manly hearts."—Abraham Lincoln
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord."—Jeremiah 17:7
Great Men Trust In A Great God
You'll hear Christians say, sometimes tritely, "just trust in God." And we should trust Him in all things. But what does that mean? And how do you do it?
The prophet Jeremiah speaks to this matter of trust in Jeremiah 17:5-10. He breaks the issue of trust down into its essential elements. He was a man who was driven to trust God is changing times, and trusted Him when others didn't. So let's discover the wisdom from a man who was deeply challenged to trust God and saw its result.
Three Steps To Increasing Your Faith & Trust In God
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First | The wrong place to focus your trust
Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land."—Jeremiah 17:5-6
The wrong place to put your trust is in yourselves or other people. Notice the sharp language that Jeremiah uses – "Cursed is the man who trusts in man" because in doing so, his "heart turns away from the Lord." As followers, you have given up the control of your lives to God so to trust in yourself, your plans, and your schemes are not only foolishness, but it's a rejection of the very God who owns your lives, who wants to direct your paths and use you for His purposes. If you now belong to Him but are trusting in yourself, you're actively denying Him the rightful ownership of your life.
The result is that you will not see the prosperity and blessing that God has for your life. He likens those who trust in themselves to a "bush in the wastelands," who "will not see prosperity" but rather dwell in a parched place "where no one lives." It's a picture of living alone and without blessing, because you're living without the direction of God.
Second | The right place to focus your trust
But Jeremiah continues.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”—Jeremiah 17:7-8
Contrast the description we have of the one who trusts in himself with verses seven and eight regarding the blessings you'll experience in believing in the Lord and putting your confidence in him. God is saying, you can trust in yourself and live in the wasteland by yourself, missing my blessings or you can choose to believe in me and live a blessed life like a tree planted by the water, its leaves always green and without the fear of drought. That is a huge contrast in how you live life and how you'll experience the fullness of life.
As the sovereign Lord, God knows what is best for you. He knows what you don't know about the circumstances of your lives. He knows the exact date of your death, and He knows what life will look like tomorrow. He is also the one who can deal with issues of life which seem impossible for you. You like to control your destiny, but in reality, you have very little control—if any especially as a follower (note: follower is the operative word). God, on the other hand, can guide, direct your paths, remove barriers in your way and give you favor with those you interact with. The bottom line, says Jeremiah is that if you want a life that is all it can be, it comes from putting your trust in God rather than in yourself.
Three | Be discerning about where your trust is placed.
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”—Jeremiah 17:9-10
Now you may well be saying, "Of course I trust in God." Yes! How many of us make our plans, do our thing and ask God to bless those plans? That is entirely different from asking Him to give you direction and guidance in the plan itself and to permit Him to actually guide your decisions and plans and not merely to bless your plans.
Jeremiah reminds us that your hearts are deceitful above all things and that the Lord searches your heart, examines your mind, and rewards you accordingly. Wise men are discerning about their motivations and the true desires of their hearts. They can distinguish between trusting themselves and trusting God. They see every new day as a day to put their confidence in God rather than in themselves.
To close another proverb puts it this way.
"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 straight your paths."—Proverbs 3:5-6
Vince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 16 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is 20 Lessons That Build A Leader.