Trusting God – Proverbs 3:5,6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5,6 (NIV)

One of the hardest things for me is trying to understand things and life.  My wife would agree that I do not understand most of what she says.  Really, she’d argue that it’s more a listening problem than a comprehension issue.  But I do struggle with understanding and trusting God sometimes.  It doesn’t come natural.  So many times, I’d rather be able to completely understand a situation and fully define it.  I like to have problems solved.  I feel more comfortable that way.

That’s a human characteristic and part of our nature that dates way back.  It is great to study and learn and try to figure out why and how things work.  That’s what we do in science and all its fields.  But there are some things we’ll never figure out.  The psalmist must have known that when he wrote these words.  Now, thousands of years later, they still have meaning.

When we lean on our own limited understanding, doubt starts to creep in.  We can’t figure out the why’s and how’s and it causes us to struggle.  Sometimes we worry and fret so much about figuring things out that we lose sight of where we are and where we’re going – we can’t find the way, it seems.

Following God means trusting Him.  Trusting that He is in control.  Trusting that He knows what we feel and what we think.  Trusting that He is so much bigger than ourselves. 

One of the most difficult times in my life happened a few years ago when I left work as a missionary to return to the United States.  This verse became very encouraging to me as I began to really trust God and not figure things out myself.  One particular night, after giving an email notification of my intentions,  I was praying that God would just affirm our family’s decision.  I didn’t know it then, but during the same time, I received an email from someone that I hadn’t seen or talked to in about eight years.  Ultimately, it led to where I live now and what I do now as I walked in the steps that God put before me, one after the other.  It has been an exciting and fulfilling time.

For me, it came down to trusting God, acknowledging Him and believing He would direct my path.  That’s exactly what He did and the way things have worked out for me have been better than I had imagined.  It’s hard to trust, but as we do and as we see God work in our lives, it becomes easier and easier to follow Him.


9 responses to “Trusting God – Proverbs 3:5,6

  1. Enjoyed your post. I’m wondering if sometimes people don’t hear God (much less trust Him) because they fail to recognize His presence in their lives. I know people who, if they had received the email that you did, would have thought, “Oh, cool. What a coincidence.”

  2. “Trusting that He is in control.”

    How can he be in control if he does not control everyone’s actions? If someone walks up to you on the street and shoots you in the head, is that God’s plan, or just a product of free will? Is it free will if the person does something undesirable, such as commit a crime, or commit suicide, but it is God’s plan if they do something good, like send you an e-mail?

    Is it God’s plan for people to suffer horribly and die? What if those people weren’t Christians when they died, say of a natural disaster, but might have gone on to be converted had they lived, say through Christian missionaries who travel to the region and help rebuild the town?

    You say trust, but you get to say that because things are better than you had imagined . . . better than if God had saved your daughter and was with you now? I suppose that doesn’t matter as by your own personal interpretation of the Bible she is in Heaven.

    God doesn’t make every Christian’s life straight. It is hit and miss, and all you are left with is a jumble of justifications wrapped up in labels like “trust”, “faith” and “God’s plan” that really can mean anything. You talk of human characteristics. It is a human characteristic to try to find patterns, even where there are no patterns. Suffering? God’s plan. Bountiful? Rewards of faith (except for those that do not receive such bounty, see prior question answer re: plan). What conveniently easy boxes–an answer for everyone!

    Maybe I sound cynical, or hard-hearted, and maybe I am. Or maybe God makes me this way. But I know I am not wired to just accept, shrug my shoulders, and turn off that part of my brain.

    • If we trust in the Lord we will not question Him why this or those things are happening..God has reasons for everything.Be glad that God cares for us.we are sinners but He loves us.

  3. cliffordthedawg

    Thanks marlajayne for the comments. For me, I believe some things that happen in life are beyond just happenstance and that it’s God’s activity in our life.

    HKTelemacher, as always, I appreciate where you’re coming from and hopefully haven’t been throwing my beliefs in your face.

    By in control, I don’t mean that God controls everyone’s thoughts, actions, lives, etc., but that I believe He knows, He sees, He hears and is capable of intervening at any point in any circumstance, though He chooses to be “hands off” many times and leave people to their lives, decisions, and consequences, etc.

    For me, understanding God can be hard – how can we as humans completely understand God and have all the answers? Where would faith be? Maybe that sounds trite, but humans are people that I think are people of faith, much more than some admit. I think everyone puts their faith in something. I do think we’re wired that way.

    For example, I think atheists still put faith (whether they admit it or not) in what they’ve come to believe as infallible. They believe, some of them, wholeheartedly in the purely scientific answers that they’ve studied and they feel they’re absolutely right. Though in their minds, it has been “proven”, in many other people’s minds, some of those same things are unproven – that’s why there is still so much debate. Their response is no different than the Christian who believes in their mind that God is proven by whatever they’ve studied or experienced. Both the atheist and Christian believe in what they believe and both base it on what they believe to be true and “proven”. Evolution, for example, may have been “proven” in one’s mind and not another’s. But it still amounts to putting your faith in something you believe to be true. Since we don’t have 100% proof, who’s right. The Christian would say he is and the atheist would say he is.

    HK, it seems to me, correct me if I’m wrong, that you have accepted some things to be true in your mind, though those same beliefs haven’t been proven to everyone, even if proven to you. That’s not much different than someone like me believing what I believe, though unproven to you, is it?

    I agree, it is easier for me to trust God when things are going great, when life has treated me better. Am I wrong for that? What human wouldn’t agree with that? It’s interesting. Here in America, many Christians see a test of one’s faith is how you respond when things go bad, what you think about God when life turns negatively on you. I’ve been to Cuba and the Christians there have told me exactly the opposite. I’ve heard similar things about Christians in very politically controlled countries as well. The test of their faith is what they do when life turns good, they receive money, wealth or experience some great reward, bounty, etc. So although your assertion (? that people have faith in God when things are easy) may hold for me, it doesn’t necessarily hold for the Cuban Christians I’ve talked with. Their trust and my trust is in God and the idea is that that trust wouldn’t be gained on what I have or haven’t received materially but on the relationship with God.

    I wouldn’t say that I’ve turned off any part of my brain, shrugged my shoulders or given up any more than you have. I do think we’ve both put a good bit of effort and mental gymnastics in trying to figure things out and understand them. Since apparently we’ve come to, at least some, different conclusions, does that make one of us dumb and the other smart? Does that make one strong and one weak?

    I appreciate your struggle to try to figure things out. I certainly haven’t figured it all out.

  4. cliffordthedawg

    One other thing. I guess this would go under the control issue, one might say controlling your own destiny, I don’t know. But I think that we have responsibiity to take who we are and what we have and do our best with it. We all have certain talents and abilities and instead of sitting back in fear and doing nothing it is incumbent upon us to use those skills, abilities, talents and be productive with them. A passage in the Bible that speaks to this is:

  5. Trusting in God seems to be a dying action in the Church these days. So many people pray for signs and guidance, when they are really looking for a mighty wind, earthquake or fire, but are hopelessly overlooking that still small voice that spoke to Elijah. Even in times when that voice seems silent though, we are called to follow in faith. And that is the epitome of the Christian walk. True words in your blog, brother, may the Lord continue His work in you.

  6. cliffordthedawg

    Thanks for reading ekklesiastes, thanks for the encouragement. I like the name.

  7. Lets not forget that there is God’s perfect and permissive will. Nothing anywhere in this universe happens outside of God’s will. People who choose to trust and submit like cliffordthedawg live in God’s perfect will. People who don’t follow God live in God’s permissive will, ie God permits what they do or don’t do.

    I have experienced similar things to cliffordthedawg. When I put my whole heart, soul, mind, will and body (ie trust) in God’s hands, I have found that my peace of mind passes all understanding. I have experienced the same hassles, perhaps even more (due to spiritual warfare), but the peace is out of this world – excuse the pun. Go go go cliffordthedawg

  8. cliffordthedawg, you should read The Shack by William P. Young. It’s a really awesome book, and it helped me to understand some of the questions you mentioned in your comment. It definitely helped me grow in my faith. I hope it helps you too =) .

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