Welcome to Day 24 of 31 Days of Battling Anxiety with Biblical Truth!
As we are drawing near to the end of this series, the awareness of this truth rings clearly: none of our attempts at battling anxiety will be fruitful unless we can place our trust in God. But trust is not easily found in our broken world. The next three posts will take a closer look at the one verse that defines Biblical trust. Later this week, we’ll dive into the Six P’s in God’s Promise of His Presence. Know that I am fiercely praying for each of you!
The little girl curled her toes around the concrete edge of the deep end. She looked down into the pool’s cool water, deeper than anything she had ever imagined. She looked back at the baby wading pool where she had been content to play all day until this very moment. Then she looked just ahead of her into her father’s eyes where he stayed, tall and steady, arms outstretched and waiting for her to take the leap.
“You won’t leave me, will you? You’ll stay right there?” she asked.
“No, daughter. I will be right here. I will never leave you and I won’t let you down,” her father replied. She set her chin and bent her knees. She leaped. She flew. And she landed squarely in the arms of her father.
My thoughts run wild. God, do you really expect me to be courageous? I am living with a genetic disorder that is described in the medical world as grim, deathly, hopeless, and deceptive. Don’t you know that fear haunts me at every corner? Sinner, doubter, seeker that I am, don’t you know that I have no business attempting to be courageous?
Yes. He does know this. Under a broad-brimmed hat, I sit. I watch the little girl jump again and again to her father at our neighborhood pool and it hits me. True courage has little to do with earthly bravery and everything to do with heavenly trust.
A firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. (Google)
Belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective. (Merriam-Webster)
The confident expectation of something; hope. (Dictionary.com)
A person on whom or a thing on which one relies. (Dictionary.com)
These are examples of how the world defines trust. And I would agree that most of them are pretty accurate. But what about a Biblical trust? How does the Bible define trust?
In the fall of 2015, my surgeon filled my left sinus cavity with coils of platinum. Imaging pictures reveal messy nests of metal shoved behind my eye all the way down to my throat. The coil was put there to stop the blood flow from my ruptured carotid artery. Six months later, I went in for an MRI to make sure that the coil was doing its job. My husband and I left the hospital, squinting at the sun and smiling from ear to ear. My MRI results were perfect. The coil had stayed put, my carotid artery was sufficiently dammed, and there were no signs of any surrounding blood clots. When we asked what the next steps would be, my doctor said that I can live a normal life…but within reason.
Which left us wondering what that meant exactly. What is man’s reason? What is it that we understand as humans? And, more importantly, what is God’s reason? And were we ready to step away from virtually all that the knowledge of man tells us about this world in order to choose life?
Because if we want to trust God fully, if we want to live fully, we must relinquish any faith we have in the knowledge of man and place it all squarely in the arms of Jesus.
I spend the next few days mulling over the issue of Biblical trust. Many stories came quickly to mind as I considered which scriptures best displayed the children of God wholeheartedly walking away from what they think they knew as men only to place their complete trust in the Almighty Father. I thought about Peter stepping out onto the water, Abraham carrying Isaac up to the mountain to lay him down as a sacrifice, Noah building the ark, or Joseph taking Mary as his bride. Examples were not hard to find. The Bible is filled with stories of men placing their blind trust in the Lord.
But it wasn’t a story that settled into my heart, it was a verse. One verse. If you boiled all those stories about trust into one verse, I think it would be this one.
Okay. But really, what does it look like to trust in the Lord with all your heart? What does it look like to disregard all that you know as someone who has lived on this earth for 20, 30, almost 40 years? What does it mean to lift your eyes toward heaven, cry out to God, to tell him that you have no idea what is going on? You don’t know why this is happening. You don’t know why you have been brought to edge of this particular battle. You can’t see the road in front of you. You can barely see to put one foot in front of the other. And you are afraid of what the outcome will be.
You have no idea how needs will be met, how heart’s desires will be fulfilled, how grief will be comforted, how fears will be calmed. But still, you bow your head to Him and say…I trust you, Father. Is this what trusting the Lord looks like?
Let me be the first to tell you that I am the furthest thing away from an expert at this. Although quite frankly, I’ve had a lot of practice at it in my life and I’ve done it the wrong way too many times to count. But still, I find myself returning to this one verse. Could this simple verse be the answer to Biblical trust?
Trust in the LORD
Trust in the LORD. If we only considered the first four words of Proverbs 3:5, that might be enough to understand trust, because trust is easy when you remember Who it is that you are trusting.
This past summer, my husband and I visited a summer camp. This is the place where we met and fell in love, the place where we send our child for a week’s worth of fun and Christian fellowship every summer, and it is the place where we continue to serve in ministry. But this time we are here to speak to the summer staff about sacrifice and trust. We arrive early to meet and get to know some of the new counselors for that summer. As the dinner bell rings, a female counselor and I walk along the path that Tom and I walked together sixteen years ago with butterflies in our stomachs.
“How did you know that Tom was the one for you? What is it that you love most about him?” she asks me.
“He is strong,” I reply without hesitation. “He makes me laugh. He makes me smile. He knows me and loves me the way that I am, but he longs to grow with me in Christ. He makes me a better me. He has a servant’s heart. I’ve watched him put other’s needs before his since the first day I met him. He goes out of his way to show his love for me. And he forgives me when I mess up.”
It is easy to answer what I love most about my husband because I know him. I know his character, I know what he does for others, and I know what he does for me.
We must answer the same questions when we are called to trust God: we must remember the qualities of His character, what He has done for the world, and what He has done for us.
The Qualities of God’s Character
How do we know that God can be trusted with our hearts? What is it that we love about Him the most? The qualities of God are uncountable, but these three are my favorite:
- God is always working for your good. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him. -Romans 8:28
- God is loving, faithful, and compassionate. He loves you. But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. -Psalm 86:15
- He will never leave you or let you down. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. -Deuteronomy 31:6
A Father who faithfully and compassionately loves me, who is always working for my good, and who will never leave me or let me down…yes, I can put my trust in Him.
What God Has Done for the World
For God so loved THE WORLD that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
If you need evidence of God’s love for the world, you can start with your Bible.
I have a beautiful necklace given to me by a dear friend, Kristen. From a simple silver chain hangs a charm of an envelope sealed with a heart. Kristen gave this to me because it reminded her that the Bible was God’s love letter to the world. I love that. And I love that I need only to turn the pages of scripture to read the most tender words of love written for the entire world. From creation to the coming revelation, God is love. Evidence of miracles upon miracles for His beloved creation can be found between the words “In the beginning” and “Even so, come Lord Jesus.”
And even among the heartache that our world carries today, God continues to work miracles. They may be seemingly small ones found among the details of our lives or they may be glaringly obvious ones leaving no doubt that God is working. But every day, He is working.
What God Has Done for You
“Mommy, you aren’t good at playing hockey, but that’s because you don’t have any hair on your face.”
“I love bugs. I just don’t like their behavior.”
“I am going to score a goal for Mommy’s doctor, because anyone who takes care of my Mommy deserves a goal.”
“Daddy works so hard for our family. We need to make a special Daddy day to thank him.”
These are quotes from my son’s memory book. One of his favorite things to do as a family is to read from this. It’s not really that fancy. It’s just a simple journal, filled with silly and lovable quotes and actions of his that Tom and I have jotted down over time. But each time we read it, we are reminded of the precious gifts that he brings to our family.
I wonder if we routinely made a list of all that God does for us, all the gifts that He gives to us, what would it look like? And would we ever question our trust in Him if we read the list every day?
- Comforted me when I was grieving.
- Calmed me when I was anxious.
- Revealed His character to me through His Word.
- Answered prayers. Answered prayers. Answered prayers.
- Forgave my sins.
- Saved my life.
- Gave me a reason to choose life, even when life presents its most difficult circumstances.
- Blessed me beyond reason.
- Gave hope. Gave strength. Gave courage.
These are just some of the things God has done for me that I recalled in less than a minute. I can’t make your list for you. I can only tell you that if you’re reading this post, God is pursuing you. Maybe you have a list ready to proclaim the wonderful deeds He has done in your life. Maybe you are still looking for evidence that He knows your name. Either way, He is pursuing you and He is waiting to show you what He can do when you trust Him. We start by remembering all the things He has already done.
As we continue along our journey of Battling Anxiety with Biblical Truth, this is our challenge for today: to consider the things we know about God, what He has done for the world, and what He has done for us. And then tell Him.
Until tomorrow, carry on warriors.
Denise Pass says
You did it again, Heather! Beautifully said. Images of me learning to swim filled my mind – only I was too afraid and splashed water on myself, pretending I had already taken my lesson. LOL. Those were my “BC” days. Keep going – you are almost at the end of this 31 day challenge! 🙂