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 ESV
With this proverb, Solomon makes it clear where our focus should be. We should not be trusting ourselves or other people. Instead, we should put all of our trust in the Lord. This command can be seen throughout the whole Bible. The holy scriptures also reveal to us what happens when we trust God or choose not to do so. I would like to show you both scenarios. Furthermore, I want to encourage you to lift your eyes to our holy Father rather than trying to do all things by yourself.
In case you don’t know Why We Should Fear God yet, you might want to read that first. It is the basis for our trust in the Lord.
The Promises When We Trust God
The first promise can be seen in the quote above: When we trust God and acknowledge his work in our lives, He will straighten our paths. This promise is extended by Isaiah who wrote,
You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3 NIV
Thus, God will remove walls of fear that hold us captive and save us from our enemies. The latter, He himself promises by declaring,
“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 NKJV
However, the life of a Christian is not always puppies and kittens. What remains though, is our strength and the peace of our hearts. This we keep through trusting in Paul’s statement that says,
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 NASB
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
Testimonies About God Keeping The Above Promises
That these promises are real can be seen in both the Old and the New Testament. In fact, the number of those stories is far to great to include all of them here. Therefore, I just picked three to show you that God is really serious about his assurances.
More examples of God keeping his word in this matter are found in The Evidence of God’s Presence.
Jehoshaphat Trusts God And His Enemies Are Defeated
One of the most inspiring testimonies about God’s response to trust is the story of Judah being surrounded by hostile armies. Those armies had declared war against Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, and as a result
Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to seek help from the Lord; they even came from all the cities of Judah to seek the Lord. 2 Chronicles 20:3-4 NASB
Because of their earnest request for help, God answered the people through a prophet
and he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel. You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the Lord is with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:15-17 NASB
Trusting what they had heard, the king and his soldiers set out to meet their enemies the next day. On the way, Jehoshaphat encouraged his army to believe the prophets and to trust God to bring them the assured victory. And
When they began singing and praising, the Lord set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed. For the sons of Ammon and Moab rose up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir destroying them completely; and when they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
When Judah came to the lookout of the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude, and behold, they were corpses lying on the ground, and no one had escaped. 2 Chronicles 20:22-24 NASB
God kept his word to fight in their stead because the Judeans trusted him and He’ll do the same for you!
Hezekiah Trusts God And Jerusalem Is Saved
Another great testimony about trust is the one of king Hezekiah of Judah. Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, had invaded Judah and wanted to capture Jerusalem, too. His officers threatened the people of Jerusalem and insulted them and their God. In fact,
These officers talked about the God of Jerusalem as though he were one of the pagan gods, made by human hands. 2 Chronicles 32:19 NLT
Instead of giving in to these threats, Hezekiah trusted God and prayed,
“It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all these nations. And they have thrown the gods of these nations into the fire and burned them. But of course the Assyrians could destroy them! They were not gods at all—only idols of wood and stone shaped by human hands. Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you alone, O Lord, are God.”
Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent this message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I have heard your prayer about King Sennacherib of Assyria. 2 Kings 19:17-20 NLT
God further promised Hezekiah that He would defeat Assyria.
And the Lord sent an angel who destroyed the Assyrian army with all its commanders and officers. So Sennacherib was forced to return home in disgrace to his own land. And when he entered the temple of his god, some of his own sons killed him there with a sword. 2 Chronicles 32:21 NLT
Like with Jehoshaphat, the Judeans didn’t lift a finger to save themselves. Instead, they put their trust in God who heard their cry and rescued them.
The Believers Trust God And Peter Is Released
When we trust God, we will bring a way to the impossible. This can especially be seen in the release of Peter. He was thrown into prison by Herod Agrippa who intended to kill him.
So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.
Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.
Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.” Acts 12:5-11 NIV
The believers didn’t even try to free Peter on their own. Instead, they prayed and trusted God with his rescue. Their trust led God to step in and save Peter which no man could have accomplished. In the same way, God will set you free from your bonds and fears if you just trust in him. It might seem impossible for you but believe me, it’s not
“For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37 NKJV
What Happens If We Don’t Trust God
Another reason for why we should trust God is that we will only end up in trouble if we don’t. God has made this very clear for He did not speak in riddles when he proclaimed,
Thus says the Lord,
“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord.” Jeremiah 17:5 NASB
As a result, the Israelites knew both, God’s promises of protection and his warnings like the one above. Still, some kings persisted on trusting in mankind rather than God’s word which didn’t end well. Below are just two examples of such situations.
Please don’t misunderstand this. God doesn’t forbid us to ask other people for help when we are in need. What He demands is simply that we seek and trust him first. Therefore, rely on God’s word when He gives you a promise and don’t turn to humans, thinking that they would be a better aid!
David Counts The Men In Israel Instead Of Trusting God
Upon first reading, a census might not seem to be an occasion for mistrust in God. However, David’s census of the people of Israel was not ordered by God and Matthew Henry describes it as
The pride of David’s heart, was his sin in numbering of the people. He thought thereby to appear the more formidable, trusting in an arm of flesh more than he should have done, and though he had written so much of trusting in God only. Matthew Henry’s Commentary, 2 Samuel 24:1-9
Thus, by counting his men, David wanted to know how many warriors there were instead of relying on God’s assurances that He would keep them safe. As a result, God sent a plague upon Israel and greatly diminished that which David had trusted in.
If you sometimes feel like you need to count your money or trust only in yourself or the things you can see, you might be interested in reading about how God Cares For Us.
Ahaz Trusts Assyria More Than He Trusts God
King Ahaz of Judah also preferred to trust in human strength, namely the Assyrian army, rather than in God. Thus, when Aram and the northern tribes of Israel approached to attack Jerusalem,
King Ahaz sent messengers to King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria with this message: “I am your servant and your vassal. Come up and rescue me from the attacking armies of Aram and Israel.” 2 Kings 16:7 NLT
It was about the same time that the prophet Isaiah gave Ahaz a message from the Lord. He told him that Jerusalem wouldn’t be captured and that Ahaz should choose a sign of comfirmation. Ahaz refused though, claiming that he wouldn’t test God. This seems like an act of reverence (see Deuteronomy 6:16),
But the true reason why he did not seek this sign was, that he had already entered into a negotiation with the king of Assyria to come and defend him; and that he was even stripping the temple of God of its silver and gold, to secure this assistance. When people are depending on their own devices and resources, they are unwilling to seek aid from God; and it is not uncommon if they excuse their want of trust in him by some appearance of respect for religion. Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, Isaiah 7:12
God knew this and hence promised through Isaiah that the Assyrian king, the very one Ahaz trusted in, would turn against Judah. This threat was carried out during the reign of Ahaz’s son when
In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. 2 Kings 18:13 ESV
Both of the above examples show how mistrust in the Lord doesn’t end well. It won’t always turn out that bad but nevertheless, these stories should stand as a reminder for us all.
The Most Important Reason For Why We Should Trust God
All of the above promises and warnings are not the most important reason for us to trust God though. The primary motivation is that
We have all become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
We all fade like a leaf,
and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. Isaiah 64:4 ESV
Even our best deeds are filthy to the Lord because we are all sinners and not one person is righteous. If you don’t believe me, go through the Ten Commandments and see how many of them you have broken. I promise you that there will be at least one. Therefore, we all deserve to go to hell,
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23 KJV
For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. Romans 3:25-26 NLT
Thus, the only way to escape our doom is through faith and trust in Jesus as our Savior. He bore the weight of all of our sins as He died on the cross, paying the fine for our transgressions. That way, God can remain just while We Are Forgiven Through the Blood of Christ! And no matter what you’ve been told in the past, there is no such thing as “working your way into heaven”,
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV
Hence, trust God who has given himself away so that you could live forever! And since He paid so much for you to be forgiven, you can be sure that
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV