Sunday, July 17, 2022
There are so many great nuggets in Proverbs 3, each of which could have a devotion centered on it. Some of these include:
- Proverbs 3:3, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you…”
- 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 3:9, “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops.”
- Proverbs 3:11-12, “.. do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”
- Proverbs 3:27, “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.”
- Proverbs 3:33, “The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous.”
Today, I’d like to focus on 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.”
It’s easy to praise and thank God when things are going well. And when life is sailing along smoothly, its hard to even think about having to trust in (rely on) God. But when times get rough, that’s when the rubber meets the road for our faith.
So what does it mean to trust in God when you face financial hardships? When you’ve lost a loved one? When you face serious health problems? When life seems to just stink? When you’re dying?
1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”
In Matthew 11:28, Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
I know from personal experience that it is easy to, “Cast my anxiety on Him” by crying out to God, telling him all my problems, asking Him to solve them, and asking Him to give me peace. I also know it’s hard to not pick up those problems again and try to shoulder them myself.
In other words, this passage is easy to acknowledge as right, but very hard to really put into practice.
Jesus passed along some wisdom about how to accomplish this in Matthew 6:24-34. This section starts with Jesus telling us not to worry about our lives, what we’re going to eat, or wear, or anything else. And the reason he gave was: God knows what you need, and will take care of you. Instead, Jesus gave us something else to focus on in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
So the trick to not focusing on our problems is to instead focus on God’s promises. In Revelation 21:4, we’re told that in the Kingdom of God, God himself ‘… will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Think about the Kingdom of God and the conditions there. Obsess over it. Long for it. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and then live your life in such a way as to be in God’s kingdom.
I have learned from personal experience that the closer we draw to God during our tough times, the more he seems to lift us up and help us through – in situations where it seems we couldn’t have gotten through on our own.
And while we’re talking about problems, have you ever thought that God may allow problems in our lives to help us focus more on Him and his kingdom? Romans 8:22-23 says,” We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.”
So, while you’re experiencing loss and pain, focus on God and on his kingdom. Long for it. Draw close to God. In doing this, you will learn to trust in the Lord with all your heart. And then He will direct your life.
- How has God shown Himself to be trustworthy so far – in the Bible? In the lives of people you know? In your own life?
- How does remembering God’s promises help get you through tough times?
- What does it mean to you to not have to rely on your own understanding?
- Would you like to be known as a person who puts their trust in God? How can you work towards increasing your trust in God?