One of the hallmarks of the Christian faith is trust. Although we often use the words faith and trust as synonyms, there is actually a difference. As one writer said, trusting is what we do because of the faith we have been given.
We begin the Christian life by trusting in the death of Jesus to save us. And we grow in the Christian faith as we learn to trust God in the various times of life.
In Joshua 1:9, God said to Joshua, Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. He was saying, trust Me whatever life throws at you.
The Bible has a lot to say about trust, especially in the Psalms. Just a few examples include Psalm 9:10, Those who know your name trust in you; Psalm 13:5, I trust in your unfailing love; Psalm 20:7, Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God; and Psalm 37:3, Trust in the Lord and do good.
The classic passage on the subject is Proverbs 3:5-6 which stresses just how important the issue of trust is. Trust in the Lord with all your heart (all that you are), and don’t lean on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.
God wants us to trust Him all of the time for everything in life. Even in the hard times.
The thing about trust is that you really don’t know the strength of your trust until your trust is tested. It is in the trials of life that the depth of trust is revealed. It is in the darkness that we really learn just how much we trust. What is assumed in the light is often exposed in the darkness.
And that’s why God sometimes puts us in difficult circumstances. Trust demands trials. Without them we really don’t know anything about the strength of our trust.
David McCullough in his excellent biography about the early life of President Theodore Roosevelt, Mornings on Horseback, relates what was undoubtedly the darkest day of Roosevelt’s life.
Roosevelt had always had a close relationship with his mother, which only deepened after the death of his father. In October of 1880 he married Alice Lee, the love of his life and the only other woman to whom he gave his love (until a second marriage some years later). These two women, his mother and his wife, were the lights of his life and he could not have been happier.
Until a fateful day in 1884 when tragedy struck. His mother was the first to die of typhoid fever. Alice died eleven hours later in the same house of a kidney disease after giving birth to their only child.
Contemplating the death of his wife some months later he wrote, When my heart’s dearest died, the light went out from my life forever. It was a dark place.
One of Roosevelt’s contemporaries prayed that God would give Roosevelt strength to work bravely in the darkness.
I would like to make a small change to his prayer and pray for you and for me, that when we are in that dark place, that place where we don’t understand what God is doing, when we can’t explain His plan, that He will give us strength to trust Him bravely in the darkness.
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