Does trust come automatically or is it learned? Of course, it is learned. Trust takes time.
Just because someone says “trust me”, can we trust them? For those few people in our lives that we can trust, the people we say we can “count on” when things are tough, how was that trust developed? I am sure that those people have shown themselves to be trustworthy, over time. Perhaps they have come through for you like when your car broke down, or when you needed help with a personal emergency.
But what about those times that require more than human help? What about a terminal illness or a dire financial situation? I’m sure you know where I’m going with this. Certainly, God is there for us when we need Him, but although we know this intellectually, do we know in our heart that we can trust Him?
Psalm 9: 10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.
I think this verse says so succinctly what I’m trying to say. “Those who know your name trust in you”. Reading about trusting in God or listening to your pastor about trusting God is one thing, but actually trusting in God personally is a completely different matter.
Pray or just pay?
When money seems like the obvious or only solution, do we reach for the credit card or do we wait on God and seek His advice? The problem is if we always seem to “figure it out”, there is no way for us to learn how to trust in Him. This is why I think He sometimes leads us down a path so that we have no choice but to trust in Him. How does this work? Let’s review the story of Elijah and the widow at Zarephath:
1 Kings 7: 8 Then the Lord said to Elijah, 9 “Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. I have instructed a widow there to feed you.”
10 So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, “Would you please bring me a little water in a cup?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called to her, “Bring me a bite of bread, too.”
12 But she said, “I swear by the Lord your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.”
God tells Isaiah to visit the widow, so he goes. Isaiah asks for some bread, and as far as she’s concerned she has just enough for one more meal, then she and her son will die.
“You’re asking me for bread???”
13 But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!”
15 So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her son continued to eat for many days. 16There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.
So Elijah reassures the woman and says that there will always be enough until the crops grow again. So that’s what happens. She lives through this somewhat miraculous time while her needs are being met day by day and they get through it. But then something happens:
17 Some time later the woman’s son became sick. He grew worse and worse, and finally he died.18 Then she said to Elijah, “O man of God, what have you done to me? Have you come here to point out my sins and kill my son?”
Her son dies.
She’s distraught and questions the man of God altogether. It doesn’t make sense. He comes there, she witnesses the daily miracles, and then her son dies? Why God? Elijah is clueless as well…
19 But Elijah replied, “Give me your son.” And he took the child’s body from her arms, carried him up the stairs to the room where he was staying, and laid the body on his bed. 20 Then Elijah cried out to the Lord, “O Lord my God, why have you brought tragedy to this widow who has opened her home to me, causing her son to die?”
21 And he stretched himself out over the child three times and cried out to the Lord, “O Lord my God, please let this child’s life return to him.” 22 The Lord heard Elijah’s prayer, and the life of the child returned, and he revived! 23 Then Elijah brought him down from the upper room and gave him to his mother. “Look!” he said. “Your son is alive!”
The non-believer is blessed by God through the believer and only after seeing her son die does God have a chance to work so that this happens…
24 Then the woman told Elijah, “Now I know for sure that you are a man of God, and that the Lord truly speaks through you.”
She’s now a believer!
God has revealed Himself to her and she has a great testimony. I love this. In this process of the woman becoming a believer, Elijah is strengthened and encouraged by the whole event. I think that the daily miracle of just having food to eat prepared the woman for what was to come.
Mark 4: 39 When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. 40 Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41 The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”
God allowed the child to die just as He allows the storms to come into our lives so that we may see Him at work in our lives, learn to trust in Him, and also that those around us will know that He is God.
Exodus 14:18 When my glory is displayed through them, all Egypt will see my glory and know that I am the Lord!”
Do those around you know that He is the Lord?
“O Lord, thank you for what you are doing in my life. I don’t understand all that you are doing and you know that I get frustrated at times and ask ‘why?’. Please be patient with me as I continue to learn and get to know you more. For you are God and I am a mere human. Lead me down your perfect and pleasing path so that the people you have put in my life will know that you are God. In Jesus’ name, amen.”