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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Rural Michigan winter scene (photo by Howard Blichfeldt)
A rural winter scene in Michigan.
(Photo by Howard Blichfeldt)

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"Trust In The Lord"

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" (Proverbs 3:5,6).

We’ve chosen a proverb for our focus today; one that is often quoted for those who are graduating or about to embark on a new path. It's also a verse that brings assurance to our hearts no matter where we are on life's journey.  

The book of Proverbs is full of wise sayings, easily memorized, that will keep us on the right track as we apply them to our lives. I still recall a Bible College definition of a Proverb being a "short pithy saying." It is listed in the Microsoft Office dictionary system with synonyms such as "terse, to the point, succinct."

In an overall sense this Proverb always speaks to our situation. However there are those acute times when we desperately need the Lord’s specific direction and this verse becomes even more directive and meaningful in our lives. Most all of our readers today are dealing with the inconstancies of life such as a financial crisis, a difficulty at work, an unemployment situation, a troubling family matter or a major health concern that lies heavily on their hearts. In just the last couple days we’ve heard from:
  • A now-single mother trying to avoid eviction from her house after being abandoned by her husband of 18 years for another woman.
  • An unemployed friend who keeps finding one closed door after another.
  • A man in the midst of a very hard marital situation.
  • A woman recovering from a beating from her abusive husband.
  • One who is being pulled back into the ways of the world.
(Of course the list goes on and on, but it helps us to consider these matters fresh in our minds as we prepare this encouragement message.)

This wonderful Proverb has three commands followed by a promise:

1) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart." Trust requires us to have faith and confident assurance that God is working through a matter. It is not the circumstance or our own heart that we place our trust in, but the object of our trust is "in the Lord." Are we to partially trust God and partially rely on our own abilities or wisdom? Not really! God want us to trust Him with all our heart.

2) “Lean not on your own understanding.” I consider the times when I thought I understood a matter, only to find out later I was wrong. When we lean on our own understanding we often get things wrong. We may start to worry,  become afraid, or grow desperate and then we begin to make huge mistakes, make wrong choices, etc. Our understanding is always limited, often flawed, and cannot give us an accurate view of the future.

3) “In all your ways acknowledge Him.” In our thoughts, our speech, and our actions may others see that God is the central figure of our lives. Let there be no doubt as to Who or what motivates us to do what we do and say what we say. May Christ be preeminent in everything we do.

For me it's not at all hard to comprehend the meaning of these three clauses, but consistent personal application is another matter!
  • Am I really trusting in the Lord with all my heart?
  • (Or) Am I leaning on my own understanding?
  • Am I really acknowledging Him (day by day, moment by moment)?
The promise in the text is "He shall direct your paths."  Our responsibility is to obey His commands. When we do so, we can be absolutely assured that God will direct our paths!

After nearly 40 years of walking with the Lord I am still trying to fully apply this verse. Frankly, I expect to do so until I receive the upward call. But I can testify to the veracity of God’s promise. He directs my paths and I have an assurance that He always will as I trust Him wholeheartedly. Today I encourage each reader to accept this truth in regard to your own situation and rejoice with me in His steadfast love and care.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful man
Daily prayer: Father, when I lean on my own understanding I fall prey to thinking in the natural and limit the work of the supernatural. But when I trust You with all my heart I leave no room for second guessing. Today I want to acknowledge Your presence in every area of my life…family, work, relationships, health, intellect and every other area of my life. You will bring to pass the plans You have for me as I wholeheartedly trust You for all that concerns me. Amen.

Naomi Wolgemuth (12/29/10)
Yesterday we went over to Messiah Village to visit Naomi, an elderly lady from our church. Brooksyne led a hymn sing with the residents in her nursing home.

Christ Preeminent (12/29/10)
Yesterday we also drove by Messiah College in Grantham, PA.
For many years I have been blessed by this two word phrase on their sign,
"Christ Preeminent"

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link to open and play.
(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"Trust In The Lord"  Video  Don Moen

"Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus"  Video  Casting Crowns

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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