Frightened? Then Trust God. Seriously.

April 19, 2017

 

The phrase "just trust God" is often the most overused and simplistic thing someone can say to someone else who is struggling. I have railed against such trite advice in the past, but when it comes to fear, it could not be more spot on. When we are living a life full of fear and plagued by worry, we need to get back to the basics and consider what it means to simply trust God. 

 

But in order to do that, we have to know that God is faithful. Only when we truly believe and embrace that truth will we find any kind of victory over our fears. Consider what the psalmist David said:

 

Your unfailing love, O LORD, is as vast as the heavens;

   your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.

Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,

   your justice like the ocean depths.

You care for people and animals alike, O LORD.

   How precious is your unfailing love, O God!

All humanity finds shelter

   in the shadow of your wings.

You feed them from the abundance of your own house,

   letting them drink from your river of delights.

For you are the fountain of life,

   the light by which we see. —Psalm 36:5–9 (NLT)

 

 

God’s faithfulness is directly tied to his perfect love. Because of his love, he is faithful to us, even if we don’t deserve it. His love is as “vast as the heavens” so his faithfulness “reaches beyond the clouds.”

He cares for people and animals alike. I love that animals are included in his care because that confirms that his love is constant, even when we do nothing to earn it. Animals know nothing of God’s commands and cannot worship him as we do, and yet his care extends to them.

 

All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of his wings. This brings to mind Jesus’ words about Jerusalem in Matthew 23:37, where he says, “How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.” That seems to indicate that the only condition to being under his shelter is a willingness to be so. As we put ourselves in his care, he will protect us beyond our own ability to do so.

 

The last couple verses of this passage concern God’s faithfulness to provide for us. With phrases such as “feed them from the abundance of your house,” we are assured that he knows our needs and will supply them. I think of when my husband was in seminary and because of medical bills we had no money for groceries the last week of the month. Together we had under twenty-five cents. Just as we wondered what we could possibly do, we received a letter from a woman I had met randomly over seven years before. She sent a small check saying, “I heard your husband was in seminary and thought you could use this.” It was just enough to buy things like oatmeal, bread, peanut butter, and apples. Our kids were thrilled that I didn’t make them eat a single vegetable all week, and it has remained a benchmark in trusting God for our needs.

 

Finally, the psalmist says, “For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see.” He is faithful because his very nature is to be so. He is bubbling over with life and is light itself (see Revelation 22:5). That can only result in faithfulness that spills over and lights up our lives. So whatever fears you have, you need to understand that God is trustworthy and that the only way out of the trap of worry is to trust him fully with all you struggle with. Be honest. Then trust the God who is faithful. Rest in his shelter right now. Picture yourself firmly in his arms, protected from all harm. 

 

Prayer

I am willing to put myself in your care, Lord. I believe you are faithful and that you long to gather me under your wings to protect and care for me. I place myself there and ask you to help me to be mindful of that care throughout the day, no matter what I face. Remind me when I run away from your care and shoulder things on my own, trying to control my circumstances as fear overwhelms me. When those moments happen, quietly draw me back into your shelter and reassure me of your faithfulness.

 

 

Excerpted from my book No More Fear: 40 Days to Conquer Worry. Click to gain 40 days of similar devotions. 

 

 

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