Help Me to Trust in You, O’ Lord! Be Thou My Wisdom! |Proverbs 3:5–6|

Trust. It can’t be half-hearted. Either it is a full trust, or it is ‘trust’ clouded with suspicion and doubt. So, as we face the everyday challenges of life, or as we look for answers to deep and difficult problems, let’s put our full trust in the LORD.

Pray! Let’s ask for his wisdom and guidance as we make our choices. Let’s give him praise for the good in our life and seek his blessing for the long days ahead. Why? Because he longs to bless us with a wise life, both now, and forevermore.

Proverbs 3:5-8 New Revised Standard Version

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will be a healing for your flesh
    and a refreshment for your body.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

Faith ….

Hope ….

Love ….

And the Greatest of these is …..

Resigning yourself into God’s care is an act of faith. It’s easy for Christians to say in a hopeful general way, “The Lord’s will be done,” but it’s another matter entirely for us to resign ourselves into the Lord’s loving hands about a specific circumstance which we have no answer. In the Bible when someone approached this walk of self-resignation, it was done with great seriousness of thought.

And the Greatest of these is …… TRUST?

Can there be faith, hope and love absent a maximum measure of genuine trust?

Merely saying the words, “I trust the Lord completely,” isn’t sufficient to prove that we possess a total 100% ‘genuine’ trust in him. It must be a free and willing surrender. Consider Egypt’s Pharaoh: Only when he could not hold out against God’s plagues any longer did, finally resigns to let Israel take their wilderness journey toward the Promised Land (see Exodus 12:29-32).

Likewise, many people living in these higher than high -risk contemporary of times has said, “I give in, I commit, I trust,” only after they have seen no other way out of their situations. But true resignation, the kind that pleases God, is done willingly to His Standard, prior to our coming to our wit’s end. We are to act in covenant with the Lord, giving him a blank check and letting him fill it in.

God cannot and will not accept no less than our all. If we resign our lives to him only half-heartedly, with any kind of reservation, we are as guilty as Ananias and Sapphira. They pretended to give their all to the Lord, but in reality, they held back a part and they paid with their lives (see Acts 5:1-11). There can be no deals or restrictions placed on our Lord. Contrast Acts 2:43-47 with 5:1-11!

“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).

“Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him” (Psalm 62:8).

Although the psalmists say we’re to trust in God at all times, our pride always makes us want to keep control of our lives. It is surprising how stubborn and fleeting and woefully willful each one of us can be. Our surrender to him — in our thoughts, our actions, our desires — is by nature a daily, ongoing work.

We are repeatedly reminded, (gently, not so gently) “The just shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). How reassuring to know that as we reach to him in faith, our Master will carry us through all hardships and natural impossibilities. How reassuring to know, to experience, as we stretch our finite hopes heavenward, it is our resurrected Savior Jesus who rose from the grave – turned our dying hope unto an ever-lasting and ever-living hope for a prosperous and blessed future.

We often get too easily wrapped up in the pursuit of happiness. It’s easy to think that if we could just do or be better that we would have it made. So, we work, and we work, trying to get more friends, or improve our grades to get into a better college. We do things like getting a job after school so we can get a car. We believe if we can do enough, be enough or have enough, we will be happy.

The problem with our doing more, with our being more, or our having more is that these things are empty. There’s no number of good grades that will truly make us happy in the long run. No number of friends, or money will complete us. We can try and work to fill our life with stuff, still feel impossibly empty.

Today’s Bible verse addresses these issues.

The last part of this verse from Proverbs 3 talks about not depending on our own understanding. What that means is do not depend too heavily on what we think seems good. Don’t depend on what we see on TV or what we hear in the halls at school from our friends to tell us what will make us all 1000% happy.

True happiness comes from a relationship of maturing trust with Jesus Christ.

When you let 100% of Jesus into your life, He will show you how He sees you.

It’s when you get to know and trust Jesus, you will find true happiness. If you want to be happy and live your life to the fullest, you need to choose to do what this verse says. You need to trust the Lord with all your heart. This isn’t always easy, it is not always supposed to be easy, but if you’ll spend some time getting to know God, you will see trusting in Him brings you true maturing happiness.

So, choose today to trust in the Lord. Don’t get caught up in all the things of life and let them steal your happiness. Trust in God and look to Him for answers.

Psalm 27

Triumphant Song of Confidence

Of David.

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold[a] of my life;
    of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers assail me
    to devour my flesh—
my adversaries and foes—
    they shall stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me,
    my heart shall not fear;
though war rise up against me,
    yet I will be confident.

One thing I asked of the Lord,
    that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
    and to inquire in his temple.

For he will hide me in his shelter
    in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
    he will set me high on a rock.

Now my head is lifted up
    above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
    sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud,
    be gracious to me and answer me!
“Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!”
    Your face, Lord, do I seek. (Psalm 27:1-8 NRSV)

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

O Lord my God, my eternal Father, thank you that you are my ever-present help in times of trouble. Help me to trust in what is unseen. Remind me of the truth of your power, that you surround me, and that you are fighting for me. Give me favor and breakthrough in my life. You are the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, my Savior. To you be all measures of honor and glory forever and ever.  Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.

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James 1:12 Trust and Obey. For there is No Other Way. But to be Happy in Jesus. To Trust! Obey! Live! Blessed Is the One Who Perseveres Under Trials.

Why must we endure trials? The truth is that even Christ had to suffer. Jesus Christ was born perfect and never sinned, but to be prepared for what God had sent him to do, he had to suffer. Luke 24:26 says it was “necessary.” Hebrews 2:18 says that Christ “suffered” when he was tempted. Hebrews 5:8-9 says, “Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.”

For God so LOVED the world! He sent His Son – not to condemn but to offer life – life in an unimaginable abundance! If Christ suffered, why would we not, and for the same reason? Peter said we are in the furnace of affliction to be purified (1 Peter 1:7). God is our good Father, and a good Father disciplines his children whom he loves (Proverbs 3:12). If you are not facing trial, you will. Accept it!!! Walk through it! faithfully, obediently trusting God. let Savior God work in you!!!

James 1:12-18 New American Standard Bible

12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has [a]been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 No one is to say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted [b]by God”; for God cannot be tempted [c]by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it has run its (full) course, brings forth death. 16 Do not be [d]deceived, my beloved brothers and sisters17 Every good thing given, and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or [e]shifting shadow. 18 In the exercise of His will He gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would be [f]a kind of first fruits [g]among His creatures.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

We are definitely living in uncertain times. There is much going on around us which is not even minimally pleasing to any of our six senses. There is much going on around us which we do not understand, and much which others would rather we not try to understand – just accept and muddle through as best as we can figure out for ourselves and those within our limited spheres of influence.

From the midst of all that which surrounds us and threatens to envelop us, we seek out, receive the greater wisdom and truth from the Word of God. We read now and should prepare ourselves to receive our God’s encouragement to His Children from James 1:12-18. Such should serve as a protection for us. It should guard us from having distorted views of God and of our situation. James offers three reminders that should help us think rightly about God in times of trial.

As We Face Trials, We Must Remember that God Has Promised a Good Reward for Those Who Love Him (1:12)

  • A blessed people– We don’t usually equate suffering with being blessed, but this is the adjective James uses to describe those who remain firm in their faith and confident in God amid trials. 
  • The promise of God– While this verse has much to say about our response to suffering, the main focus is on the promise of God. God has promised eternal life to those who love Him (the crown of life).
  • Remaining steadfast– The call to steadfastness is a call to faith and trust in God. While this may seem to imply a works based salvation, we know from Scripture that our love for God and our enduring faith are both gifts from Him given by His grace.

As we Face Trials, We Must Remember that God does not use Trials to Tempt Us to Sin (1:13-15)

  • Let no one say– James understands human nature well and he knows that when the pressure is really and heavily upon us, we will be tempted to sin. Amid that temptation we may also be inclined to point the finger at God and to accuse Him of being the source of our temptation. James wants to impart wisdom to us to understand God rightly. He warns us against accusing God of being a tempter.
  • The character of God – God is holy (vs. 13)– In order to prove his point James speaks and writes and he appeals to the holiness of God. Because God is holy and cannot sin, He cannot be tempted, and He will not tempt anyone to sin.
  • The actual source of temptations – Our own desires (vs. 14) – In verse 14 James explains our temptation to sin does not come from outside of us. Temptation is not an outside force, but an inner battle. The source of our temptations is the evil desires of our hearts. (Mark 7:14-15 21-23Romans 7:18-25; Jeremiah 17:9)
  • The results of giving into evil desires – Sin and death (vs. 15) – Reverend Dr. Daniel Doriani, Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology at Covenant Theological Seminary [James] personifies evil, saying temptations and desires come together to “conceive.” Their offspring is named “sin.” Sin grows up and sin becomes a parent too. The name of its child is “death.” As surely as our physical conception leads to birth, this kind of ‘sin’ conception “gives birth to death.”

As We Face Trials, We Must Remember that God is the Giver of Good Gifts (1:16-18)

  • The character of God as the giver of good gifts (vs. 16-17) – God is holy. Since He is holy everything that comes from Him is good and perfect and that even extends to our trials. Even our trials can be seen as good gifts that God allows in order to produce something greater in us. God does not give us anything that is intended to harm us or cause us to sin; everything that comes from His hand is intended grow us and to mature us and strengthen us with God’s own wisdom.
  • The unchanging God– In times that are uncertain and inconsistent we can find a living hope in recognizing God’s unchanging and never wavering character.
  • God’s greatest gift – Our salvation (vs. 18) – As James brings this section to a close, he ends with the reminder of the greatest gift that God has given, namely our salvation. Our world is cursed by sin and struggles, but God has promised to make all things new. We are a kind of firstfruits as even now God is making us more and more into the image of His Son.

Summary – We are living in an unprecedented time and now more than ever we must strive to think rightly about God and His dealing with us. Regardless of what we face we can be confident in what God has promised, that He remains the giver of every good and perfect gifts. We can also be sure, certain, that any temptation to sin is not from Him, but from our own hearts. Thankfully we know that in Christ we can have victory over the sinful desires of our hearts.

Jesus said the greatest commandment is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37).

He said that the whole law is summed up in this one command, especially combined with the covenant command of loving your neighbor as yourself.

Indeed, can sin be committed without first breaking this Great Commandment? For those who love the Lord, there is the promise of the “crown of life.” “The crown of life” seems most likely to be another term for abundant life, eternal life, and heavenly reward. Some make distinctions between different crowns listed throughout Scriptures, but it seems to generally mean eternal reward.

James notes that this reward is available only to those who love God. The question then becomes, what does it mean to love God? This answer can be found in three passages within Deuteronomy.

1) Maintaining Fullness of Heart (Deuteronomy 6:5; also, Matthew 23:37Mark 12:30; and Luke 10:27) – In this verse, we see one must love God with their whole heart. This is a complete commitment and one’s love of God cannot be defined by a partial undertaking.

When Christ called people to follow Him, it was exhaustive, requiring that one give their whole life (Luke 14:25-33). This call included the entirety of one’s heart. Therefore, one is to have a whole heart directed towards Him. Your heart cannot be divided between two worlds, which means that even the smallest corner must be given over to Him in service and sacrifice (See Romans 12:1-2).

2) Maintaining His Ways (Deuteronomy 10:12) – The people of God are called to walk according to the precepts of God. God has outlined His will for every believer, and if one loves Him, they will indeed walk according to that will.

The idea of walk here indicates this is to be a steadfast way of life. Walking according to the ways of God is not something that one chooses to do only part of the time. Remembering each of us continuously battles our sinful nature, each person must make it a priority to put the ways of God first, so that God is made known by the way in which one lives.

3) Maintaining His Word (Deuteronomy 11:1) – Finally, one who loves God will keep the charge of God, the statutes of God, rules of God, and commandments of God. As one who loves God, a believer will keep His law.

Throughout the Bible, the authors (through divine inspiration of course!) refer to it as the law. Being all sufficient (2 Timothy 3:16) the Scripture is meant to be both a guideline and the authority for how you live. Therefore, be in it daily and seek just how to live it, doing so in an act of obedience because you love God.

James has issued the call to persevere through trials, knowing that a person will be made complete through them, noting that they will receive the crown of life.

This crown of life is the motivation of obedience for every believer, not because they desire to have a crown, but because they desire to be in the presence of the true and holy God. Therefore, maintain His ways as outlined in His word, with a fullness of heart. May God, know we love Him by our deeds of trust, obedience.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

The Prayer of St. Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.
I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.
I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the predictions of prophets,
In the preaching of apostles,
In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In the deeds of righteous men.
I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of rock.
I arise today, through
God’s strength to pilot me,
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.
I summon today
All these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and merciless power
that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul;
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.
Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

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With All of My Heart, With All of My Soul, With All of My Strength, I Will Either Fear Man or I Will Trust God!

The providence of God has brought to my spirit today this well-known Hymn

Give to the Winds Thy Fears

Translator: John Wesley (1739); Author, Paul Gerhardt (1653)

1 Give to the winds thy fears,
hope and be undismayed;
God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears;
God shall lift up thy head.

2 Through waves and clouds and storms,
He gently clears the way;
wait thou His time, so shall this night
soon end in joyous day.

3 Still heavy is thy heart,
still sink thy spirits down?
Cast off the weight, let fear depart,
and ev’ry care be gone.

4 What though thou rulest not,
yet heav’n, and earth, and hell
proclaim, God sitteth on the throne,
and ruleth all things well.

5 Leave to His sov’reign sway
to choose and to command,
so shalt thou wond’ring own His way,
how wise, how strong His hand!

6 Far, far above thy thought
His counsel shall appear,
when fully He the work hath wrought,
that caused thy needless fear.

7 Thou seest our weakness, Lord,
our hearts are known to Thee;
O lift Thou up the sinking heart,
confirm the feeble knee.

8 Let us in life, in death,
Thy steadfast truth declare,
and publish with our latest breath
Thy love and guardian care.

Proverbs 29:25 Amplified Bible

25 
The fear of man brings a snare,
But whoever trusts in and puts his confidence in the Lord will be exalted and safe.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

There are many pressures in our 21st century life that causes us to be fearful more than we are trusting, and all too often it is fear that causes man to seek to escape life’s problems through less than desirable means. If anxiety or worry causes a person to be controlled or to be restricted by their circumstances, or if they seek to, “any way possible” escape the cascade of consequences of life’s pressures by committing some sort of acts contrary to the laws of mankind and God, then that person sets a trap for themselves.

They become ensnared and embroiled in their own wrong responses, in their own limits of wisdom. However, the Word of God for the Children of God gives us a wonderful reassurance the one who implicitly trusts the LORD, with all of his heart and all of his soul and with all of his strength, is both safe and secure.

Many passages throughout the Word of God give a believer encouragement and “God” confidence and blessed reassurances, but they often come in the form of contrasts, sinners and the saved, death and life, darkness and light, carnal and spiritual, unbelief and trust. Here inside the book of Proverbs the little word but peppers its pages with many such glorious contrasts. One verse reads, “The fear of man brings a snare, BUT he who [1000%] trusts in the LORD will be exulted.”

This short verse has an undiscovered, unplumbed, depth, a richness of meaning and much to teach us because it first describes a problem, ‘the fear of man’, yet concludes with ‘the GRACE principle’ – “but the Lord…”

The inevitable outcome for the fear of man is a snare which entraps both the heart and soul and without warning results in disappointment, deep despair.

However, Proverbs 29:25 teaches the opposite of fear is faith, which ironically is sometimes called ‘the fear of the Lord’ which is the beginning of wisdom.

As the fear of man and dread of circumstances increases, so, conversely, faith in the Lord decreases. But as our faith stands firm on the promises of God, so fear is likewise and equally dispelled. When faith in God is practiced, fear is snuffed out like a candle and vaporizes like the morning mist. The result of trusting the Lord and reverencing His holy name brings with it wisdom, exaltation and joy.

There is a world of difference between the ungodly ‘fear of man’ and godly ‘fear of the Lord’. Reverence for the Lord brings with it wisdom and strength, hope and joy, humility and purpose while esteem for fallen man too often entraps the soul and is accompanied by a whole host of anxieties and worry. How important then, in these precarious of 21st century circumstance to take this warning in Proverbs to heart, “fear of man is a snare while trusting the LORD brings praise?”

Placing implicit, unquestioning trust in anyone other than the Lord, brings in its wake problems and pain, disappointments and despair. However, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” and we have the assurance that the man who trusts in Him will be lifted up and certainly receive many blessings.

The fear of man over the fear of God often comes when we are trying far too hard to be a ‘people pleaser’ instead of honoring the Lord and pleasing Him.

The Bible clearly teaches that you and I cannot reverence God and man at the same time, and Paul addresses this issue in Galatians 1:6-10 when he asks, “Am I now seeking the favour of men, or of God? Am I striving to please men or the Lord?” And in Psalm 56, the writer shows that fear of man evaporates when we place our trust and confidence in the Lord. “In God I have put my trust,” he declares. “I shall not be afraid! What can man do to me?”

In every situation in which we find ourselves, in each life-problem we meet, we have irrefutable assurance in God’s Word that He is able and willing to deliver those that trust in the name of His only begotten Son – our Savior Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 5:8-11 New American Standard Bible

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 [a]So resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your [b]brothers and sisters who are in the world. 10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Please make no mistake here! Fear is an “up close in your face” sobering and dangerous emotion which entangles man in deep dark problems, and fear is also a favorite tool used by the enemy… who seeks to bring saved men down into his chaos, imbalance, ‘Slough of Despondency’ and entrap them in his ‘Pit of Despair’ which can over time, subtly, suddenly cause a believer to doubt the power and veracity of God’s Word and the Gospel truth of God’s Holy Scriptures.

Never forget somewhere in the Bible there is always a resounding, ‘BUT GOD…’

Purely as an illustration, suppose the Lord Jesus told you that “I am coming back very soon!” Do you think or believe He would then tell you to spend your time stockpiling provisions? Adding an addition to your home just for storage?

Hardly! I believe He would say “give all that you have to the homeless person who has nothing or go up and down the highways and by-ways and dark and darkened corridors and alleys and share the Gospel of His pending arrival. Give everything you have to those who do not have and declare the glory of what God has done for you, so they too may find someone to share the Good News also.

It is not my task or purpose to make people feel guilty or self-conscious. Every one of us knows they could be doing a better job of telling other people about our Savior. I am not talking about cornering people, backing them up against a wall and being “in your face” obnoxious. That only risks alienating someone.

I am here talking about starting everyday by praying this prayer: “Lord, today I am going to live solely for you. Today, if you would please just bring someone across my path who needs you, I will try hard to help them by pointing them unto you!”

Please, never allow any fear, as being conceived in your mind, to be birthed into a slice of terror which destroys the inner peace God gives to those who love Him. Rather, be too quick, be sober minded to dispel those thoughts which threaten to bring down your heart and soul, as soon as they come to mind, by setting your heart on the face of Jesus, taking those thoughts captive to Christ.

Our God of GRACE and peace in Whom we trust, has promised us all temporal, spiritual, and eternal mercies. Remember, it is fear of man that spawn’s death and dis-ease BUT the one who trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ honors the Father in heaven and brings life and release. Grace! Grace! God’s Grace! is always #1!

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us pray,

Thank You, Father, for Your many beautiful promises of ‘contrast’. I begin now to understand more and more that there is nothing in life that should cause me to fear. Thank You that You have promised to be with me in every circumstance of life and have given me an assurance that Your GRACE is sufficient to counter every fear in my heart. Keep me looking UP to Jesus and trusting in His precious promises. I pray that on those occasions when doubts and fear arise within, that Your Spirit will prompt me to turn my thoughts away from the fear of man and onto trust in You. In Jesus’ name I pray, Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! AMEN.

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