Building trust in the Lord takes time and training. I have already suggested 3 steps toward building trust: READ the Word of God. Daily. PRAY to God. Daily. RENEW your mind. Daily. The last step is equally important—Praise. How on earth does praising God build trust? It’s very simple: when we acknowledge God—who He is, what He has done, the promises He has kept—we are reminding ourselves that He IS faithful. He always has been faithful. He always will be faithful. In the posts on prayer and renewal, I referred to Philippians chapter 4. I want to bring your attention to it one more time:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. ~Philippians 4.6, ESV, emphasis mine
It says, “with thanksgiving…” How will we develop trust in God if we don’t acknowledge what He has already done? If we attribute our blessings to luck, we dismiss God’s hand in our lives completely. What is there to trust? How trustworthy is luck? Here’s another scripture for your consideration from Proverbs:
The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD. ~Proverbs 16:33, ESV
Even “luck” is determined by God. (Casting lots was akin to drawing straws or flipping a coin.) When your prayers are answered, when good things happen, do you thank God? Have you ever been on a long trip only to find out that you narrowly missed a crash or maybe a catastrophic storm? My best friend spends a lot of time on the road. When he gets delayed or stuck in traffic, he will often say, “thank you God for keeping us safe from whatever crash we might have gotten into.” Instead of grumbling over the delay, he shows thankfulness for the unseen protection that God has given. Do you give thanks when you arrive home safely from work? Do you give thanks when money suddenly comes available right when you need it? Do we give thanks for our freedom in America to worship? (That freedom may be gone in our lifetime my friends. Do not take it for granted). Do we acknowledge God’s blessings daily? If we make a habit of gratitude, we train our minds and hearts to 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 [God], and He will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
Acknowledge God. In everything give thanks. It’s interesting that in a verse so widely-quoted on trust, people often gloss over the “acknowledge Him” section. It’s part of the equation! Like prayer, we need to establish good trust-building habits: Read. Pray. Renew. Praise. Repeat. Read. Pray. Renew. Praise. Repeat. If the Lord permits, next week I’ll begin a short series of posts on the heroes of faith who were trained to trust. Remember: Read. Pray. Renew. Praise. Repeat. Press on to know the Lord. He is faithful. He is trustworthy. ~Elihu