March 21, 2017 – Trust Issues- Jeremiah 17:7-8

 

weak heart strong god

Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.  Jeremiah 17:7-8 NRSV

Anxiety is one of the major scourges of modern life. All of us have been anxious to a degree- some of us only in certain trying times, and others of us have experienced anxiety on a daily basis, to the point of it becoming a debilitating condition.  Everyone has known and will know uncertainty, and everyone will have adversity in life.   God knows this, and as in all things, He has made a provision for us to deal with our anxiety.

Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NRSV)

It sounds easy to just let God have our anxiety, but before we can give away our anxiety and fears, we have to trust God.

Trust is easier for some people than for others. People who have been betrayed by others regularly or who have had a number of catastrophic events in life have a lot harder time trusting anyone, including God.  Yet the answer to suffering from anxiety remains the same: trust God.

Since we are not able to trust God fully and surrender to Him in our own strength, the Holy Spirit is always readily available to us to provide that strength. When we lack the strength and sentience to find the words for prayer, the Holy Spirit provides those as well.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. Romans 8:26 (NRSV)

Trust is not something that is easy to give. The trust in God that is faith is not a blind trust, but a faith that is tested by adversity and struggle and doubt.  Doubt is a part of faith, not the opposite of it.  Doubt triggers us to ask questions and to seek the truth so that our faith and trust are strengthened, grounded and informed. God longs for us to surrender even our doubts to Him- as well as our anger, our fear, our frustration and our despair.  The Creator and the Master of creation can take it, and He invites us to come to Him exactly as we are, with all the baggage that entails.

There are many of us with heavy hearts and serious issues weighing on our hearts and minds today. Yet God is trustworthy. He is our Provision and our Strength, even when it’s hard for us to see it, even when we doubt, and even when we feel as if we are overwhelmed by anxiety.

December 30, 2016- Trust – Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6 (NRSV)

Trust vs. mistrust.  In the study of psychology, the conflict between having trust in the world around us and failing to have trust is the first of Erik Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development.  As developing human beings we have to be able to relate to and function in the world of other humans, so trust is important.

The very first issue that human beings are faced with as infants is a question that is central to our physical survival.  Is someone going to be forthcoming with providing meals for the child? Is the child going to have appropriate warmth and clothing and shelter?

Who can we trust?  Is mother going to provide me food and warmth?  Is father going to protect and nurture me?

In most instances, to the best of our ability, human parents affirm and reinforce a child’s trust in them.  Unfortunately a child’s trust is not always best placed in his or her parents’ ability to care for them and keep them safe.

Many adults have issues with trusting others and building good relationships with people because their trust was betrayed early on. Most of us suffer the lasting effects of broken trust if not from our parents, then from others in our lives who have not been kind to us or faithful in their dealings with us.

Sometimes our struggle with mistrust enters into our relationship with God, especially when we don’t understand what He’s up to.

We have all been burnt before. If you can’t trust Mom and Dad, or your spouse, or your best friend, then it’s kind of difficult to trust anyone, including God.

Yet God tells us: trust Me, not in your own understanding.  Have faith that He is in control and has our lives in His hands.