Pitfalls in Trusting God
Pitfalls in Trusting God
As difficult as it is to trust God in times of adversity there are times when it may be even much more difficult to trust Him. These are the times when things are going well. David expresses it very well. Psalm 16:6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. During times of prosperity we are prone to put our trust in the blessings that we are receiving at that particular time or even worse place our trust in ourselves as the provider of these blessings. During times of prosperity we show our trust in God by acknowledging Him as the provider of all those blessings. Deuteronomy 8:3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. God provided the manna for the children of Israel in the desert so that they would learn to trust Him and not themselves. How do we respond when our cupboards are filled with food? We are just as dependent upon God during these times. God rained down manna for the children of Israel each day. For us He may provide a regular paycheck and plenty of food. He provided the children of Israel food through a miracle. He provides our food through a long and complex chain of natural events in which His hand is visible only to the eye of faith. It is still His provision just as much as was the manna from heaven for the children of Israel.
How often are our expressions of thanks given at mealtime nothing more than a ritual with little genuine feeling? How often do we stop to acknowledge God’s hand of provision, and to thank Him for other temporal blessings such as; the clothes we wear, the house we live in, the car we drive, the health we enjoy, the ability we can use to serve Him?
The extent to which we genuinely thank God for the blessings He does provide is an indication of our trust in Him. We ought to be as earnest and frequent in our prayers of thanksgiving when the cupboard is full, as we are in our prayers of supplication if the cupboard were bare. That is the way we show our trust in times of prosperity. Solomon stated it this way. Ecclesiastes 7:14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him. God makes the good times as well as the bad times we do not know what tomorrow may bring. Remember the story of Marty the little parakeet that. We related on November 16, 2018 in “Is God in Control?” In adversity we tend to doubt God’s care but in prosperity we tend to forget it. If we are to trust God, we must acknowledge our dependence on Him at all times, good times as well as bad times.
Watch for the tendency to trust in God’s instruments of provision rather than in God Himself. In the usual course of events in our lives God provides for our needs through human means rather than directly. He provides for our financial needs through our jobs and gives us medical personnel to treat us when we are ill. These human instruments are under the controlling hand of God. They succeed or prosper only to the extent God prospers them. We must be careful to look beyond the means and human instruments to the God who is sovereign over all things. Proverbs 18:10–11 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. 11 A rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and like a high wall in his imagination.
This is not a contrast between the righteous and wealthy but a contrast between God and money which are the two primary objects of man’s trust. Those who trust in God are safe, while those who trust in their wealth only imagine they are safe. All have fortified cities it may be a college degree with a guaranteed position or our insurance policy or our financial nest egg for retirement. For our nation it is our military buildup. Anything other than God Himself that we trust in becomes our “fortified city” with its imagined unscalable walls. Psalm 44:6 For not in my bow do I trust, nor can my sword save me. David was saying he trusted in God not in his own ability. We must trust God to use the means He has provided. Human means and instruments can be depended upon only in so far as we recognize and honor God in them. Philip Power a nineteenth-century minister wrote: “We cannot expect God to prosper anything which intrudes itself into His place and detracts from His honor… We must make God the great object of our trust even though the usual human instruments of help may be at hand.”
We should remember that God is able to work with or without human means. He will frequently use some means different from that which we would have expected. God is not dependent upon means that we can foresee. Sometimes we turn to God in trust in the big crisis while seeking to work through the minor difficulties ourselves.
A disposition to trust in ourselves is part of our sinful nature. It sometimes takes a major crisis to turn us toward God. A mark of Christian maturity is to continually trust God in all events of daily life. If we learn to trust God in the minor adversities, we will be better prepared to trust Him in the major adversities. Another quote from Philip Power: “…. Let us remember that the extraordinary circumstances of life are but few; much of life may slip past without their occurrence and that if we be not faithful and trusting in that which is little, we are not likely to be so in what in that which is great…”
The minor adversities are the most difficult ones to trust and depend on God in. In the minor ones we tend to try to work things out for ourselves. We need to seek to trust God in the minor circumstances of life. We must choose to trust God. We must learn to say with the psalmist. “When I am afraid, I will trust in You.” When adversity comes listen to what God says in His word. God wants to encourage you. You will need to be prudent in your studies. Psalm 1:2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. Those who trust in God meditate day and night on His word. You can receive encouragement from Psalm, Job, Jeremiah, and the words of Christ. Make the decision, the commitment, to obey, to trust, you will never accomplish these without study of God’s word. Place your confidence in God not in your own abilities. You will not get to heaven without help from God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and your brothers and sisters.
What pitfall in trusting God have you fallen into?