After I asked God for a new word of the year, the one word that kept coming to me was “Trust.” Previous words had been “Ways” and “Hold.” One of the ways I confirm these decisions each year is to see if that word is in my next Bible reading. Sure enough, it was there in every passage I read the next day:
You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls. –I Peter 1:8-9
Through Christ you have come to trust in God. –I Peter 1:21
Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. – I Timothy 6:17
It is by the command of God our Savior that I have been entrusted with this work for him. –Titus 1:3
Another thing that happens each year is that all of my yearly words will show up in one scripture portion. I realize this will not happen as the years add more and more words to my list. But it was interesting that the very morning I was wondering and thinking about this, they WERE there in my reading of the day:
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. Hebrews 10:23-24
It was so good to see my word in the devotion I was reading at the time, too:
When you’ve grown too tired to trust and pray, when over worked nature has quite given way: then just drop it all, and give up to rest…He knows you do pray. He knows you do trust, and He knows, too, the limits of poor, weak dust…You have trusted your life to Him to keep, then don’t be afraid to go right to sleep. –Ella Conrad Cowherd [from the devotion Streams in the Desert, by L.B. Cowman, 12/23]
Another of the first uses of the word I saw was on Dr. Scott Todd’s excellent blog, True Fast:
“Did you know the word ‘gullible’ is not in the dictionary? … The asking and responses to this question categorize the world into three camps — the trusting, the jaded and the trust-destroyers. Of course there was a darker side to these exploitations of our childhood inclination to trust others…[therefore] We live in a culture of skepticism and walk the streets with people who have been disillusioned by mistrust since they were seven years old. They are demanding evidence. Let’s give it to them…And for those who are skeptical about the possibility of ending extreme poverty? Let’s show them the evidence too. –Dr. Scott Todd, True Fast, 12/21/2010
My devotion the very next day was on a similar theme of childhood trust:
Have you experienced a sorrow caused by unkindness, when others cruelly mistreat your trusting heart? … –L.B. Cowman, Streams in the Desert, 12/22
When Compassion International posted the final chapel with Wess Stafford, I was not surprised to hear him using my word as well. In fact, it was the key word and scripture of his address:
But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. –Jeremiah 17:7-8
Then Dr. Stafford proceeded to tell us how to get “from here to there:” ”Keep walking in the direction God tells you to walk, and the miracles happen along the way.” In other words, keep trusting as you walk (as the verse above says). He didn’t say we are blessed when we “Dig in,” or “pray more” or “try harder.” It’s all about Trust. This was so encouraging to me — to hear how God had blessed Compassion’s ministry as we trusted Him in this very difficult year. While other organizations were reeling and licking their wounds, Compassion was enjoying the fruit of our leadership team’s trust in God.
Trust and rest when all around you puts your faith to stringent test; let no fear or foe confound you, wait for God and trust and rest. Trust and rest with heart abiding, like a birdling in its nest, underneath his feathers hiding, fold your wings and trust and rest. –L.B. Cowman, Streams in the Desert, 12/15
Let me distrust myself and put my trust in Thee. –Augustine of Hippo
We know how much God loves us, and have put our trust in his love. –1 John 4:16
Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. –Jesus Christ, John 14:1
The word “trust” is the heart of faith and is the Old Testment word given to the infant, or early, stages of faith. The word “faith” conveys more an act of the will, while the word “belief” conveys an act of the mind or intellect, but “trust” is the language of the heart…for it sees and feels and it leans on those who have a great, living, and genuine heart of love. Therefore let us “trust also in Him” (Psalm 37:5), through all the delays, in spite of all the difficulties, and in the face of all the rejection we encounter in life. And in spite of our feelings and evidence to the contrary, and even when we cannot understand our ways or our situation, may we still “trust also in Him; [for] He shall bring it to pass.” The way will open, our situation will be changed, and the end result will be peace. –L.B. Cowman, Streams in the Desert, 12/15
Finally, one of the most exciting uses of the word “trust” was in a friend’s blog. I met Mink in Thailand when we went to our LDP student’s graduation. Mink is in a time of transition as she takes on a new role at the Compassion Thailand country offices. I love reading her blog, because it takes me back to her wonderful country, and to the gentle, loving people we met there. I learn more about the Karen people, which she loves so dearly, and I receive great encouragement from Mink’s open, transparent sharing of the challenges and struggles of life. Mink is deep spiritually and relationally. By that, I mean that she loves deeply and spiritually ponders everything in life. I learn so much from her. I was thrilled to see her New Year’s post entitled “Surrender and Trust.” Her words are so true of all of us — we don’t trust God enough.
My goal is to say “I Trust You” every day to God. I don’t mean this in a literal, ritual way. I mean that I want this thought to come out of my heart, out of my walk with Him every day. I want to trust Him more than I trust myself, more than I trust my bank account, or Pastor, family or friends. I want to live and breathe trust in the Lord. I want to smile when trials come, to keep on when the ways get rough, and to never lose hold of my trust and confidence in God. And Mink is right — surrender is a big part of that. Bottom line — He can be trusted!