Trust; May 23, 2023

Proverbs 28:25-26 A greedy man stirs up dissension,
but he who trusts in the Lord will prosper.
He who trusts in himself is a fool,
but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.

These two verses contrast two kinds of trust. The first is of course trust in the Lord, the only entity in the universe that is totally trustworthy, and the stated result is abundance. The NIV expresses the second as “trusts in himself,” but the Japanese says, “trusts his own heart.” That agrees perfectly with something Dennis Prager has expressed at length, which is the unreliability of conscience. The follow-up to that is “walking in wisdom,” which in context is trusting the Lord rather than anything else, even yourself. There are of course varying degrees of trust. We trust that the light will come on when we hit the switch, for example, though it might not for a number of reasons. We trust that the car will stop when we step on the brake, but there are plenty of horror stories of when that didn’t happen. We cannot live life being distrustful of everything, but we’ve got to remember that the Lord is the only thing totally worthy of trust. The beginning of verse 25 is worth noting as well. In contrast to trusting the Lord, it mentions “a greedy man.” The Japanese expresses that as, “a man of deep appetites/lusts.” Failure to trust the Lord results in our prioritizing our flesh, our “animal instincts,” as it were. At the very least that will not make for smooth relationships with those around us, and that is certainly foolish. It is trusting the Lord that results in all our genuine needs being met, as Jesus famously taught us in Matthew 6:25-34. In other words, trusting the Lord is wise!

I have an ample supply of “the lusts of the flesh,” (1 John 2:16) so trusting the Lord is a choice. Thankfully it is one I have had plenty of training in making, and I had the excellent example of my parents before me. I can say without hesitation that the Lord is absolutely trustworthy, and He has met and continues to meet all my needs. There have been times when I wanted something material so badly that I did foolish things, but God very gently turned that around into firm, and sometimes painful, training. People comment on my faith at this point, but it hasn’t come that simply! I am very grateful to say that I have no anxiety about the rest of my life on this earth, though I know it will include unpleasant things. Advancing age isn’t for wimps! However, as the hymn says, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” I trust the Creator of the universe, who loved me enough to send His Son to be my Savior, and that covers absolutely everything.

Father, thank You for this reminder. As retirement from school teaching looms, I find I am indeed uptight about it. Thank You that all such anxiety is totally unnecessary. Help me rest, relax, and rejoice in You, just as You have told me to do, so that I will yield none of my peace and joy to the enemy but rather be an encouragement to those around me, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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