Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5-6, NLT)
Trust is defined as having confidence in someone or something. It means that you rely on the integrity, the ability, or the strength of that person or thing. When it comes to God, it is easy to say, “I trust in God.” In the United States, our currency even says it: “In God We Trust.” But how do we show that our trust is more than just words? I believe the answer to that question can be found in the verses of the third chapter of the book of Proverbs.
Proverbs 3:5 begins with a command to trust in the Lord with your whole heart. The Hebrew word translated as “trust” in this verse is bātah, which means “to trust, rely on, depend on.” It carries with it the sense of being fully confident and feeling perfectly safe. God’s people should feel complete confidence in Him and should feel that sense of safety in putting their trust in Him. Trusting God should be a characteristic of all who believe in God. To show that our trust in God is more than just words requires three things: seeking His wisdom, His ways, and His will above our own; honoring Him with our wealth; and submitting to His discipline.
After the command to trust the Lord in Proverbs 3:5, the verse goes on to say that we should not lean on or depend on our own understanding. God’s wisdom is far greater than any earthly wisdom, just as His ways are greater and higher than ours. In verse 6, it says that we should seek His will in everything that we do. God’s will is perfect. In order to understand God’s wisdom, and to fully grasp His ways and His will, we need to read His Word and keep it in our heart. If we truly trust God, we will seek His will for our lives and follow His ways. This means showing a total commitment to God with our lives (Romans 12:1-2).
Proverbs 3:9 tells us that we must honor God with the best of what we have, with the firstfruits of our labor. All that we have comes from God. Whether it is our wealth, our time, or our talents, it comes from Him and so we must honor Him with it by giving of our wealth through tithing, and giving of our time and talents in serving Him. If we do not give faithfully to God, we cannot say that we truly trust Him with all our hearts. In Matthew 6:21, Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” If our heart attitude does not reflect that our hearts are with God, then we cannot say we trust Him.
In Proverbs 3:11-12, we can see another way in which we can show our trust in the Lord, by submitting to His discipline. A loving father disciplines his children. Children need discipline and trust in their fathers (and mothers) to provide discipline so that they can learn from it and grow to be responsible, healthy adults. Our heavenly Father also disciplines us, His children, and His discipline is meant to keep us from sin and prepare us to receive His blessings. When we accept His discipline and submit to it, we demonstrate our trust in Him.
When we truly trust in God with all our heart by seeking His wisdom, His will, and His ways, by honoring Him with our wealth, and by submitting to His discipline, God, in turn, blesses us. When we trust in His ways and seek His will, He will direct our path in life. When we honor Him with our wealth (money, time, and talent), He will bless us by trusting us with even more. And when we submit to His discipline, He delights in us and blesses us.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.