If you’re from the Metro-Atlanta area, chances are you’ve been to Six Flags Over Georgia. Do you remember the first time you buckled into a roller coaster?
Just standing in line and thinking about dangling 100 feet in the air from a harness as you barrel through the skies is enough to make you reconsider. But once you’ve seen others walk off the ride, it’s a lot easier to trust that the coaster is safe. Proven experience makes it easier to trust.
Trust Is A Huge Deal
Trust is always a difference maker. It can make or break a relationship. If it exists between two people, you definitely know it when you see it. Trust will determine the success or failure of all our relationships - with our friends, our spouses, our children, and even with God.
In the same way that we learn to trust the roller coaster by seeing group after group safely exit the ride, we can learn about God by the experiences of others.
The book of Psalms is a great example of this. Much of Psalms was written by David, a man who began his life as a shepherd and then soon found himself as the king of Israel. David wrote song after song to God in response to his daily struggles. Psalm 16 reads like an entry from his personal journal. He reminds himself to ask God for safety, to help him choose God over all else, and to affirm that the Lord will be faithful in His promises.
David admits he has options when it comes to how he lives his life. We can chase after many different things, but if we don’t seek God himself, then our sorrow will multiply.
The world tells us that all we need is more. We need more money, more friends, more success, more prestige. The truth is, God is the only thing that can satisfy us for all eternity. Everything else is temporary. Everything else will leave us wanting. God alone can satisfy.
An Exercise in Trust
Try reading Psalm 16 aloud. It may be awkward for a minute, especially since it was written by someone who lived thousands of years ago. You’ll probably want to quit halfway through, but don’t stop. Don’t let a little discomfort keep you from hearing the profound reflections that David used to try and remind himself of what matters most.
1 Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
3 As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.
4 The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names on my lips.
5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
7 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
8 I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Were there any phrases you said, but weren’t sure you believed? Ask God to make those words true for you.
Trusting isn’t easy. You’re going to have trouble trusting God completely with everything all at once. Just try a little at a time. Trust begins one choice at a time. Try reading your Bible every morning. The Bible is full of stories of regular people taking steps of faith, trusting God and then seeing Him move on their behalf. With every story, with each experience, your trust will grow a little more each time.
Powerful things begin to happen when we learn to take God at His word.