Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.
This passage is perhaps the most well known and memorized Scripture on the topic of trusting in the Lord. We see it everywhere–on coffee mugs, bumper stickers, wristbands, wall art and so much more. But even though I’ve heard it and read it a thousand times over, I pray that the Lord would give me new insight and understanding into His own heart and character through this passage. I want to behold wondrous things out of the Word!
I recently wrote an article sharing some thoughts on what it means to wait patiently for the Lord. Even in my own life as I seek to take hold of God’s promises to trust Him and fully embrace the seasons of waiting, there are times it is difficult–times when I feel weak, as though time has stopped and my heart sinks. I am tempted to become discouraged and complain. But we must be vigilant even in these very hard times, because the Devil is a “roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The wonderful thing about the Lord is that He has not left us unequipped and unable to respond victoriously. He has given us His very great and precious Word, full of beautiful promises for us in which we can stand and find His strength to be strong and very courageous through every season of life.
As we read and meditate on Proverbs 3:5-8, let’s not overlook two very comforting promises that we can rejoice in as we wait for the Lord and learn His patience.
During seasons of waiting, we are often faced with uncertainty–whether we are facing a serious decision to make in life, or we’re waiting for someone else. It can certainly become very frustrating, and depending on where our hearts really are, we might even be tempted to become resentful or bitter. But if clarity and direction is what we seek, God shows us the way: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” The latter part is very important. When we come to Him without fully trusting and believing that He will care for us and show us the way, it is often because we don’t believe Him. We just simply doubt that He will do what He says, or that He is there and really paying attention to our lives.
As if though it’s not hard enough to accept that, He goes deeper: “…and do not lean on your own understanding.” God has given us the capacity to obtain great knowledge, and we don’t have to look very far to see a world where knowledge is power. I must admit myself that often I find myself trying to over-analyze a situation, but it most often tends to worry and anxiety, and not peace or clarity of mind and heart.
The Lord promises to us that if we trust Him fully with our whole hearts, being willing to say, “Lord, Your thoughts and ways are so far above my own; You love me and promise good to me, show me Your way in this situation. Show me what You would have me do,” then He will give us clarity and “make straight” our path before us. The road in front of us won’t look so winding and confusing, but it will be straight, narrow and clear.
In my own life I have found that when I am not being patient towards the Lord, I am full of anxiety and fear and I become physically and mentally exhausted. You’d think for all the “knowledge” and “wisdom” I might have attained over my lifetime I’d have learned by now that if I don’t want to be exhausted, I should avoid trusting myself. This is essentially what God is saying here in His Word: Trust yourself and you’ll make yourself sick, but trust in Me and you’ll find life and healing and rest for your souls.
Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
If we rely on our own knowledge and understanding, if we boast in our own wisdom, it will tend only to evil and we will create turmoil within and become overwhelmed; but if we choose to believe that God is all He says He is for us in Christ Jesus, He promises to give us clarity–to make our paths straight–and to give us rest in Him.
He offers something so beautiful and priceless, something the world cannot know: peace that surpasses all understanding. His peace goes deeper than the deepest thoughts of man, and comforts us in even the most painful moments of waiting.
Meditate on these promises in your fight against impatience. He has overcome. He is worth it.
“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;” (Psalm 37:7)wrote an article