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Trust Issues?

Child holding adult hand, trust

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. 

Psalm 62:8

Do you have trust issues?

I do. But my trust issues aren’t so much with trusting others so much as with others trusting me

Trust Me

I don’t mean trusting me to decorate a cake or back a semi-trailer into a loading dock or entertain a two-year old. I don’t even trust me to do those things well.

No, my trust issues come when people don’t trust me to do what I said I’d do. I mean, trust me to keep my word and come through without micromanaging or second guessing me. That kind of carte blanche trust means the world.

Trust, I know, is built on trustworthiness, tested-ness, character. We trust others because we know something about their character. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. 

And I am thrilled to the depths of my firstborn, take-charge, competence seeking soul when people trust me with a task. I still glow to think about the affirmation a leader gave me when I proposed a project a few years ago. “Abigail’s got this,” he said to the team. “Best thing we can do is let her run with it.”

But it’s also why it’s such a blow when I get demoted. When people don’t trust us to do a job that’s in our wheelhouse or to keep our word, that can cut us to the core.

I mean, mistrust hurts.

Don’t Grieve God’s Heart

This got me thinking about trusting God (more than the GPS Girl) and how our lack of trust- our little faith- must displease him. Could it be that our fear and anxiety and grieve God for at least some of the same reasons that others’ mistrust grieves us?

At the heart of this hurt, I think, is the fact that others’ lack of trust in me betrays the truth that people don’t really know me as well as I thought they did. Mistrust can betray a lack of intimate knowledge. 

I know it borders on audacious to compare my sin-twinged reactions to distrust with our Holy God’s. But I dare.

Because if it hurts my puny fail-and-drop-the-ball-self how much more it must grieve the faithful God’s heart when His people don’t trust Him. Like the disciples in the boat, with the waves splashing in on them (Matthew 8:23-27). Can you hear Jesus saying, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” 

In “The Theology of Rest” Oswald Chambers imagines how that felt. 

“O ye of little faith!” What a pang must have shot through the disciples — “Missed it again!” And what a pang will go through us when we suddenly realize that we might have produced down right joy in the heart of Jesus by remaining absolutely confident in Him, no matter what was ahead. 

At rock bottom, our anxiety and distrust reveal that we don’t trust God. Which means we really don’t know him as well as he wants us to know him. 

Trust Him Wholly

So trust God. I know- easier said than done. So I’ll let you in on a little secret. It will be way easier to trust God more if you know him better. So get to know God. Seek him where he is to be found. Read his self-revelation. There are 66 books of the Bible all about him. He wrote them because he wants you to know him. 

And He wants you to trust him. Because He is faithful to all his promises. God always keeps his word. Because, as the old hymn reminds us, those who trust him wholly, find him wholly true.

God is the only one worthy of our complete trust. Even the best of friends will sometimes disappoint us. But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

One of my favorite Bible verses is Psalm 145:13. The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. Faithful and loving. Could there be a better pair of traits to gain our trust?

Like James Forsyth said

If he gave you breakfast this morning, and he’s given you life everlasting, can you not trust him with what comes in between? If he has demonstrated his love and his concern by even dying on a cross to give you life everlasting can you not trust him with your concerns?

Still it’s hard. Trusting an unseen God with our hopes and our hurts and our very lives is hard. I feel the tension to trust him or to go my own way every day.

But I can assure you of this. Often sooner and for sure later, it’s way more sweet to trust in Jesus. And it makes God glad.

The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who trust in his unfailing love. 

Psalm 147:11

For our heart is glad in him, for we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

Psalm 33:21-22

 

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Foiled again? Expectations unmet? Don’t fret.

Fret not when your plans fall apart

When the closest ones break your heart

Don’t fret, God knows.

Fret not when you’re misunderstood

When folks don’t come through like they should.

Don’t fret, God knows.

Fret not when you’re mistreated, used

Left, alone, frustrated, confused

Don’t fret, God knows.

The Judge of the Earth will do right

The Lover of your Soul- He knows

Don’t fret, Jesus sees all of those.

Come to me, cast on me,

Wait for me, rest in me

Fret not: I see. I know. I care. 

Do you fret?

I fret. Not a lot, but sometimes I calculate without God. I focus on my plans pinched apart, my deadlines overdue, my expectations unmet.  I fret.

The circumstances-my foiled-again, stymied ways- don’t matter. What matters is what my God says. And over and over again this week I heard the Living Word say. Don’t fret. Your ways are not my ways.  This JoyPrO post is me preaching to myself after a fretful week. But maybe you fret too. 

It Tends Only To Evil

Fretting- call it overthinking or worrying, brooding or stewing, or tag it as angsty or just plain stressed, regardless- tends only to evil. Only to evil. Only to evil. To evil. Only.

David wrote that in Psalm 37, my go-to chapter when I catch myself in a fret. Rather than being an indication of how wise or caring I am, fretting is more likely an indication of how wicked I am- how far my favored ways are from God’s perfect ways.

Does the word wicked make you wince? Substitute a suitable synonym, say sinful or wrong. It is wrong for the child of God to fret. Because fretting springs from a determination to get our own waySince our way doesn’t always overlap 100% with God’s way and God’s way is always a perfect way, we’d best not insist on our way or fret when things don’t go our way.

Even and including when we think our way was such a good, God-glorifying way. Or when it seems like evildoers are succeeding in their wicked ways.

Even then. Don’t fret.

Calculate With God

Because cheaters finishing first and bad guys succeeding in their ways is exactly the context of the Psalm 37 injunction: Do not fret. Because God’s got your back. And your front. And your coming and going. So, Wait for the LORD and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land. This is what it means to calculate with God.

But it’s one thing so say, “Fret not,” but a very different thing to actually be able to not fret.

Oswald Chambers explains,

It sounds so easy to talk about resting in the Lord and waiting patiently for Him, until the nest is upset — until we live, as so many are doing, in tumult and anguish, is it possible then to rest in the Lord? If this “don’t” does not work there, it will work nowhere. This “don’t” must work in days of perplexity as well as in days of peace, or it never will work. And if it will not work in your particular case, it will not work in anyone else’s case. Resting in the Lord does not depend on external circumstances at all, but on your relationship to God Himself.

Fussing always ends in sin. We imagine that a little anxiety and worry are an indication of how really wise we are; it is much more an indication of how really wicked we are. Fretting springs from a determination to get our own way. Our Lord never worried and He was never anxious, because He was not “out” to realise His own ideas; He was “out” to realise God’s ideas. Fretting is wicked if you are a child of God.

Have you been bolstering up that stupid soul of yours with the idea that your circumstances are too much for God? Put all “supposing” on one side and dwell in the shadow of the Almighty. Deliberately tell God that you will not fret about that thing. All our fret and worry is caused by calculating without God.

Hitch your hopes to a winning horse. Aim to realize God’s goals. His plans will come to pass. Delight yourself in what delights Him and he will give you your heart’s desire. Calculate with God.

Haul Yourself Up 101 Times A Day

How do you calculate with God?  How do you fret not and let not your heart be troubled? 

Always, we must replace-Trust in God for troubled hearts. Let not your heart be troubled, the Prince of Peace said.  Then: Trust in God, trust also in me. Preach that to yourself. I go often to those words in John 14 and to some in Psalm 37 and 42 and 43.

Why so downcast, O my soul, and why so disturbed within me? Like Chambers said, Deliberately tell God that you will not fret about that thing. So the Psalmist finishes, replaces strong, Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Name your fretting. Then hope in God.

These three C’s have been my fret-busters this week. Daily, hourly, and often I call them to mind and haul myself up when I’m being sifted.

  1. Calculate with God: All of His perfect plans will come to pass (Job 42:2).
  2. Commit your way to God: He will act in perfect time (Psalm 37:5).
  3. Cast your cares on God: He really cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).

Then repeat 1-3, as needed. Oswald Chambers again, Haul yourself up a hundred and one times a day in order to do it, until you get into the habit of putting God first and calculating with Him in view. Don’t fret, For the LORD loves justice; he will not forsake his saints. Preach that to yourself when you start to fret and haul yourself up again.

And when you stumble and your way is stymied still don’t fret. The Lord upholds you with his hand. 

Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.
Refrain from anger and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; 
Though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

Psalm 37:5, 8, 23-24

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