“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.” Proverbs 3:5-6
We are a generation of skeptics, and rightly so, because all too often our trust is met and rewarded by failure and disappointment. Our friends fail us; politicians fail us; family members fail us; employers fail us. Ironically, even our own carefully crafted plans fail to come to fruition as we imagine many times and we end up failing ourselves. Not so with God. God will never fail you and He is 100% trustworthy.
As you read the verses above, take note of the three critical responsibilities demanded of you and me and the singular promise of God.
The first demand made on us is that we fully trust the LORD in all matters, and not just the big things that come along. In the very act of trusting God in all things, we are acknowledging him as Lord in our lives. Trust in God is the mark of faith and confidence in his love; it is the mark of a Christian.
The second responsibility is closely related and it requires that we not leave even the smallest matter to our own power of reason. How easy it is to pray and request prayer when calamity meets us. Dependence and reliance on God is much easier during crisis. Dependence on God is much easier in sickness than in health. When the river of life is rolling along at a generally pleasurable flow and the occasional rapids seem nothing insurmountable in our minds, it is far too easy rely on our own power and reason than to rely on God, but that is not the demand; that is not the mark of faith. Our responsibility and the mark of true Christian faith is to fully trust and depend on God in all things.
Yet, when the river’s rapids gain speed and you find yourself caught in the clutches of its flow with the approaching roar of a waterfall it is easy to acknowledge God (the third demand of this proverb). It is like the old adage “there aren’t any atheist in foxholes.” In his commentary on Proverbs, Charles Bridges gives this wise advice: “Ever plan for yourself in simple dependence on God. It is nothing less than self-idolatry to conceive that we can carry on even the ordinary matters of the day without his counsel…[and] consider no circumstances too clear to need his direction.”
Do these three things and the promise is that God will make your paths straight (some translations say direct your paths). It is a promise that is 100% trustworthy and should give us hope for tomorrow even though the path ahead may at times seem rugged and steep. If your trust is in God then “no step well prayed over will bring ultimate regret” (Bridges).