Trusting in the Lord during times of uncertainty
Dan Wilton and Rob Waldo · Apr 06, 2020
Amidst the uncertainty of our world, the Scriptures remain a faithful and unchanging witness to the trustworthiness of God. We can have peace and hope as we heed God’s wisdom and guidance through Scripture during these trying times:
“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… “Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.”
Proverbs 3:5-6, 25-26, ESV
It has been said that you can get good at whatever you practice—and so we all practice those things we desire to excel in. In Proverbs 3, Solomon desired for his son to get better at trusting in the LORD. To get better day by day in trusting in the LORD. He wanted his son to experience the abundant rewards of rightly-placed confidence.
Rightly placed confidence is placed in God, not in ourselves. That confidence can be nurtured and developed through disciplined practice—looking to and placing our hope and trust in God in whatever we may face each day. Our hearts learn to practice the melodies of trusting in God, and our ability to express that melody continues to become more beautiful and strong.
However, the opposite can also happen.
Interestingly, in Proverbs 3:26, the Hebrew word for confidence can also be translated as folly. Context is what determines which meaning is appropriate. From this context, we know the proper translation in this verse is “confidence.” Why? The LORD is where we set our trust, and as we trust Him—in the midst of quite troubling circumstances—we experience security in Him (“will keep your foot from being caught”).
Being ensnared, or having one’s foot “caught,” is a way to describe unexpected calamity or hindrances that thwart God’s purposes in our lives. This verse isn’t stating that those who trust in God won’t suffer or face the troubles of this life. Rather, this verse is a reminder that there is no trouble, no calamity, no terror, that can thwart God’s purposes for us. With our confidence in God, our hearts can be at rest in Him in the midst of turmoil.
But trusting in ourselves is folly and can’t and won’t provide us that same peace. In fact, self-trust brings its own troubles. That same Hebrew word translated “confidence” in Proverbs 3:26 is used to describe the foolishness and shame of trusting in one’s own wisdom (for example, Proverbs 3:35; 10:1, 26:5). As trusting in the LORD deepens our confidence in Him, conversely, trusting in ourselves grows our folly and multiplies our troubles.
COVID-19 is providing a kind of recital, where we and others are able to see and hear the melodies of what our hearts have been practicing. The notes will faithfully ring true to the reality of our confidence—whether rightly placed in God or foolishly placed in ourselves.
While we all would likely wish we have practiced and developed a soaring melody of confidence in God, the truth is that we all have days, or weeks, or months where our melodies falter. Our practice is imperfect. We feel the shame and disappointment of misplaced confidence. If this recital has left you with those feelings, know there is mercy and hope in Christ! We practice this melody of trust every day, not just one time! This recital isn’t your last chance to sit at the proverbial piano bench and honor God with your trust. And the beauty of the cross is that Jesus Christ takes our faltering melodies and transposes them into a glorious symphony that will resound through eternity. We were never meant to trust in our own abilities to practice these melodies in the first place.
If your melody has faltered, lift your eyes and heart to Jesus Christ once more. Place your confidence not in what you can do, but in what He has already done. Listen for the melody He’s been singing. And join that.
May your confidence in our crucified and risen LORD abound, even as you suffer through this difficult season. May we all take the time to lift our voices and practice that beautiful melody of the Gospel in our worship and trust in Jesus Christ.
Dan Wilton is Staff Support Manager at Samaritan Ministries and Chaplain with the Illinois Air National Guard.
Rob Waldo is Vice President of Member Services at Samaritan Ministries.