In 2017, God gave me a simple way to begin to develop a foundation of TRUST specifically for battling worry in my life. As I prepared to lead a women’s group, God impressed on me that this method is foundational to us as believers whether worry is the thorn in our side or whether it is a myriad of other emotions or circumstances. Using a good old fashioned acronym T.R.U.S.T, we are going to study several key principles to developing a strong foundation of TRUST.
Why is trust important?
Renowned psychiatrist, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, said: “There are only two emotions: love and fear. All positive emotions come from love, all negative emotions from fear. From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy. From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety and guilt. It’s true that there are only two primary emotions, love and fear. But it’s more accurate to say that there is only love or fear, for we cannot feel these two emotions together, at exactly the same time. They’re opposites. If we’re in fear, we are not in a place of love. When we’re in a place of love, we cannot be in a place of fear.”
Immediately upon reading that quote, 1 John 4:18 (ESV) came to mind, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” How do we begin to tap into that perfect love despite our emotions or current circumstances? It all begins with T.R.U.S.T in our lives. Trust will help you tap into the Giver of perfect love, and cast out fear and all its negative companions.
Fear has become an underlying current pulsing through our society and our own lives these days. Just look at all the recent worship songs written about fear…No Longer Slaves, Whom Shall I Fear, Fear is a Liar, You Make Me Brave, Peace be Still, and Oceans to name a few.
But, scripture tells us this:
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7 AMPC
Trust is a verb. A verb shows action. To trust requires action. We must begin to practice trust. Trust doesn’t simply come to us. It grows over time.
We are going to develop a strong foundation of trust with these key principles:
T – THINK on truth
R – REMEMBER all God has done and REST in his goodness
U – UNLOAD and UNPACK our cares
S – SING songs of praise and SERVE others
T – THANK God in all circumstances
In John 14:1 (NLT), Jesus says: “Don’t let your hearts be troubled, trust in God, trust also in me.”
Trust in Greek means to believe; to commit unto; to place confidence in.
Trust is the antidote for our troubled hearts and minds. Trust is the antecedent for peace. Trusting in Jesus, believing in His promises, placing confidence in Him; that He has already overcome, counteracts a troubled heart. And, trust in Jesus also ushers in a peace that displaces whatever we may be struggling with.
I use the word “displace” because like love and fear can’t coexist neither can fear and trust co-exist. To displace means to take over the place, position or role of something. To cause something to move from its usual place. If you ever tried the science experiment where you force an empty glass into water, but the glass remains empty because air and water can not co-exist inside the glass. That’s displacement. The water is forced to stay out. The air takes over the space inside the glass. That’s exactly what trust will do. If our hearts and minds are full of trust, then fear has no room.
The next few weeks will focus on each of the actions that will grow our trust in God and begin to kick fear to the curb. We will spend time focusing on the importance of thinking, remembering, resting, unloading, unpacking, singing, serving, and thanking. We will learn how to apply these principles of trust when fear creeps in and we will begin to transform our minds and hearts.
So, grab a pen and paper, and let’s get started.
T- Think on Truth
God has used some weird ways to get my attention through the years. Like seeing an unusual flock of Waxwing birds in our back yard to remind me not to worry. He also brings to my mind certain things by repetition like hearing the same message or seeing the same numbers, words, or scripture over and over again. As my prayer and preparation continued for this study, God used all those things.
Here is the message that God has impressed on my heart:
“She believed that God would keep his promise.” Hebrews 11:11 (NLT)
She, as in Sarah…who was old as dirt by this time. Far past child bearing years. She believed God would keep His promise to give her a son from where a multitude of people as great as the stars would come. Sarah is listed in Hebrews 11 along with many others in the great Hall of Faith…but, let’s not forget that belief was not her first response. At first, Sarah laughed. I can hear her now. “Ha! Really? You have got to be joking, God. Did you forget how old we are? I mean just look at me! I am almost 100 freaking years old.” So maybe not quite like that….
Just like Sarah though, we doubt God, too. We may laugh or cry at our circumstances. We fear when we should trust. We forget to believe God’s promises, we forget to Think on Truth… we suffer from spiritual amnesia. Hebrews 11:11 resonated deeply with me. It was if God said to me, “Do you really believe that I will keep my promises for your life?“
Let’s stop there for a minute…
Write down one or two things that you are struggling with right now. That thing that continues to be a thorn in your side or maybe that thing that you can’t imagine how God is going to work it out. Maybe it is your marriage, your friendships, a child. Maybe it is finances, health, education or future plans. Maybe this struggle is causing you worry and anxiety. Or making you angry. Maybe there is guilt or shame or loneliness in your life right now. Maybe you aren’t having a major struggle, but there is an area of your life that needs growth…write that down.
Now, let’s look at a couple of other women in the Bible that chose to believe God despite their emotions or circumstances.
Naomi had lost her husband and both sons. She was left alone with her daughter-in-laws. She tried to send them back to their home country, but Ruth refused to leave her. She said, “Where you go I will go; where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God my God.” Ruth 1:16 (NIV) So, they travelled together to Naomi’s homeland of Bethlehem. Everyone was excited to see them, but Naomi’s first response was not of trust or believing God’s promises. Like Sarah, she struggled at first with her circumstances. Just like we do. Naomi went as far as changing her name to Mara which means “the Almighty has made life very bitter for me.”Ruth 1:20 (NIV) As the story goes, Ruth goes out into the fields to pick up grain that is left by the harvesters. She meets Boaz who so happened to be a relative of Naomi, a family redeemer, whom she later married. When, Naomi discovers Boaz’s kindness, she exclaims “The Lord always keeps his promises to the living and the dead.” Ruth 2:20 (GNT)
Then, there was Mary. She was a teenager engaged to be married when the angel Gabriel appeared to her and announced that she would conceive and give birth to a son of the Most High. Scripture says Mary was confused and disturbed, but the angel told her not to fear. As she is later relaying the story to her relative, Elizabeth said, “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promise to her.” Luke 1:45
All three women, Sarah, Naomi, and Mary, despite difficult circumstances, sadness, confusion, fear, chose to believe God would keep His promises.
God’s word is full of promises to forgive and redeem us,love us, never leave us, provide for us, direct us, protect us, comfort us, and give us hope.
We like Sarah, Ruth, and Mary must believe that God will keep His promises. We do that when we Think on Truth.
Because we are going to have trouble in this life at some point. Life will not be without bumps, bruises, and battles. Jesus said so. That’s why we need a firm foundation of TRUST in God, to believe His promises, even when we can’t see past our circumstances or emotions at the moment.
“For I know whom I believed (trust) and I am persuaded that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.” 1 Timothy 1:12
To believe means to have faith and confidence in someone or something.
When we believe God, we are also placing our TRUST in God and His promises.
“Promise” in scripture is often interchanged with God’s word. We find His promises for us in His word.
The first step to developing TRUST, to tapping into perfect love, to believe God’s promises is to THINK on TRUTH.
Thanks to Google, I found a wonderful printout of 100 of God’s Promises @garmentsofsplendor to get us started. Click HERE to view and print or screenshot.
Remember those one or two things that you jotted down earlier. Take a look at this list of 100 promises. Highlight 1-3 to claim over that struggle over the next few weeks. Print the list or keep a screenshot on your phone.
Phillippians 4:8 says “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
By changing how we think, by turning our thoughts from the lies that the world tells us, the lies that Satan tells us, the lies that we tell ourselves, and by focusing instead on believing the promises of God, by thinking on truth, we can begin to develop a firm foundation of trust.
“She believed that God would keep his promise.” Hebrews 11:11
Sweet friend, get into God’s word and believe that He will keep his promises.
Putting it into Practice
- Set a reminder on your phone for a quiet pause each day. Start with 15 minutes if you aren’t in the habit. Getting into God’s word daily is essential to building TRUST.
- Pick one of the promises that you chose above (or any of the promises on the page).
- Write it again in a journal and also on a sticky note to place somewhere that you see often in your home.
- Listen to the song “Prophesy Your Promise” by Brian and Katie Torwalt. Claim and believe the truth of God’s promises for your life every day.
- Read the chapter of the verse and find the context. Answer who, what, where, when, why about the verse. How does this apply to you?
- Compare versions: ESV, NIV, NLT, AMPC, Message, etc. Circle key words and write the different translations of the words as shown in each version.
- Take it a step further, if time allows…go to Blue Letter Bible and find the original Greek or Hebrew meanings of key words or read Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the passage.
Next Key Principle – Remember and Rest – will be posted on 10/14.