Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you (Ps 33:18-22).
Our staff recently went on a prayer retreat, and this is a Scripture God put on my heart at that time.
What verbs do you see come up again and again? Hope. Trust. Wait.
There is a promise here: that God loves and takes care of those who trust Him. For those who trust in God, he is “our help and our shield.” He watches over us. He delivers us from death and keeps us alive in famine—two very real realities of the ancient world. And of today’s world as well, though you’ve probably never experienced it yourself.
Today’s famines are less acts of God and more acts of economics. Hunger strikes the rural communities that raise the food because it no longer belongs to them, but to the corporation that employs only a few of them. Hunger strikes the urban poor who live in so-called “food deserts,” places where healthy food is scarce and therefor expensive, on top of the rent that they have to pay just to have a roof over their heads.
You’re a college student. You probably aren’t familiar with these things. But they happen all around you. I live in the Midwest, a huge farming area. Yet a huge number of kids in my county go to school and school lunch is the only food they will get that day.
You are so wealthy! You can afford to go to college! Now, at a time when it costs more than it ever has before, even adjusted for inflation!
Yet even you have things that you have to trust God for.
Often you see trust as something you have. “I don’t trust God enough.” “Lord, help me to have more faith in you!”
But what does Scripture say about trust? It tells you to do it!
Trust, in Scripture, is a choice.
You have power over your trust. You choose how much trust you have.
Now, don’t get me wrong: that choice is often more difficult to make than at other times. The plea of the man with the son who had an unclean spirit is one of the most honest confessions of human weakness and human reality that we see in Scripture:
I believe. Help my unbelief! (Mk 9:24).
It’s okay to be honest with God. It’s a fine thing to cry out to God, “Help my unbelief!”
But remember that, ultimately, belief or unbelief is your choice.
And remember also what we talked about last week: You have the most amazing reason to believe within you. David trusted in God because he bore the mark of the covenant between his ancestors and God. David trusted in God because of a mark made by his father. You are marked with the Spirit of the Living God, the very presence of the Father! How much more can you trust Yahweh than even David did!
Now ask yourself this:
What would your life look like if you chose to trust God every time? How would your life look different if you chose trust, even when it was really difficult?
Now ask yourself, what would your life look like if you never trusted God? How would your life be different if you only trusted yourself? You might say, “Well, I can get advice from other people!” And you’re right—but other people are just like you! So it’s really the same: either way, you’re trusting only in a limited human.
So paint these pictures for yourself. And then ask, “Which of these pictures is better? Which one of these is more trustworthy?”
For me, it’s got to be the infinite God. An infinite God is the only one worthy of infinite trust.
How will you choose?