“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

You know, sometimes my way just seems better than God’s way; my understanding wiser than God’s word, and my path to happiness looks smoother and shorter than God’s path. This is especially true when I’ve been faithful to God’s Word but I’m not seeing the results I want or when I’ve been waiting a while for God to deliver on a promise. It’s during those times that I’m most likely to compromise.

The temptation here is to trust myself, my present perspective, my own understanding more than I trust God and His word. It’s easy to justify just about anything in this frame of mind. This why God says this in Proverbs 3:7-8, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”

Here’s the “Downing Paraphrase” of that passage. “Don’t think you know more that God. Respect Him by realizing He sees a bigger picture than you do. If God says not to do something, then have sense enough to not do it. If God says do something, then have the good sense to do it. Trusting God in this way leads to health and happiness.”
God doesn’t give us directions to lead us to misery. His guidance is always intended for our good (Ps. 25:12-14; Ps. 32:8; Jn. 15:11). However, sometimes following God can be hard. This is because, most of the time, it involves delayed gratification and sin offers instant satisfaction.

The problem is the payoff. Sin’s gratification is immediate, but it eventually leads to misery (Jms. 1:13-15). The rewards for obedience, though often delayed, lead to life, and health, and peace (Pr. 4:22; Rm. 8:6). It’s during the delay that trusting God is paramount.

Trusting God with all our heart means obeying Him in faith even when the world, our flesh, or the devil is offering what seem to be more immediate or more expedient paths to fulfillment. It’s believing that God has our best interests in mind and will richly reward us in due time if we don’t give up (Ga. 6:9). And, it means deciding with all our heart to follow His ways, even when our way looks better.

© Paul R Downing

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