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Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Psalm 37:3

Trust is a learned response. Long before we understand the concept of trust we learn the basis of trust. We can trust the floor to stand on because every floor we happen upon has upheld us. Standing on our favorite ball however results in our falling and perhaps hurting ourselves. Balloons are never to be trusted. They may be bright and colorful. They may be great fun to play with and bat around the room. But we learn early on they are never to be trusted because at any moment they may explode!

We also learn to that over time, we can trust things more. During our first steps we find that our legs are untrustworthy. They seem to let us down (not softly either), they are wobbly, and at times they take us in a direction we had no intention of going. However, if we let our first ‘leg experience’ be the basis of our concept of ‘trust’ then none of us would ever walk. As our legs become more trustworthy we learn not only to walk, but to run, jump and move with confidence.

Trust also requires us to be patient and cautious. Patient because those we love and want to help will (not may) fail us. Trust requires caution because there are those who will intentionally, or otherwise, mislead us and bring us into situations that are harmful for ourselves and/or others.

Trust in relationships is much like learning to trust in the walking experience. It takes time. It takes effort. In relationships we learn, sometimes the hard way that not everyone can be trusted. We experience the heartache and pain of betrayal, hatred, abuse and misunderstanding. Many a relationship has been destroyed because one person misunderstood the motives of another and refused to give another chance. Others have been physically and/or emotionally scarred for life because they never learned that love doesn’t always mean trust.

The Psalmist begins Psalm 37 with a warning. Don’t let evil doers worry you. Soon they will wither away. Eventually the evil motives of evil people will come to a natural end because evil can not stand against faith, hope and love.

True trust, the foundational trust can only be found in relationship with God. Men fail. Women fail. Children and parents fail. We fail by nature because our nature leans towards selfishness and evil.

God never fails. Sometimes we may feel like He does. We pray and He ‘fails’ to answer or give us an answer we don’t like. We go into a relationship we ‘think’ He approves and it blows up like the balloon we played with when we were young. We do good things and they get misread so we get falsely accused. In a moment of weakness we make a stupid decision and our lives are forever changed.

The problem with trust comes when we attach human attributes to a divine being. In our human mindset we see bad things and think that if God were real He could change them. In reality, God can change all the bad things in life. Sometimes God chooses to use the bad things in life to make us stronger. The stumbles during our first steps helped us learn balance. The falls helped us learn to stand. Only God can take a bad thing, a very bad thing and use it to make us stronger.

Trust the only one who can see you through your struggles. People will fail you. YOU will fail you. You will fail others. Sometimes your best efforts will fall short. But God will never ever ever fail you.

Learn to trust Him like you learned to walk. If you knew as an infant that each fall would make you better you wouldn’t enjoy the falls, but they’d be easier to take. In the same way, trusting God is a one-step-at-a-time process.

Trust, true, foundational trust must be built on someone who has proved themselves over time. Our God has never failed and He won’t fail you now.

PRAYER: Holy God. I confess to you that there are many times I’ve gone off on my own. Although I wouldn’t admit it then, in reality those times were times I trusted myself or others and not you. Forgive me for straying, rebelling and wandering. Help me back to my feet. Guide each of my stumbling, wobbly steps until I can walk with confidence in you through faith in Jesus. Amen.

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