Monday, May 26, 2014

Trust and Hope

Trust: belief that someone or something is reliable, good, effective, honest, etc. (courtesy Merriam-Webster Dictionary online)

Hope: to want something to happen or be true and think that it could happen or be true (courtesy Merriam-Webster Dictionary online)

Listed above are two words that I've found myself grasping tightly to in this year, 2014.  "Trust" came through time spent with God and prayerfulness as 2013 was winding down and 2014 was on the horizon.  Here we are and the sun is just about to peak over this year and I find myself adding another word to the list..."Hope."  While Merriam-Webster is very helpful in giving me the English language definition of trust and hope, I have become intrigued to find what God says in His word about both trust and hope.

"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.  Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal." ~ Isaiah 26:3-4 (NIV)

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

"In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name." ~ Psalm 33:21 (NIV)

I realized in my time with the Lord as my heart was preparing for all the excitement and unexpectedness that comes with one year ending and another beginning that there is a constant theme of desperately trying to depend on my own ability.  That I am not leaning into and trusting the Lord for the things he desires for me to trust in him for, I do not live out Proverbs 3:5-6 as much as I'd like to think that I do.  So then the question I had to ask myself is "why not trust the Lord?  What is your fear?"  And I find that it all goes back to feeling out of control and believing in some warped sense that I can control things.  HA!! Praise God that he has been gentle with me as I come to terms with my inability and grasping onto how truly able He is!  For me trust has truly been a gentle word, a word of peace over my life.  As I let go of the things I'm trusting myself to accomplish/complete, and turn it over to God I am better able to see His work in my life and those around me.  My heart is grateful for my insufficiencies and that He is truly sufficient enough (2 Corinthians 3:5).

Now with nearly half the year complete I've been in the book of Romans for the last 6 weeks or so and focusing on chapter 8, one verse at a time.  Tonight, through meditating on God's word, prayer, and worship I broke down Romans 8:24-25 realizing the significance of the word "hope" with where I am right now.

"For in this hope we were saved.   But hope that is seen is no hope at all.  Who hopes for what they already have?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."
~ Romans 8:24-25 (NIV)

And then through my study on scripture of "trust" I realized how closely connected both "hope" and "trust" are throughout God's word.  The connection for me has been that as I trust in the Lord, I find that my patience for that in which I hope deepens...lengthens.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." ~ Romans 15:13 (NIV)

I even found where hope sandwiched trust in Psalm 33....

"We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.  In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.  May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you."
~ Psalm 33:20-22 (NIV)

The Lord has spoken as I've sought him...what words is he speaking to you?  What theme do you find running in your season of 2014?