THE UPWARD CALL
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
IN CHRIST JESUS.
(Philippians 3:13-14 NASB)
Trust is the Lord
February 24, 2010
Lately, from the US media, I have heard it said many times that the American people have lost trust in
their elected officials and that trust and honor must be restored. I agree with such an assessment;
however, as a Christian, I believe it falls short of the real answer as to what ails the US in this day.
For the most part, trust is understood as a concept. One of the definitions of the word trust is “firm
belief or confidence in the honesty, integrity, reliability, justice, etc. of another person or thing.”
According to this definition, trust is based on some good qualities or traits of a person or thing. We
could say that when a person has such traits, others will have faith in that person that he or she will do
the right thing or act righteously. To carry this thought one step further, trust is also defined as “the
person or thing trusted.” In other words, the person or thing is trust, which implies that the person is
honest, reliable, just, etc.
This leads to a word that came alive to me nearly 17 years ago when I was in the midst of a personal
trial, the outcome of which, in the beginning, did not look very favorable for me. But the spirit of God
met me and gave the following word that became very real and personal. When all was said and done, I
knew that my trust is the Lord, and I know that, for the world that is in the midst of God’s shaking, the
answer is the same. It is time to turn to the Lord and know Him as trust.
(5) Thus says the LORD, “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his
strength, and whose heart turns away from the LORD. (6) “For he will be like a bush in
the desert and will not see when prosperity comes, but will live in stony wastes in the
wilderness, a land of salt without inhabitant. (7) “Blessed is the man who trusts [ batach ]
in the LORD and whose trust [ mibtach ] is the LORD. (8) “For he will be like a tree planted
by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes;
but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to
yield fruit. (9) “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can
understand it? (10) “I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each
man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds. (Jeremiah 17:5-10 NASB)
The problem today, especially in the US, is that many people have put their trust in others to solve all
their problems. The most obvious example is the trust so many have put in President Obama, as if he
alone has all the answers to what ails our once mighty nation. Don’t take me wrong; it is good to put our
trust in others that deserve to have our trust because they have a proven track record in this regard, but
it is not good to make others our strength and to turn our hearts away from the Lord. We must first and
foremost put our trust in the Lord. Speaking through Jeremiah, the Lord is very clear that putting our
trust in fallen man and turning our hearts away from Him has one end in view, and it is not very good.
Prosperity will not come; but have you considered that prosperity could be lost by a nation that once
had a heart for the Lord but turned aside to trust its own strength? Could this be why each day seems to
bring us closer to the possibility of an economic/financial collapse unlike any in the history of man?
Now, in verse 7, there are two Hebrew words used that are both translated as the word trust . The first
trust comes from the Hebrew word batach , which means “properly to hie for refuge; figuratively to
trust , be confident or sure: - be bold (confident, secure, sure), careless, put confidence, (make to) hope,
(put, make to) trust.” The second trust comes from the Hebrew word mibtach , which means “properly a
refuge , that is, (objectively) security , or (subjectively) assurance: - confidence, hope, sure, trust.”
(Source: Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. )
So, the first use of the word trust means that we are to have confidence in the Lord, and the second use
of the word trust means that the Lord is our very refuge. Some translations use the word hope in the
first incidence and the word confidence in the second. Interestingly, I have not found one translation
that uses the word refuge . Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible states: Blessed is the man who trusteth
in Yahweh, to whom Yahweh is his ground of confidence. The Concordant Version states:
Blessed is the master who trusts in Yahweh so that Yahweh comes to be his trust.
I prefer the way the last translation puts it, for it implies a process. As we put our trust in the Lord, we
come to realize that the whole matter of trust is not some esoteric concept but actually a person. For us
who believe in this day, trust is the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ . He is our refuge, and He is
our trust. In other words, it is more than trusting in His ability; He alone is the very embodiment or
personification of trust, just as much as He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Those knowing the Lord as their trust and whose trust is the Lord are blessed, which means that they
are benefited. “For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a
stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not
be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.”
Jeremiah lived during tumultuous times for Judah and Jerusalem. It was not easy, especially for the
young prophet who was often reviled for what the Lord called him to speak forth. Using the metaphor of
a planted tree and yielding fruit even in times of a drought, Jeremiah declares to us even today that one
whose trust is the Lord will not only survive the rough times but will flourish. Such a one will not be
anxious but instead will be strong and bear fruit. This should remind us of Paul’s words: Be anxious
for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your
requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6 NASB). I know how to get along with
humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance
I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and
suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:12-13
NASB). Paul was a lot like Jeremiah in the suffering that he experienced for the sake of the ecclesia.
Paul knew where his trust and confidence were: Christ Jesus our hope (1 Timothy 1:1).
Again, take note of what happens to one who does not make the Lord his trust: “Cursed is the man
who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from
the LORD. For he will be like a bush in the desert and will not see when prosperity
comes, but will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, a land of salt without inhabitant.” If
we place our trust in others (mankind), who, by the way, are just like us, making the flesh of man our
hope or confidence and, in so doing, turning our hearts away from the Lord, then we will not flourish
but instead be like a dried-up bush in the desert. Let us thrive, not die!
Today, in the US, there is a grass roots movement to revive the nation back to its founding principles
and to elect officials that adhere to them. Given the corrupt political system of our day, I understand
such a movement and the cry for a return, especially a return to a strict interpretation of and adherence
to the US Constitution. My concern for such a movement is its foundation and its trust. Is it based on
the strength of men and women who proclaim: “We will prevail!”? Or, is it based on men and women
who know Christ as their trust, who are looking to the Lord for guidance and leading? In other words, is
it based on the flesh, whose trust is the flesh, or on the Lord, whose trust is the Lord? If it is based on
the flesh, it will fail, even if it has some short-term success. If it is based on the Lord, it will prevail.
To all Americans, as well as others throughout the nations of the world, it is time to turn to the Lord and
to know Him as trust. Only He can lead us through the dark days set before us and into His marvelous
light. There is only one rightful King over the nations, and His name is Jesus, Yeshua, the One who
saves. Let us not be persuaded by movements; let us be persuaded by Jesus, our refuge and trust.
Dear beloved in Christ, blessed is the man whose trust is the Lord!
The Upward Call: #04-1019
by: Stuart H. Pouliot