Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but this is my one aim:
to forget everything that's behind, and to strain every nerve to go after what lies ahead.
I press on toward the finish line, where the prize waiting for me is the upward call of God
(Philippians 3:13-14)
by – Stuart H. Pouliot
April 6, 2010
Blessed…Whose Trust is the Lord
"Blessed is the man who trusts [ batach ] in the LORD, whose trust [ mibtach ] is the LORD . He is like a
tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear
fruit." (Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV [bold italic added])
Many years ago, I learned a vital lesson: We need to trust the Lord. However, part two of the verse
continues to mean the most to me. It is one thing to trust in the Lord, knowing that He is more than
capable of bringing us through any trial we might face, but it is a much greater lesson when we see that
our trust is the Lord Himself. Jesus is trust just as much as He is the way, the truth, the life, and the
resurrection, and everything from Alpha to Omega.
In the above, 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 rather like 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, our 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 trust.
Those who know the Messiah as trust 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 eventually 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
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known to God (Philippians 4:6). 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). 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).
Now, take note of what happens to ones who do not make the Lord their 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, turn our hearts away
from the Lord, then we will not flourish but instead be like a dried-up bush in the desert.
I considered this word from Jeremiah many times over the years, especially during the global financial
crisis that was unfolding from 2007-2008. At the time, I was not sure how events would unfold, but it was
clear that many people were looking for the leaders of world governments and financial systems to resolve
the crisis. Simply, the world was looking to men to bring the world economy back from the brink of
collapse. During this period, as I listened to news coverage of all that was transpiring, it became clear that
many continued to put their trust in mankind, the leaders of flesh. Many continued to look to men that
they call bright, smart, and intelligent , and, by the way, these men are not shy about agreeing with this
assessment of their ability. It is as if the many are saying government will bail me out, government will
give me entitlements to make my life better, and government will take from the rich to share the wealth
with me . Simply, the government will take care of me; it is my savior .
Today, the financial picture is looking a bit better. A total collapse has not happened, and there are some
signs that things are improving, at least according to some experts with a vested interest in the matter. I
caution you not to believe most of what you see or hear coming from the realm of the global economy. It
is still a house of cards built on sand, and, at the Father's appointed time, the ground will move and it will
fall. Trillions of dollars of debt are unsustainable! But if things get better, even if for only a season, does
this mean that we as Christians are to change our attitude and turn from the Lord as our trust and seek
for the mammon of the world? May it not be coming to that! We need to store up our treasure in heaven
where our Lord sits at the right of the throne of glory.
As if to remind us of God's shaking, even as I write this, there are reports of a 7.2 quake in Mexico, just
like the recent ones in Haiti and Chile. When you see the structures crumble, both man-made and natural,
know that the arrival of King Jesus is very near.
Where are the world leaders that are declaring it is time to turn to the Almighty God, the one true God
for His guidance? Who is declaring that there is only one rightful king over the nations, and His name is
Yeshua-Jesus, the one who saves? What leader is calling for national repentance? The silence is deafening;
even among some church leaders. Don't look to these leaders as if they are your savior.
There is only one Savior and one King! It is time to lay hold of our trust, to make Jesus our refuge,
regardless of what is transpiring in the world.
Oh, people of God, blessed is the man whose trust is the Lord!