By Brenda Marlin
(Taken from excerpts found in Brenda’s forthcoming book that takes readers on a journey to understand God’s powerful transformational love.)
“Trust the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
Trust is a big deal these days, or should I say, mistrust? Broken trust affects everything and causes us to become fearful, anxious, angry, bitter and self-protective. Unless, we are able to hand off our offenses to God through forgiveness, we can get thrown off course and miss out on the peace and joy of the Lord in the midst of our trials and sufferings. When we trust our own hearts, they fail us, but when we learn in faith to trust God, our hope can overflow through the power of the Holy Spirit. That may seem easier said than done, but if we will take one step at a time, we will eventually find ourselves on a straight path filled with God’s purposes and blessings, knowing that God can be trusted with all things. If you live with much hurt and disappointment and don’t know how to trust, ask Him to show you how. He loves you and wants you to know Him in this important way.
Trusting God can be a daunting task for many, given how broken trust by others creates a negative road map of understanding within our logical minds. But, I have great news for you; God is greater than our worrisome thoughts and difficult experiences. He invites us to trust Him with all our heart, so that we can learn to depend upon Him for our answers.
I have learned over time that acknowledging that He is Lord over all my life and circumstances brings His supernatural power that supersedes all my weaknesses. Looking back over how He has taught me how to do this, I have learned many lessons on my journey, many were hard lessons and some were easy (I tend to be hardheaded, so it takes a little more grit and a few more lessons to get it through my head). Overall, when I learned to lean upon Him, I found Him to be faithful to show me the way. Of course, hindsight is always 20/20, but I can assure you, He can do the same for you.
Childhood abuse robbed me of the gift of trust. The heart of my soul stopped beating and turned cold. By all accounts, I looked alive outside, but inside, I felt ripped apart and ashamed. Drowning in the murky brown waters of betrayal and abandonment, I grabbed hold of unhealthy passerby’s who only offered a temporary life preserver from the negative feelings I had about myself.
Playing relationship games my heart was not prepared to handle, I learned firsthand, misery truly attracts the company of other dismal souls. Foolish agreements made to satisfy the selfish needs of others brought upon me an avalanche of painful experiences. Misplaced trust only reinforced the stinging punishment of betrayal I felt in my heart.
I can’t trust anyone! I can only trust myself!
As I built an almost impenetrable stony wall of self-protection around my heart, true love evaded me. I reached out for anything that appeared to bring some fun and relief into my life, but in the end, all things seemed to become meaningless acts of self-preservation. Then one day, a miracle happened, true love broke through my fortress. It had to be supernatural; it had to be stronger than the fortification I created to protect it. It was Jesus!
I don’t trust You! How could you allow a child to endure such things?
“I love you, Brenda.”
Then, show me how much you love me.
At the time, it seemed to be a stupid request to ask of Him. After all, I knew the words to the song, Jesus Loves Me (by Anna Bartlett Warner), but deep down, I knew my heart didn’t really connect with His love.
It was if He had waited with great anticipation for my invitation. Over the next few weeks and months, Jesus poured out His love into my broken heart through the love of His people and His creation. Unexpected calls of encouragement came. Opportunities for healing my broken soul brought forth new hope. A rainbow appeared in the sky after a big storm like a big colorful bow wrapped around God’s promised gift of love for me. It all came pouring in like a tidal wave of fresh water crashing onto my war-torn soul. After each new encounter of God’s love, I would hear in my heart, “See, that’s how much I love you.” With each demonstration of His love, I felt an increasing unquenchable thirst for wanting more.
Like a divine set up, next came a desire to want to know Him more through the study of His written word. As more proof of God’s love working through His children, within a short span of time, new friends came into my life. One gave me a brand new study Bible. She exuded love and mercy, reflecting that which she had been given from God. The Lord sent another friend who loved discussing what she learned about God through His Word. These discussions caused me to want to dig deeper into knowing Him. Then came yet another friend who challenged me to make a commitment to God to read the Bible at least five minutes a day. I took that challenge which changed my life forever.
Captured by the lavish love of Jesus, my eyes are opened; my heart has been awakened and beats again! All else pales in comparison. Over time, I learned that trust is developed through knowing who He really is and experiencing Him in an ever-flowing loving relationship. My soul was empty, anemic and misdirected until Jesus rend the heavens to come to my rescue. His love and mercy met my misery and now, my heart and soul are filled with His love and purpose. I soar in His presence and my song rises up to bless and honor the One who paid the price for my life with His own. He has conquered death, so I can live with Him forever in His kingdom.
Your story may not be like mine, but like me, perhaps you have experienced an inability to trust God for one reason or another. By saying, “yes” to His plan of salvation and asking Him to be Lord of your life, you too can experience His everlasting love and fullness of life. He is extending His offer of eternal salvation to all who believe and say, “yes, I do!” Jesus is the only way, the truth and the life.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
John 3:16-18 NIV
If you have never said “yes” to God’s plan of salvation, check out this link, which will help you walk through it. http://billygraham.org/story/have-you-heard-the-good-news-of-salvation/
Trusting God completely is possible; after all, you trust Him for your salvation, so just take the next step and ask Him to show you how trust Him with your whole life. Make Proverbs 3:5-6 a life verse to remember and then believe in faith that His love, mercy and grace will show you the rest of the way.
I’m praying you receive an even deeper revelation, wisdom and understanding of His everlasting love for you, so that you may know Him better.