Today as I write, the world is trembling in fear because of the Coronavirus. Many schools have shut down and depending on where you live, large gatherings of people have been banned. Are difficult times swirling around you? Do you find yourself wondering how to understand and trust God’s plan? If so, would you open to Proverbs 3:5-6 and study what it means to trust in the Lord with me?
Dear friends, please remember that you can trust in the Lord with all your heart.
Because God is the same today, as He was yesterday. And guess what…
I think God knew we’d need to be reminded of this because the phrase “trust in the Lord” is in the Bible 19 times.
What Does the Bible Say About Trusting God?
I know, that I know, that I know – I’m supposed to trust God. I understand why I’m supposed to trust Him, know I’m supposed to trust Him and still…sometimes it’s hard to trust God.
Maybe you’re nodding your head in agreement. Maybe you’re wondering how you’re supposed to trust God when (fill-in-the-blank) happens.
I get it.
You see, trusting the Lord goes beyond trusting that He’s with us or that He’ll use the hard circumstances we’re faced with.
When we trust in the Lord, we need to also trust His plan and will for our lives.
Turn to Proverbs chapter 3 and let’s begin our study. But before we do that, be forewarned.
I’m a big fan of definitions and we’re going to use the original Hebrew to help us understand how to trust God and His plans for our life. The reason I do this is because it adds depth and clarity to the Bible verses you’re reading.
Are you ready to find the meaning of Proverbs 3:5-6?
If so, let’s open God’s Word and explore trusting God in difficult times.
The Meaning of Proverbs 3:5
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
I love unpacking the meanings of the different Hebrew words. Since I don’t speak Hebrew, I rely on my trusty ‘ol Strong’s concordance and Interlinear Bible.
What is the meaning of Proverbs 3:5? Let’s explore.
In this verse, trust is an imperative verb. Imperative verbs are commands or orders that then, make the sentence imperative. This, in turn, makes this verse a command or order.
Our trust in God and not ourselves is critical, that’s why it’s a command. As much as we think we know what’s best for us, we don’t.
God knows this.
The phrase “with all” means everything, totality, or the whole. The next phrase, “your heart”, includes our mind, will, emotions, and thoughts. Basically, everything that makes us, us.
So the first half of this verse literally means we’re to trust the Lord with absolutely everything.
Anyone else struggle with this?
Who Do You Trust?
If I’m honest with myself, I truly do trust in the Lord and my words convey this trust. But…when I take a deep, deep look into the recesses of my heart and mind, I find a sliver of hesitancy still exists.
What about you?
- Right now are you trusting the Lord with every last part of you?
In times like these, it can be hard to trust the Lord.
Oh Lord God, thank You for Your grace, mercy, and patience with us.
Teach us to trust You in these difficult times. Empower us to put all our trust in You despite what’s happening around us.
- How has God taught you to trust Him?
- What are you currently struggling to trust God with?
Don't Trust Yourself
The second half of Proverbs 3:5 contrasts the first half and tells us who not to trust in. If we’re honest with ourselves, trusting in “self” comes naturally and gets us in a lot of trouble. And…it’s been that way forever.
Adam and Eve’s first mistake, the mistake that got them kicked out of the garden, was trusting “self” and not God. You can read more about that story here.
Back to the meaning of Proverbs 3:5.
The Hebrew meaning of the words in the second half of Proverbs 3:5 convey that we should never, ever support ourselves with our own judgment or authority.
When I look at the full Hebrew meaning of words I like to write out my own translation for the passage. My translation for the meaning of Proverbs 3:5 is:
Don’t think twice about it – Trust God and trust Him confidently and boldly. With everything that makes you, you, determinedly move towards a full, all-encompassing trust in God. But your own discernment and understanding – don’t trust or support yourself only with it. Instead, base your understanding and discernment on God.
Let’s continue to Proverbs 3:6 to learn what “trusting the Lord” leads to.
- In what ways do you depend on your own understanding or trust yourself?
- What would it look like to trust God with these things?
The Meaning of Proverbs 3:6
“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:6
When I’m struggling to know what to do, I always find myself praying Proverbs 3:5-6 because I find these truths reassuring. And today, with uncertainties unfolding all around us – we need to set our focus on trusting in the Lord.
The meaning of the Hebrew words in Proverbs 3:6 shows the following…
We need to acknowledge Him so we can be absolutely certain we’re walking the path God has for us.
Current events will be forever marred by decisions made by people who didn’t acknowledge God and instead depended on their own understanding. We, as Christians, need to acknowledge that our trust is in God and God alone.
Our co-workers, neighbors, family, and friends need to see us resolutely trusting God.
When you unpack the meaning of each word in Proverbs 3:6 you find:
With everything you are and anything your course of life brings, learn to know God. As you travel life’s journey, learn to recognize God’s will. Because then God will lead you on a straight, smooth, and level path. He really, really will. Trust Him. Know that as you travel the path called life, God will lead you along and you’ll know He approves of where you’re going and what’s happening. Trust Him. Trust Him.
Will You Trust God?
Dear woman of God,
- Will you trust God with every cell in your body?
- Will you acknowledge God and learn to know and recognize Him?
Because dear friend, we need to know the path God wants us to walk. This thing called life will get more difficult as Jesus’ return draws closer.
We need to trust in the Lord and walk the path He’s leading us down.
- Will you trust God completely?
Write down what that looks like for you and write a prayer to God in response.
Our trust in the Lord, goes beyond knowing the meaning of Proverbs 3:5-6. Situations like what we’re facing with the Coronavirus are going to occur. But there’s other reasons why it’s important we trust God. One of those reasons is because we’re God’s image-bearers and because we’re His children.
It’s because of these things that God continues to mold us into His image. Sin marred God’s image but as we mature and allow God to shape us, He uses every moment of our lives to shape us to better reflect Him. Part of being His image-bearer involves God shaping us to trust Him.
God walked the Israelites through the wilderness so they’d learn to trust in Him and Him alone. Each time they feared for their lives because of enemy attack or lack of food – God provided and Israel learned to trust.
If you’d like to learn more about Israel’s wilderness story check out these posts:
- How God Uses Wilderness Seasons to Shape Our Hearts
- Learning to Hunger for God, even in the wilderness
- How to Thirst for God, even when struggling to trust Him
For me, learning to trust God came through a life of difficult situations. Yet no matter how hard those circumstances were, God faithfully led me through them.
With each new difficulty, my trust in God grew stronger and stronger.
- Will you trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding?
- Will you acknowledge Him in all your ways so He can make your paths straight?
If you’re struggling to trust God right now, ask Him to help you learn to trust Him as He graciously guides you.
Right now the people you’re in contact with need to see you trusting the Lord with all your heart.
If you’d like someone to pray with you, you can reach us here. We’d be happy to talk with you and pray with you. Just because many of us are socially isolated doesn’t mean we can’t connect remotely.
- How can you use the internet to share your hope and trust in the Lord?
Until next time remember…
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him.” Psalm 28:7