The Two Aspects of Trusting God-S4Ep11
This podcast covers Lesson 10 of Profiles of Perseverance Bible Study by Melanie Newton.
The Two Aspects of Trusting God
Has God placed something in your heart for you to do for Him?
Whatever it is involves two aspects of trusting God. The first one is that you must trust him as you step forward and do your part His way. And, the second aspect is that you must trust him to do His part in the areas over which you have no control. Those two aspects of trusting God are necessary to act on whatever God has placed in your heart to do. The book of Nehemiah provides a beautiful illustration of this for us.
The seed was planted by God in Nehemiah’s heart
- Nehemiah’s distress from the news of Jerusalem’s disgrace led him to pray about what to do. God placed into Nehemiah’s heart the desire to go and repair the walls and gates of Jerusalem.
- Just before he approached the king of Persia about this, Nehemiah asked for God to be with him as he did his part (speaking to the king), and he asked for God to do God’s part in directing the heart and mind of the king. Those are the two aspects of trusting God.
- When God places something in your heart to do, especially when it involves someone else and situations over which you have no control, you must trust God to lead you in what you choose to do. You want to do your part His way, not your own way or the world’s way.
The time had come to act
After the seed was planted, the time had come to act. When Nehemiah was asked by the king what he wanted to do, Nehemiah sent up a quick prayer before he answered (Nehemiah 2:4). God took care of His part by directing the king’s heart and mind to be favorable to Nehemiah’s requests. Nehemiah asked for letters to all the authorities for safe travel and materials needed to do the job. That was Nehemiah’s part to make the official requests. God worked through the authorities to grant Nehemiah’s requests and give him authority to do the work in Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:7-9). Once again, the narrative demonstrates the two aspects of trusting God. Yet, opposition tested Nehemiah’s trust.
Opposition tested Nehemiah’s trust
Though Nehemiah was completely trusting God and doing things God’s way, God didn’t stop the opposition. Nehemiah knew without a doubt that God had given him the vision to rebuild and that God’s gracious hand was upon him with every step. Yet, God didn’t make it easy for Nehemiah and the Israelites to do what He called them to do.
- The opposition tried intimidation. Nehemiah led the people in prayer for God to do His part in giving them protection. But, they also did their part by posting guards day and night and carrying weapons with them while they worked.
- The opposition tried fake news. Nehemiah called the news a lie and probably informed his boss, the king, that it was fake news.
- The opposition tried deception. Nehemiah didn’t fall for either one of the traps, including the fake news spoken by a woman who claimed to be a prophet. Beware whose side you are on when you give information.
- The opposition then tried to hit Nehemiah by fostering disloyalty from within. The Jewish nobility had even refused to do the work on the walls, disdaining such manual labor. Nehemiah prayed and later confronted them with their hypocrisy and their disloyalty to God and His people.
- God gave Nehemiah what he needed to respond to the opposition. Nehemiah needed discernment for each of these weapons to recognize the error and to avoid an improper response. Nehemiah needed God’s strength to combat the weapons. He prayed, “Lord, strengthen my hands” (Nehemiah 6:9). Nehemiah trusted in God while at the same time taking safety precautions. There is nothing wrong with acting wisely for prevention and protection from danger while trusting God for that protection.
- God doesn’t stop the opposition so that we will learn to rely on Him more than on ourselves. Relying on Him, even when waiting for the right moment to act, is still trusting Him while we are doing our part (which is waiting and praying), knowing that He is working on His part (which is whatever that situation requires). 2 Corinthians 1:9
The two aspects of trusting God
What has God placed on your heart to do for others?
- Is it raising children to know and love Him and choose to follow Him as adults? Trust Him to lead you to follow godly child-rearing principles and actions while you trust Him to work in the hearts of your children.
- Is it managing people or a project at work (Nehemiah’s experience was a workplace task with the king as the CEO.) Trust God to lead you to act with honesty and integrity among your fellow employees and managers while you trust Him to work in their hearts as well.
- Is it serving in a local ministry with teens or special needs or homeless people? Whatever it is, trust God to lead you to speak and act with compassion while you trust Him to work to meet the needs of those you are serving.
Trust God while you do your part His way and trust Him to do His part alongside what you are doing. Those are the two aspects of trusting God.
“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope (Romans 15:4, NASB).”
We can have hope because we have God with us. So, remember our lane markers for the race.
#1. Choose to persevere through every challenge.
#2. Count on God’s promise to give you hope.
#3. Let that hope sustain you through the rough-and-tumble of life.
#4. Celebrate the joyful reward.
Let Jesus satisfy your heart with hope so you can persevere through life.