Don't Just Trust the Lord

by Oct 8, 2013

Let God

“Just trust the Lord!”

Have you ever had someone try to say that to you? You’re going through a really tough time, and someone asks how you’re doing. You say, “Do you really want to know?” … “Yeah!” …  “OK, here goes.” You start pouring out your guts to this person, and when you’re all done, the only thing they can say is, “Well, just trust the Lord, brother!” At that kind of moment, you need to trust the Lord to keep you from going postal on him.

And God understands that. Proverbs 25:20 says, “Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, and like vinegar on soda.” Ever poured vinegar on baking soda? That’s what happens when you’re suffering, and people try to sing songs to you. When they just recite mindless cliche’s to you. There’s going to be an explosion!

God doesn’t deal in coffee-cup cliche’s. He never expects us to just trust him. He doesn’t want us to just take blind leaps of naive faith. Throughout the Bible, he gives us endless reasons why we should trust him. And Psalm 121 has some big ones. The songwriter says, “God will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper” (Psalm 121:3-5). There are three reasons why we should go to God first in times of trouble, trial, and despair:

1. He keeps his promises.
The songwriter mentions how God “keeps” Israel. He protected Israel. Not because Israel deserved it. He protected Israel because he promised he would. He made a covenant with Israel back in the days of Abraham, when he said, “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and pin you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen 12:2-3). The rest of the Bible is the story of God keeping that promise.

Because if you’re one of God’s people, then he promises to protect you. Jesus said to us, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” He said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” If he kept his promise to Israel, he’ll keep his promise to you.

2. He cares for his people.
The word “keep” in this psalm could also be translated as “watch,” as the NIV phrases it: “The LORD watches over you.” That gives you a good sense of the word. It’s like watching over your kids when they get scared at night.

If my preschool-aged daughter Kaira starts crying, I’ll go in and get her settled down. When I think she’s asleep and I try to leave, she’ll always cock one eye open and say, “No, Daddy! Stay with me!” I’ll try to reason with her. “I’ll just be on the other side of that door. I’ll be five feet away from you.” …  “No, daddy, I want you to stay! I want you to watch me!”

That’s what God does for his kids. He doesn’t just help you. He doesn’t just protect you. He’s not standing outside your door, he’s staying there in your room, he’s watching over you. All the time. Because he cares for you! He loves you! He’ll stay awake all night for you! And that’s the third reason to trust God…

3. He stays awake.
If I lay down on the floor in my kids’ rooms, there’s a 75% chance that I’m going to fall asleep. There’s not a lot I can do to protect them if I’m dead asleep! But not God. “He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”

That’s actually a direct assault on all the other gods the songwriter would have been tempted to go to, rather than the One True God. Like the god Baal. In ancient legends, he was notorious for partying all night, and then sleeping for days after. Maybe you remember the story of Elijah trash-talking the priests of Baal when their god didn’t respond to their prayers. Elijah taunted,“Maybe he overslept! Maybe you need to wake him up!” Because everyone knew that the main job of the priests on the top of the mountains was to make loud noises to wake Baal up from his naps. They would beat on drums and cymbals to wake him up so they could get him to respond to their offerings.

That’s what we always need to do when we go anywhere else than God. We have to convince someone to wake up from their own self-centeredness to come give us some help. And they might help for a while, but then they’ll just fall asleep again.

God is so radically different. “The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.” When you go to God, you won’t need to keep coming back and begging him for help. You won’t need to keep waking him up. You won’t need to keep doing things to make him happy. He will keep your life, from this time forth and forevermore.

Don’t just trust the Lord. Trust him because he is loving, and gracious, and strong, and faithful, and good.