We’re glad you’re here and hope you have re-gathered your spiritual sisters as we’ve re-gathered ours to continue to Go Deeper into faith.
Last week in our group, after a time of prayer, the thought was presented to write God a letter about where you currently are in your relationship with Him and tell Him where you would like it to be one year from now. Consider writing Him then tucking the letter in your Bible to read a year from now, to see how He answered your prayer.
Our spiritual discipline this week was to ask God for one word to focus our spiritual growth and journey on throughout the year. We’d love to know your word if you received one. You can let us know through the comment box at the bottom of the post.
Grab your pen and journal and don’t forget your Bible. Let’s get started.
Father God, bless our time together and may our time together be a blessing to You.
Most of our work this week was done against the backdrop of the 23rd Psalm.
As I began to think about the importance of trust and create the weekly work we just finished I kept wondering. What Scripture feels like trust. I kept going back to Psalm 23.
When I read it or say, “The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want…”, a warmth and comfort comes over me I can’t explain.
Read Psalm 23 out loud. If you have sisters with you, read it together.
Where do you see the concept of trust woven into this psalm?
God gave me a beautiful picture this week during my quiet time. I imagined a sort of sheep paddock. The paddock being at home with God, the Good Shepherd. I thought about the job of a shepherd. How He protects, saves, provides. As I considered these attributes of God I am learning to trust in more and more, I hear the question:
What kind of sheep are you?
As I answered the question in my journal I came up against a few trust issues… places where my trust is still growing.
Imagine yourself as one of the Shepherd’s sheep. What kind of sheep are you? What does this reveal about your trust in Him?
Every relationship we have depends on trust. This is why trust is so important in our relationship with God. Learning to trust Him deepens our relationship. We need to trust Him in His discipline and His provision of both our needs and wants.
Think about the relationships you have:
- business associates
What role does trust have in your relationships?
Who in your life do you trust the most? the least?
How do these relationships effect your emotions?
When we place our trust in others by entering into relationship, we put ourselves at risk of getting hurt. But we discovered Jesus didn’t trust any person, because He knew their hearts (John 2:23-25). He knows we are not trustworthy.
How then do we have relationships with those who are untrustworthy (which is everyone)?
We also learned we are not to trust ourselves.
Read Proverbs 3:5
Most translations read: do not lean on your own understanding. What images does the word lean bring to mind?
Why do you think God tells us not to lean on our own understanding?
Sin broke our insight and understanding. Our estimation of a person or situation is rarely correct because of our skewed perspectives.
Big House, a children’s praise and worship song, gives us a clear picture of why we shouldn’t lean on our own understanding.
I don’t know where you lay your head
Or where you call your home
I don’t know where you eat your meals
Or where you talk on the phone
I don’t know if you got a cook
A butler or a maid
I don’t know if you got a yard
With a hammock in the shade
I don’t know if you got some shelter
Say a place to hide
I don’t know if you live with friends
In whom you can confide
I don’t know if you got a family
Say a mom or dad
I don’t know if you feel love at all
But I bet you wish you had
Come and go with me
To my Father’s house
Accepting I don’t know… is the beginning of trusting God wholeheartedly and not leaning on our own understanding.
We don’t know others’ hearts. We don’t know others’ backgrounds, wounds, or hurts. And when we lean on our own understanding we make a lot of arrogant assumptions and put ourselves in God’s place.
He came to heal all these broken places in our hearts. He died so we might live because of His great love. When we don’t know that we don’t know, we will not trust God with what He knows, and we become a stumbling block to others trying to find their way to Him.
It is easy to transfer our trust issues over to God. Have you seen this in your own life?
God’s Word tells us only God is trustworthy.
Recite this week’s memory verse:
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. —Isaiah 26:3 ESV
What insights did you gain by returning to this verse again and again this week?
When you trust God, keeping your mind and thoughts fixed on Him in every circumstance and relationship, remembering who He is and His promises, He keeps you in perfect peace. Even when your husband breaks his promise for the umpteenth time… when your sister lies to you again about her need… when you find out your parents were not faithful to one another… when your friend breaks confidence and tells the whole Sunday school class… when the customer writes you an insufficient check… when you misjudge a person and damage their reputation by spouting off in anger…
People are not trustworthy. Not even ourselves. But when we wholeheartedly place our trust in Him. And only Him. He keeps us in perfect peace, because we trust He is at work in every circumstance for our good and His glory.
To the degree other people disturb our peace, is the degree to which we trust God.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been upset with myself because I trusted someone and got hurt again.
I’ve spent hours, in the past, berating myself for being such a fool.
I see now, I trusted myself, my own judgment, leaned on my own understanding, put my own estimation of a person over what God might have shown me or wanted to teach me in the situation.
When we trust ourselves more than God, our peace is disturbed.
I’ve found when I trust Him, I am not as easily disturbed, even when others are not trustworthy and I’ve been taken advantage of.
Pisteuo , the Greek translated most often as believe in the New Testament, can also be translated as trust. We must trust God in what we believe about Him in order to walk by faith.
What areas in your life do you struggle to trust God?
Understand, when we don’t trust Him we are saying we don’t believe Him. Believing Him, means we trust Him. And because we trust Him, we can build relationships with others.
Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 out loud:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. —NIV
This verse describes God’s love for us and the love we should have for others.
Read the last sentence again…
Trusting others is an act of love. It is an offering of grace to those who will mess up, forget, and break our trust. Jesus loves us in this way and we are called to love others the same way.
Because He is our Great Good Shepherd who loves us and has the character, ability, and strength to care for us we can trust Him. The next four weeks we will continue to see Him as the one true trustworthy Person in our lives who leads us down a path of rest, peace, righteousness, and joy for His glory and for our good.
This coming week we look at God’s goodness.
Click here for the PDF of the Homework: Going Deeper – Trusting God is Good