Trust. A word that means “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.” The Bible repeatedly instructs us to trust in God. Proverbs 3:5 teaches us to, “trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” But, why should we trust in God’s character, ability, strength, or truth? I suggest that we can and should trust Him because He has proven His trustworthiness. Throughout Scripture and history, we can find numerous accounts of God proving His faithfulness and His ability in the lives of countless individuals. One example is the life of Daniel.
In the first chapter of Daniel, we find a young boy who was captured and transported from Israel to Babylon. He was taken to the king’s palace and instructed to eat food that was prohibited by Jewish law. Without any support from family or his homeland, and in a precarious situation, Daniel decided he would obey God’s law regardless of the consequence. Daniel 1:9 tells us that in this particular instance, Daniel’s decision to trust in the Lord was rewarded by God giving him favor in the eyes of Melzar, the man responsible for his care and wellbeing. We also find that Daniel’s decision to do what was right encouraged three other young men to also choose to stand alongside Daniel and only eat food that agreed with God’s instruction.
However, even though Daniel was given favor with his leadership, Melzar needed a way to know if changing the Jewish children’s diet was going to work or not. After all, Melzar’s life and freedom would be jeopardized if the boys began looking sickly or became weak. Notice, in his request, Daniel suggested that he and the other three captives eat food according to Jewish law for a ten-day trial period. At the end of that time, Melzar could compare the four young men to the other Jewish children and determine the results. Daniel’s desire and intent in this entire exercise was not to rebel against his captors, but simply to obey and honor God. In return, God blessed and honored Daniel, as well as his three friends. Daniel 1:15-16 records, “And at the end of the ten days their appearance seemed better and they were fatter than all the youths who had been eating the king’s choice food. So, the overseer continued to withhold their choice food and the wine they were to drink, and kept giving them vegetables.”
As New Testament Christians, we are not restricted to a kosher diet, and most of us will never be imprisoned in a foreign land or be required to do something that violates our conscience. So, how might we chose to trust God in our normal, every day lives? Just as with Daniel, God has not hidden His will from us, rather has provided it for us within His Word, the Bible. As we strive to obey and honor God, we will begin reading and studying His Word with the intent of learning about who He is and discovering what pleases Him. When our ultimate desire is to please the Lord, He will make His will clear and even guide us through each obstacle we face along the way.
Instead of trusting in ourselves, we can follow the wisdom of Proverbs by consciously choosing to trust in God with the very core of our being. As we acknowledge Him in all our decisions, verse six gives us the promise that God will guide and direct our path (Prov 3:6). Let us face today’s challenges by choosing to trust in God, because He is indeed worthy of our trust.
Now, in Daniel’s case, God granted him favor with his captors. But, what if the outcome had been different? Can we continue to trust God even when God decides to not grant us ready deliverance from our challenges? We will take a deeper look at this question in the upcoming post titled “But if Not…”