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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fear Is the Root for the Lack of Trust

Why is it that people have a lack of trust? They lack trust in those whom they love. They lack trust in God whom they say they love. The paradox is that they want to trust these people and God but they can't make themselves trust.

So, I am thinking about this as I rode my bicycle to work this morning and I really believe I got a word from God. I remembered the story of the Israelites coming out of Egypt.  They had been slaves. They had been taught fear rather than trust. They wouldn't have been slaves if they were not afraid of their masters. They were afraid of what their masters, who controlled their lives, would do to them daily. Their work and existence depended upon their reaction to that fear. They could not trust a benevolent God or human leader because their fears overruled that trust.

Therefore, God continues to teach them to trust Him. Trust is an essential element of faith. He shows them His power over the Egyptians with the ten plagues. He shows them His judgment over the Egyptians with the splitting of the Sea. He shows them His care for them with the provision of water, manna and meat.

Yet, when they get to the  Promised Land their fears overtake them again. The refuse to go and turn on Moses for bringing them out of Egypt. They were ruled by their fears. They wanted to go back to Egypt and live in the fears they understood.

Then, God raises a new generation of Israelites who will trust Him The stay in the wilderness while God provides the manna for them each day. Day-by-day, year-by-year, they collect the manna a live off of God's provision. These years of God's provision eventually creates a people who trust Him. (I am sure they were also so sick of eating manna that they would have done anything to get something better!)

The people who lack trust have either been raised in a fearful environment or have allowed their fears to rule their lives. They may have thought that their own actions caused their parents' divorces. They may have been ruled with the fear of physical harm if they did not completely comply with their parents. They may have lived on the brink of financial destruction or suffered emotional abuse in school. They may have been molested. Somewhere, at the root of the lack of trust, is fear.

God's method of removing fear is to create an environment which reveals His care and provision. He did that for the Israelites. He will do it for you. That is also what any person who needs to earn the trust of another must do. He or she should show that they can be trusted every day by providing what the non-trusting person needs. Trust will be built as fear is destroyed.

The Apostle Paul told us that we should be anxious about nothing. We should pray generally, in ways when we don't know what is best, and specifically, in way we believe are best, with thanksgiving. Then, peace will come upon us. Trust is the heart of peace. This prayer will probably not instantly change our circumstances. It will be beyond our understanding. It will be a prayer that knows that God will take care of us.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. 

Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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