Trust in the Lord

As I’m sitting here wondering what to blog about, I’m looking at different child-rearing Scripture verses, noticing that there are plenty to choose from but none seem inspired to write about this month. I have only one thought that comes to mind: trust in the Lord. After a half hour of fruitless study with the constant badgering of the Spirit whispering, “Trust in the Lord,” I cave and submit. This is not going to be a blog article on homeschooling or child rearing because apparently that isn’t what needs to be heard today. My apologies folks. You are getting a summary of my personal Bible study on trusting in the Lord. May you be blessed and encouraged this day.

What does it mean to trust in the Lord? What happens to us when we put our trust in the Lord? With all things let us let the Holy Word speak for its self. The word “trust” in the verses we’ll be reading here comes from one of the following two Hebrew words: H982 bâṭach — to trust, rely on, put confidence in; and H2620 châsâh — to take refuge in, to trust in. Let’s keep these definitions in mind as we read from the Word. In no other book do we see the phrase “trust in the Lord” employed more than the Psalms; it’s referenced more than 13 times. I pray as we read each verse that you take the time to ponder the fullness of each promise.

  • “They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever,” Psalm 125:1.
  • “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes,” Psalm 118:8-9.
  • “Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield,” Psalm 115:11.
  • “But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works,” Psalm 73:28.
  • “The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory,” Psalm 64:10.
  • “And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD,” Psalm 40:3.
  • “Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed,” Psalm 37:3.
  • “The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate,” Psalm 34:22.
  • “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD,” Psalm 4:5.

We also find “trust in the Lord” in other places of Scripture as well.

  • “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding,” Proverbs 3:5.
  • “He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat,” Proverbs 28:25.
  • “Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength,” Isaiah 26:4.
  • “Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God,” Isaiah 50:10.
  • “The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him,” Nahum 1:7.

Trusting in the Lord is not a difficult concept to understand, but, oh, how hard to put into practice. To trust in the Lord is to fully trust, rely on, and put confidence in our Savior over all else, as well as taking refuge in His gracious goodness and love. By putting our trust in the Lord, a change starts to take place in our hearts and minds, drawing us closer to Him as well as shaping us more into His holy people. My hope and prayer is that you remember to always put your trust fully in the Lord.

Mouth of Babes

Children say the most amazing things at times! I’m sure as parents we’ve had those moments where our children blurt out phrases that have us astounded, pondering, cringing, or laughing out loud. Quite often, however, these words are not usually of their own devising so much as a repeating of something that has been said around them. What a lesson in itself of the diligence needed of what we say and how we say it to our kids. Some may shrug off what little ones say as no big deal, they are just kids, but the Scriptures point out a different light on the subject.

Let’s look at one instance where young children’s voices were indeed not only significant, but actually fulfilling prophecy. “And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them. And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased, And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?” Matthew 21:14-16 KJV. Wow, what a scene: the Messiah after just cleansing out the temple is healing the people while little ones are singing His praises. The religious leaders are furious and lash out by criticizing what the children are saying to Him. He responded as He does best by quoting the Scriptures: “Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?”

To truly understand the full meaning of His words, we have to look at them in their original context, which is located, interestingly enough, in a psalm of David. “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger,” Psalm 8:2 KJV. The concept being presented here is powerful. Our Savior is rebuking the religious leaders for criticizing the little ones, as well as pointing them out as Jehovah’s and His enemies! Not only was the enemy stilled by the praise of these little ones but these verses can be claimed as promises now!

Do we not have an enemy, an avenger? Are we and our children not in a spiritual battle? Oh, yes; have not doubt. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour,” 1 Peter 5:8 KJV. Our enemy is the Lord’s enemy too, and He has spoken in His Word that the voices of little children can still the hand of the enemy. We should ever be diligently teaching our kids to claim this promise — by speaking the name of our God, by singing His praises they can too rebuke the enemy in their lives. So yes, what our children say is very important, and as their parents, their teachers, we should continually instruct them in these virtues. “Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise. For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth,” Psalms 33:3-4 KJV.

Teach the Way

I’ve got a confession to make: I have no clue what I’m going to blog about before I sit down to write. Sure, I have plenty of wonderful ideas, but when I sit down to put them down on paper, I draw nothing but blanks. So generally, I pray and pick up my Bible looking for some inspiration. For this blog, I turned to the back of my Bible to the concordance and looked under “teach.” Surely I can’t go wrong there; after all we are the “teachers” of our children. Anyway, I’d like to share with you today the little study that followed. I pray that you are blessed as I know that I have been.

So, I looked up the first verse that popped out at me under the title of “teach.” Here I read the prophet Samuel speaking to the children of Israel, “Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way,” 1 Samuel 12:23 KJV. In the margin of my Bible was a reference to another related Scripture, where we have King Solomon praying to Jehovah in behalf of the nation. “Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, that thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance,” 1 Kings 8:36 KJV. Again I noticed another Scripture reference in the margin, this time a Psalm of David. “Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day,” Psalms 25:4-5 KJV.

After reading these verses, I pondered on what is this way which the Scripture speaks of that we are to be taught? Then inspiration struck: Ask not what it is but whom. Oh, then the answer was made so clear! “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me,” John 14:6 KJV. Yes, of course it is so simple. Did not our Savior walk on this earth and show us the way? If we have any questions, all we must do is look to Him.

By studying the life of Christ, we can see the way which our Heavenly Father would have us walk, and therefore teach to our own children as well. This concept adds even more depth to this popular and well-known verse: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it,” Proverbs 22:6 KJV. As parents and teachers we should continue to train our children in “the way” — that is, ever walking in the footsteps of our Savior, looking toward Him always.

Give Thanks

Rainbow rays, yellow maple leaf

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — in my opinion at least. Autumn is here and with it comes the harvest fully gathered in, trees vibrant with color, cooler weather, and times of thanksgiving. For many of us this is Thanksgiving week. How are we fairing? Are we getting a bit stressed yet? With all the preparation for our family feasts, church outreach activities, and of course homeschooling our kids, this time of year can get to be a little overwhelming. On the other hand, though, perhaps we’ve learned lessons from the past and have grown wiser, such as doubling art projects for decorations, having the children help with cooking and cleaning as home economics, or deciding that keeping things simple is indeed best. Whatever your household is going through this week, I pray that you are blessed with heavenly peace and that you, above all, remember to give thanks.

Speaking of such reminds me of my favorite Scripture verse about thanksgiving. “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you,” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV. This is not the first verse that comes to mind, I suppose, for others when they think of thanksgiving. Nevertheless, for myself, I believe it conveys the epitome of thanksgiving. A full study of Scripture shows that the truest biblical definition of thanksgiving is always attached with a sense of worship. (Please forgive me for not displaying all the Scriptural references and Hebrew and Greek meanings of the word “thanksgiving” to back up my stated conclusion. I figured you’ve got more important things to do with your time today. However, it is a fascinating study, and I highly recommend it when you have the time.)

“In everything give thanks.” Yes, we give praise and adoration to our Heavenly Father for all the blessings He has bestowed, but do we thank Him for our hardships as well? Why should we give thanks for everything — which indeed could entail a range of things, good to bad? This is the answer given: “for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Whatever our circumstances, we can know that it is our Heavenly Father’s will through the infinite love of our Savior personally for us. What a promise; what comfort! When we fully understand and accept that, then we can truly worship Him in the fullest depth of thanksgiving.

I challenge you, dear ones, that at this time of thanksgiving to remember to give God thanks for all things, knowing that He loves you with an everlasting love. It is traditional by some to compile a “thanksgiving list” of things they are grateful for over the past year. If this is something your family or self does, I pray that in thoughtful consideration you include some of your trials or difficulties you’ve encountered. Perhaps, you may be impressed by the Spirit of some conclusion or personal growth regarding the matter that will be beneficial to you in your walk along this life’s journey. And, in doing so, then give thanks of heartfelt worship to our God for all His wondrous love and care.

Blessings upon you all I pray and that “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,” 1 Thessalonians 5:28 KJV.

“Teach Them Your Children”

Poster in our home of the Ten Commandments

There isn’t a vast range of Scripture that specifically covers what to teach our children. Sure, there are several passages that discuss wisdom, knowledge, and important principles, as well as the words of our Savior. However, we may often overlook verses which explicitly deal with what our Heavenly Father has commanded His people to teach and how to instruct their children. One of these passages, located in the book of Deuteronomy, I believe is of great interest. “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth,” Deuteronomy 11:18-21 KJV. These are some pretty hefty verses; nevertheless, I would like to point out a few of the highlights.

Firstly, we are instructed to place God’s Word in our heart and soul. “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul…” This of course is a foreshadowing of the new covenant relationship with our blessed Redeemer as mentioned in the following Scriptures: “…but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people,” Jeremiah 31:33 KJV. “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them,” Hebrews 10:16 KJV.

Next we are told to “bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.” To understand the symbolism here, we need to look at some well known verses dealing with signs/marks upon foreheads (frontlets) and hands. “And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof,” Ezekiel 9:4 KJV. “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,” Revelation 14:9 KJV. These verses are commonly interpreted to mean of some truth or error settled in our thoughts (forehead) and shown through our actions (hands). With this in mind it speaks of having God’s Word and Truth placed in our thoughts as well as being lived out in our lives.

Now that the groundwork has been laid, the educating of children can commence. “And ye shall teach them (God’s Word) your children, speaking of them (God’s Word) when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” We are to instruct our children His Word while we are at our homes, traveling about completing errands and what-not, as we prepare for bed, and as one of the first things we do from waking in the morning. We should be speaking God’s Word throughout the day to our children, not just at worship time and Bible class.

Then the verse gets interesting: “…and thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates.” Honestly, this part had me stumped for awhile. That is until I started practicing what many other families already do of placing Scripture verses throughout their homes. My personal observation is that ones placed at focal points are more easily read and memorized. Such areas include above the kitchen sink, around the dining room table, and especially doors — places where our eyes are drawn while we are moving about our day.

Poster in our home of 2 Peter dealing with character training

Lastly comes the promise, “that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.” Interestingly enough is how similar this promise is to the one found in the Ten Commandments dealing with respecting our parents: “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee,” Exodus 20:12 KJV. These blessings are not only physical, as in this world we live in, but more importantly spiritual, looking forward to the world to come.

Sometimes we can get so bogged down trying to educate our children to the state’s and society’s standards, that we just might lose sight of the importance of true education. However, “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” Numbers 23:19 KJV. His Word is clear! As parents we must seek and serve Him daily as we co-operate with the divine agencies in the growing of our relationship with Him. Then, we teach our children His Word by presenting it throughout our daily activities and placing it readily in their sight. By doing so we can do no harm, but instead bring great blessing upon our loved ones and ourselves.

May our Heavenly Father bless and guide you in your endeavor to raise children for His service in this life as well as the one to come, that you too may proclaim as the beloved apostle John did, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth,” 3 John 1:4 KJV.