James 2:19 tells us that even the demons believe. So what makes a Christian different? Trust.
Trust is used synonymously with faith many times by Christians. But here's how I separate the two. Trust is an action word, a verb, and faith is a thing, a noun. Having a thing called faith produces an action called trust.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV)
What does the writer of Proverbs tell us to do at the beginning of these verses?
"Trust." Trust in. Trust in the Lord.
Trust is the vehicle to crossing the bridges in life when we encounter something difficult. As our minds are reeling from a hard slap of reality, we stop in our tracks, hesitate to take the next step forward because of fear; fear of the unknown. This is when we especially need to not lean on what we understand, but lean on what God knows is best. As the old song says, "When we can't trace His hand, trust His heart."
We are told also in these verses to acknowledge the times we can see where God has been faithful to walk with us over the bridges already behind us on our journey, and TRUST Him to walk with us again through this event that seems impossible to deal with.
One of my favorite word pictures that Ann paints in the book is through the words "planks of thanks." When we begin to give thanks for the past, we lay down another plank to walk across on. As we give more thanks, we walk more planks. Before you know it, we've crossed over to the other side of the hard with joy in our hearts. All we need to do is walk one thank-plank at a time.
When we're stressed, we're not trusting. When we're trusting, we're not stressed.
So I say, "Don't stress OUT, trust IN... the Lord.
Thank. Plank. Walk. The bridge to joy is trust.
(Thanks Ann VosKamp for the lesson this week!)