Links Daily Devotional

From Belief to Trust

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

Recently I asked one of our Links Fellowships, “What is it that makes watching the last nine holes of a major championship so intriguing?” Out of the six men who answered, four of them said something about seeing how the best golfers in the world perform under the immense pressure. I love that as well—and I frankly just wanted to see if others thought like me so I could use the following analogy!

One thing I have learned over the years is that nerves are never really the direct cause of bad shots. Rather, it is fear of what might happen if we fail to execute when the pressure mounts (and the corresponding loss of confidence) that makes everyday golfers and the greatest players in the world hit sub-standard shots. As some commentators like to say, they “choke.”

I am sure that each of you believes you have the ability to make a 10-foot putt. As a golfer, you do this regularly. However, I bet not many of you have that same amount of confidence that you would make a 10-foot putt on the 72nd hole of the Masters to force a playoff. If I put you out on a practice putting green with a handful of balls and say, “Can you make one?” you’re confident. But for a win that could change your life? That’s a different story!

When it comes down to it, we probably don’t really “trust in” our ability; we just “believe that” we can do it.

Likewise with our faith, the more time I spend in God’s Word, the more I realize that it doesn’t just please God for us to believe that he is God and that he is capable of miraculous things, and that he sent his Son to die for us. No, he wants us to put our full trust in him and his eternal will. He wants us to trust in what Jesus accomplished for us by his death and resurrection. He wants us to trust in his sovereign will, which requires our full submission to it.

The more I read the Bible, the more I see this one thread to be common under the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. God requires his children to put their full trust in him when opposition is bearing down and times get tough. This was evident with the Israelites 1,500 years before Christ, when God punished them for not trusting God to deliver the Promised Land to them and to provide for them fully “despite having seen all the miraculous things he had already done for them” (Numbers 14:11, 22). Instead they believed they couldn’t defeat the inhabitants of Canaan because “they are stronger than we are” (Numbers 13:31). Thus, God sent them back into the desert to wander until what God called a “rebellious” generation (for their lack of trust) all died except for Caleb and Joshua, the only two who fully trusted God.

We saw this same thread again with many of God’s people and religious leaders during the time of Christ. As John wrote in his gospel, “Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him” (John 12:37).

We are not overreaching to declare this our same root problem today. Likely, most of us believe that God created the world, and that God sent Jesus to the world to do great things, that Jesus was a great teacher and offers much to apply in life. We may even believe that he was deity and died as the perfect sacrifice for man’s sin on the cross and offers salvation. But do we put all our trust in God through Jesus’ resurrection, with the confidence that God is working for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28)? Do we trust him enough to follow him in all areas of our lives and fully get on board with his plan?

It takes incredible trust in your process to hit great golf shots under pressure to win the biggest tournaments, and it takes great trust in God’s process to live victoriously in his will. But if the result is victory, then let us trust!

Josh Nelson

April 15, 2013

Copyright 2013 Links Players International

The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.