Blessed is the Man Who Trusts in God
“Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” —Jeremiah 17:5-8
Humanity has many problems, but one of the most devastating issues that one will have to deal with is trusting oneself.
In today’s society and culture, self-trust or self-reliance is the idea of placing one’s self above anyone or anything else. Self is the number one priority, and humanity is guilty of trusting in the arm of the flesh instead of the mighty arm of God. Depending on self will result in disaster.
Jeremiah, known as the weeping prophet, spoke to the people of God at a time of judgment. The nation of Judah was falling by the wayside, spiritually speaking, and her cup of iniquity was beginning to run over.
Ordained by God, Jeremiah was a prophet of doom, and he wept openly over the failures of God’s people. However, the prophet did proclaim a three-fold curse for trusting in self and a four-fold blessing for trusting in the Lord.
As we look through the explanations given by Jeremiah, we should take into account that it is no different in today’s timeframe. The principles are still apropos today as they were in the time of the weeping prophet.
A Three-Fold Curse
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Jeremiah prophesied that God would curse anyone who trusted in self. Re-read that statement. Jeremiah pulls no punches and does not hold anything back; neither does he mince his words. The words spoken did not come from his imagination but from God Himself. Anyone who depends on himself instead of God is cursed or doomed to death.
During a crisis, God’s people took it upon themselves to ally with a foreign entity, Egypt. They looked to Egypt for protection, yet it proved to be catastrophic. Nevertheless, how many Christians today are guilty of doing the same thing as Judah of old? Instead of reaching out to the unfailing arms of our heavenly Father, they stretch out their feeble hands to self, which brings a three-fold curse.
The first curse is becoming a lonely bush in the wasteland with a shallow root system (Jer. 17:6). The cursed man’s spiritual roots are so shallow that water cannot get to them. In other words, the person who trusts in self becomes dry and deserted.
Second, those who depend upon themselves will become poor (Jer. 17:11). There is nothing wrong with wanting to be better off financially than you are now. But if a person makes money, rather than dependence on the Lord, the end goal to meet every need, then it will be like a partridge that sits on the eggs. When hatched, the eggs are destroyed.
Last, the cursed man who is self-reliant will die (Jer. 17:13). Jeremiah uses imagery to explain that if one leaves the comfort of the heavenly oasis to roam through the desert, it will ultimately bring death, for life cannot survive without water. Likewise, a person without the water of life experiences spiritual declension. Understand that there is no life outside of Christ. There is no fulfillment, joy, or satisfaction without a relationship with Christ. Plain and simple, a life without Him is a life that is wasted.
Humanity constantly attempts to satisfy the longing of the soul through things, whether money, power, fame, or other stuff. Little do they know that none of these things can bring the fulfillment they long for. Neither can any individual stop the depravity of the human heart through self-reliance. Humanity is flawed because of sin, which leads to ruin when man is trusted with the opportunity to deliver himself. Depending on self leads to being cursed and dwelling in a spiritual wasteland.
A Four-Fold Blessing
As bad as it is for those who trust in themselves, the opposite is true for those who trust in the Lord. The believer is given four beautiful promises that are absolute.
The first is that the individual who trusts in the Lord will be blessed and rewarded with hope (Jer. 17:7). God blesses those who trust Him completely, and these blessings cover everything from spiritual to physical and financial benefits. We can lay claim to the promises and the blessings of God, for His Word cannot lie. If it says we will be blessed for depending on the Lord, then we can take that promise to the bank.
Second, the Christian who trusts the Lord will be like a tree planted by the waters (Jer. 17:8); the roots of the Christian will be deeply rooted in Christ, enabling that believer to withstand the storms of life.
Third, the believer will not fear the conflagration when it comes, for that person will continually produce green leaves despite the scorching sun.
Last, the individual who places his trust in Christ will never fail to produce fruit, and we speak of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). Notice that the word fruit is singular. The Holy Spirit has only one fruit, but it is broken down into a list of traits designed for our growth. The Christian will not experience a handful of fruit, but rather the Spirit produces them all.
Where Is Your Heart?
How does this apply to the Christian today? When problems in life come our way, which is inevitable, the moment we start reaching out to ourselves for deliverance, we will fail. However, when the storms of life come, and come they will, those who place their faith in Christ and the cross will withstand the trials, tribulations, hardships, and failures that life brings. Victory and deliverance come only through the means of the cross of Christ, and it is through this work that we will find peace, blessings, security, and protection from God.
Where is your heart? Do you find yourself depending on yourself to overcome the trials of life, or are you trusting in the Lord your God? Total trust in the Lord Jesus Christ brings life and life more abundant.
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