Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
~ Isaiah 12:2 ~
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength
~ Isaiah 26:3-4 ~
This life is an experience in profound trust—trust in Jesus Christ, trust in His teachings, trust in our capacity as led by the Holy Spirit to obey those teachings for happiness now and for a purposeful, supremely happy eternal existence. To trust means to obey willingly without knowing the end from the beginning (see Prov. 3:5–7). To produce fruit, your trust in the Lord must be more powerful and enduring than your confidence in your own personal feelings and experience.
~ Richard G. Scott – Trust in the Lord: October 1995 General Conference ~
The Israelites not only placed their faith in Moses, and in God, to bring them through the Sea: They placed their trust in Moses and God. This life of ours is not only based on our faith in Christ. It is also based on our ability to trust that Christ will carry us through those things we face. Without trust, our faith will dissolve and wither away. Without trust, there is no progress. Without trust, there is no growth. Without trust, there is no hope. This is the reason scripture commands our attention to trust in God. He is our rock, our refuge, and our salvation.
Our call to go forward with faith and purpose in the new year is meant for us to examine ourselves and determine whether or not we truly place full confidence in who Christ is, in the teachings of the pure doctrines of Christ, and trust in those personal revelations he has given us. Trust in Christ means we go forward with faith, despite any doubts we may have. Despite our perceived inadequacies. For if we go forward in faith, with purpose, we are blessed to accomplish those things we are called to accomplish. For if we go forward in faith, with purpose, we are able to do the things our Heavenly Father has commanded us to do.
Take for instance Peter. Upon seeing the Savior walking toward the boat, Peter called for the Lord to allow him to walk toward the Savior. And Peter did so. Yet, it was doubt and fear that caused Peter to turn his gaze and trust in the Savior away. It was the fear of drowning in the sea that caused Peter to lose sight of the Savior. And yet Jesus reached down, grabbed Peter and walked with him back to the boat (Matthew 14:22-33).
How do we come to trust Christ and our Heavenly Father?
Feast Upon the Words of Christ
We place our trust in Christ by going to the scriptures, the inspiring messages of our Church leaders. Devote ourselves to personal scripture study and seek to apply those things into our lives. We place our trust in Christ by discovering who he is through scripture. In 2 Nephi we read:
Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.2 Nephi 32:3
Christ, himself, declared the following:
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. … For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?John 5:39-40, 46-47, KJV
If we are not able to trust in the scriptures – how then are we able to trust and believe in those things that teach of Christ? How are we to place our trust in His words if we do not take the time to meditate upon them and commit them into our hearts and minds?
What happens when we feast upon the words of Christ? According to Elder Takashi Wada’s message at the April 2019 General Conference – Feasting upon the Words of Christ means:
- We receive an increase in our spiritual capacity to receive personal revelation (See, Russell M. Nelson, Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives).
- We discover who we are and strengthens us when we are doubting, experiencing fear, or anxious or worried.
- We are empowered to inspire and lift others up when we have committed the words of Christ into our hearts and minds. A kind word, walking in forgiveness, performing service to those in need. Here, we learn to trust that the Lord will give unto each one of us those things we need to speak.
The scriptures lay the foundation for our faith and purpose as we go forward. Without the scriptures, we lack guidance, lack progress, and lack vision to go forward and grow. Again, our faith will wither away without proper attention and nurturing.
Thoughtful and Mindful Prayer and Fasting
Not only do we begin to trust Christ through scripture study. We also grow in faith and purpose through devoted, thoughtful and mindful prayer. The Savior had much to say by giving himself over to constant prayer. He even instructed us on the essential outline of prayer (Matthew 6:9-13). Through prayer, we grow to know who Christ is and who our Heavenly Father is. Through prayer we are able to receive answers to our questions, guidance, wisdom, and insight. Through prayer, we are able to express our own fears, anxieties, and doubts. We are strengthened by seeking our Heavenly Father in prayer.
Along with mindful prayer – we are to give ourselves over to fasting. Sometimes, circumstances we are facing require us to seek counsel from our Heavenly Father by committing ourselves to fasting. This helps us further discipline ourselves trust in God’s wisdom and will.
Prayer is a spiritual discipline where we will come to know the Savior. A discipline where we are able to trust Him in all things and in all ways. It helps us grow in confidence because when we come to receive those answers and blessings – we know it is by faith in Christ that he is faithful and just to hear us.
King Benjamin spoke to his people and inspired them when he said: When Ye Are in the Service of Your Fellow Beings Ye Are Only in the Service of Your God (Mosiah 2:17). The Savior taught, through the parable of the Sheep vs. Goats, that those whom he turns away were those whom he did not know. Reason – because they failed to show charity, kindness, and compassion. They failed to serve those who were in need (Matthew 25:31-46). It is also taught in the parable of the Good Samaritan when Christ responded to the question regarding eternal life and the two great commandments.
When we trust in Christ, give ourselves over to prayer, meditation, and even fasting – we also want to reach out and minister to others. This is accomplished when we live to mirror the example of Christ when he ministered to those around him. Through our service, we are blessing others as well as receiving blessings. Through our service toward others, we are showing the kindness, compassion, and grace of Christ and our Heavenly Father.
Today, as we go forward with faith and purpose – we also go forward with confidence and trust in Christ and in our Heavenly Father.
To go forward with faith and purpose means we need to trust in God. Trust in His will. And to do so means we need to give ourselves over to scripture study, mindful prayer and fasting, and engage in serving others. Otherwise, we may become lost, our faith withering away into nothing, and we are left with our own doubts, anxieties, and worries that prevents us from progressing and growing in spirit and truth.
Meditate and Ponder
How committed are you to begin studying the scriptures? Giving yourself over to prayer, meditation, and fasting? Engaging in service? If there is no commitment to these – there is no motivation to go forward with purpose and faith. Without trust in Christ and our Heavenly Father, there is no spiritual growth. There is no salvation, and there is no hope.
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