Choosing to Trust Him
Day by Day
By Steve Hearts
I went to bed a few nights ago brimming with happiness. The presence of the Lord seemed more tangible than ever. Believing His promises seemed to come easily, and I thought to myself, “I could stay this way forever.” I fell asleep happy and content, resting in the arms of Jesus.
When I woke up the next morning, however, the happiness I’d felt the night before seemed worlds away. I was suddenly weighed down by burdens which I thought I had risen far above. The presence of the Lord was no longer quite so tangible. I felt much like a child who is thrown a ball only to have it slip right through his fingers. Could I somehow retrieve the faith and happiness I’d been enjoying the night before, which now seemed beyond my reach? How had it so abruptly vanished?
Then, by the nudge of the Holy Spirit, I remembered the song “This Day,” by Steven Curtis Chapman. I listened to it and thought about the words:
Yesterday the sky was bright and clear.
I could see the sun and I could hear the song.
Faith flowed like a river free and deep,
And grace was not so hard to be believed.
But that was yesterday,
And what was close enough to touch
Now seems a world away.
So what about this day?
This day all His mercies are new.
This day every promise is true.
Father, help me to believe.
Give me faith I need to know you
And trust you this day.
The fog I had woken up in started to clear as the light of truth seeped into my heart—truth I already knew, but was allowing myself to forget.
I realized I’d mistakenly been using my fickle, unstable feelings as an indicator to measure the closeness of God’s presence in my life, when His Word is what stands forever.1 “Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.”2
My feelings may be prone to get unsettled because of impatience, fear, worry, ingratitude, you name it. They shift like the sands on the seashore, and they are easily “driven with the wind and tossed.”3 But there is only one stable, reliable, and unchanging “rock that is higher than I.”4 On Him I ought to build my house, and in Him I ought to put my trust: there is simply none other.
The parable of the wise man and the foolish man, which I used to sing a little song about as a kid, suddenly took on brand-new meaning.5 Jesus uses the story to show the difference between those who hear His Word and obey it, and those who hear without obeying. This parable is also commonly used to show the difference between those who put their trust in material things of this world and those who put their trust in Jesus.
In this case, the application I took away was that trusting in my feelings instead of the Lord is much like building my house on the sand instead of the rock. While many different things can be used to symbolize the “sand” on which the foolish man built his house, the “rock” is always Jesus and His infallible, unchangeable Word. As goes another line of the song I listened to this morning:
’Cause you are the same yesterday and today and forever.
Through every season your truth and your grace never change.
The choice to build my house either on the sand of my feelings or on the solid rock foundation of Jesus and His promises is one I’m faced with on a daily basis. Sometimes His hand and presence is obvious in my life, and trusting in Him comes easily. At other times it’s a matter of choosing to “endure as seeing him who is invisible.”6 Though this is often initially a hard choice to make, I’ve always eventually found it to be the right one. I just have to focus on making this choice day by day, without being concerned about whether or not I’ll be able to do so tomorrow or in the days following. No matter how I may feel on any given day, I can simply ask Him to give me the faith I need to know and trust Him this day.
1 See Isaiah 40:8.
2 Psalm 119:89.
3 See James 1:6.
4 See Psalm 61:2.
5 See Matthew 7:24–27.
6 See Hebrews 11:27.