Like An Olive Tree…

This morning as I was reading my bible, I came across a verse from Psalm 52 that really caught my attention –

8 But I am like an olive tree growing in God’s Temple; I trust God’s love forever...

Hmmm – What does it mean to ‘trust God’s love’?  At first, I thought ‘trusting in God’s love’ – a simple ‘no-brainier’.  But, the more I mulled it over, the more I realized that trusting in God’s love is not a ‘no-brainer’. If it was, I wouldn’t make some of the decisions that sometimes I make and I wouldn’t react in ways that sometimes I react.  Intrigued, I dug in a bit deeper.  I wanted some clarification on what it means to really ‘trust God’s love’. Here are a few points that helped me to better understand –

1. What does it mean to Trust?  Dictionary – to have complete confidence in; to hope in; to believe in the honesty and reliability of another; to do without fear.

2.  God is Love (1 John 4:8b) – God’s character does not include love… God Himself actually defines it. There is no attribute or character trait of true/real love that doesn’t have God in the middle of it.  To ask the question “How would love respond?” is to ask “How would God respond?”

3. What does Love look like (or in other words), what does God look like? (1 Corinth. 13:4-7 & Galations 5:22-23) – Love (God) is patient, kind, not jealous, doesn’t brag, not proud, not rude, not selfish, does not get upset with others, does not count up wrongs that have been done, takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices over the truth, patiently accepts all things, always trusts, always hopes, always endures, joyful, peaceful, good, faithful, gentle and full of self-control.

To have complete confidence in trusting God’s love, means that I choose to believe, in faith and without fear, that God will always respond to me with patience, kindness, humility, forgiveness, joy, peace, gentleness and self controlled. To believe in the honesty and reliability of who God says He is (love), means that He is full of hope, rejoices in truth, accepts me as I am and endures with me through all things – even when I’ve made poor choices and it seems like the ‘whole world’ is against me… God is still there.

Also, times when challenges come into our lives, we can struggle with ‘trusting God’s love’.  We can think, “If God loves me, then why is this happening to me?” Fair question I would say.  Most of the time, we will never really know all the causes and reasons behind life’s ‘potholes’, but Paul wrote a few things describing the difficulties and challenges that he faced.  In 2 Corinthians 1:4-9, he says –

4 He comforts us every time we have trouble, so when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us8 the trouble we suffered in Asia. We had great burdens there that were beyond our own strength. We even gave up hope of living. 9 Truly, in our own hearts we believed we would die. But this happened so we would not trust in ourselves but in God…

Paul clarifies that often, our trials and troubles are for either or both of two reasons – so that we are able to understand, relate to and help others who are suffering – and also so that when we are at the ‘end of our rope’ we will learn to trust God to help us, instead of relying totally on others or ourselves to save us.

It is challenging to wrap our minds around I know!  But, to have a strong, healthy relationship with a God, where I learn to put my full trust and complete confidence in Him… what do I ever have to worry about, fret over or be concerned about? In a perfect world – nothing.  But, I am human (not perfect) and I do worry, fret and get concerned over things… and God still accepts me – even in spite of myself.  I know that He is shaping me and growing me – helping me to trust in His love more and more each day.  I have realized that trusting in God’s love is a very key component in growing my relationship with Him and I have made it a personal goal for this year (and beyond) – to pursue being a Psalm 52:8 man– ‘an olive tree growing in God’s temple – learning to trust in God’s love’ for me more and more.’

Lord Jesus, forgive me for my wavering trust.  Help me to develop complete confidence in your love for me – to be like David describes in Psalm 52:8 – an olive tree growing in your Temple – trusting in your love forever and ever.  Amen!

You should seek after love (God)… 1 Corinthians 14:1

I do not run without a goal… 1 Corinthians 9:26

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