Like so many of our little “Christianisms,” trusting in God is often viewed as a passive thing, gaining more lip service than action. When hard times come our way, we often hear, “Just trust God. He knows what He’s doing,” or “Just wait on the Lord. He’ll take care of everything.” Is that all I have to do? Can I really just sit back and let God take care of all of my troubles?
I don’t think that’s the case at all. In fact, I don’t know of anyplace in Scripture that refers to a passive faith. Every act of faith requires an action, and trust is no different. So let’s take a quick look at the two words from above. What does it mean to trust God and to wait upon the Lord?
The first word is trust. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance shows us that Hebrew word used here is batach (to trust). This is an action word whose literal meaning is: to throw down on one’s face, lie extended on the ground. Trusting is an all or nothing proposition.
Do you remember the trust fall? My kids do it with me all the time. For those of you who don’t know, it’s when you stand with your back facing someone, you close your eyes and lean back until you fall. You have to believe that the person behind you will catch you. If they don’t, you fall and will probably hurt yourself. There’s fear involved with trusting. What you’re saying to God is that you will close your eyes and fall, believing that He will catch you. Truly trusting in God means fully giving the outcome of every circumstance over to Him, believing that He will not let you fall.
The second word is wait. The Hebrew word used in Isaiah 40:31 is qavah, which means to bind together as in a cord. To be clear, this does not mean to tie things up. This word was used when speaking of weaving a rope out of individual strands. Of course, strands woven together are going to be much stronger than any strand on its own.
So, how does that apply to Isaiah 40:31. The prophets states that if we want our strength renewed, we must first wait upon the Lord. Again, this is sometimes viewed passively, but the definition of the word is very active. Waiting on the Lord is not sitting in the easy-chair just waiting for God to provide some miracle that will make all your troubles go away. Instead, we need to weave God into every aspect of our lives, letting Him take control and surrendering ourselves to Him.
In times of trouble, we need to be in the Word. When things go wrong, we need to double our efforts to know God. Don’t stop until God permeates every aspect of your life. Study His Word daily, pray constantly, then you will be able to trust the Lord and you will be at peace.