On that beautiful morning in Brazil, I searched for the perfect quiet time spot. I stopped to say hello to one of my friends even though he had already started reading his Bible. I asked him what he was reading. Since it was in Psalms, I told him Psalm 71:5 was one of my favorite verses. He turned to it and read it out loud: “For You are my hope, O Lord God; You are my trust from my youth” (Psalm 71:5 NKJV). He looked up at me and said something I wasn’t expecting: “But you’re still in your youth.” He was right. We were just fifteen. But all the experiences I had had with God up to that point made me certain that my hope was found in Him and He was Someone I could trust forever and ever.
Some of us come to know God at an early age. Others believe in Him as a teenager or adult. But the moment our relationship with God begins, we start building a history with Him. We learn who He is, how He acts, and how we can relate to Him. We see Him at work in our lives, taking care of us, providing for us, and comforting us when we were at our wit’s end. We come to understand His love more fully and seek to grow in our love for Him and for others. The history we build with God helps us to trust Him for both the present and the future.
The Bible has many examples of people trusting God. David trusted God for the victory over Goliath because he had seen God give him victory over the lion and the bear (1 Samuel 17:37). Joshua led the Israelites to the Promised Land because he had seen God bring them out of Egypt. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego believed that God could protect them in the fiery furnace, and He did. Even if He hadn’t, they chose to pledge their allegiance to the one true God and worship Him alone, rather than bow down to anyone else (Daniel 3:17-18).Testimonies like these, along with the ways we see God at work today, teach us who He is and how we can trust Him with the biggest dreams and concerns of life or with the smallest problems. It’s been fifteen years since my friend read Psalm 71:5 to me, and the verse is as true today as it was back then. And more so. Today I have even more reason to know that God is our light in the darkest night and our hope when we feel like giving up. I have learned that His love and faithfulness never waver. Wherever you are in your walk with God, may He be the light that guides your steps, the hope that uplifts your spirit, and the trust that strengthens your heart.