Editor’s Note: With so many churches in our area having to suspend worship services during the coronavirus pandemic, we have partnered with local pastors to bring a daily message of hope and comfort to readers during this difficult time.

A new year begins with enthusiasm, optimism and hope. While none of us could have foreseen the virus that plagued our world last March causing 2020 to be difficult for everyone, the only way we have been able to make it through is by the strength of the Lord and His word.

Most of us have a favorite verse in the Bible that encourages us and brings hope when things are difficult. A favorite of mine is Proverbs 3:5-6, which states, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Encouraged to memorize it when I was younger, it has been an invaluable help to me all during my life and especially during the last year.

There’s something very calming about repeating the words of scripture aloud. Those who know Proverbs 3:5-6 know the power of saying it to themselves when they are going through difficult times: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.”

When we can’t understand the crisis or solve the problem, we can say, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” When you can’t bear the pain or withstand the pressure, you can remind yourself to “Trust in Him with all your heart.” When the enemy is relentless in attacking, you can calm your fears by repeating Proverbs 3:5-6, which reminds us of four truths.

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First is Reliance. To “trust in the Lord” is a total dependence upon God. When we trust in the Lord, we leave the most valuable thing we possess, our immortal soul, to the safekeeping of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Second is Renunciation. “Lean not on your own understanding” means that God knows the way and we don’t. At times we can’t figure things out on our own and have no answers and we must acknowledge Jesus as Lord of all the accidents and incidents of life. He can open doors, solve issues, resolve problems and direct our paths so we can confidently trust Him with all our heart. Because He is all-knowing and all-wise, we should renounce our limited understanding and glean from His unlimited resource of wisdom and understanding.

Third is Recognition. “In all your ways acknowledge Him.” We must be ever mindful of Him and realize that He is in control and at work in all the events of life. To recognize His sovereignty in all things has the sense of a first-hand knowledge that He is good, loving, kind, gracious and concerned for us.

Lastly is Reward. “He shall direct your paths.” It is rewarding to trust in the Lord and not ourselves. There is comfort not knowing the way ahead but knowing the one who does which makes the words of the song “The Unseen Hand” very personal. He will remove the obstacles from our pathway and bring us to His appointed goal. If we acknowledge Him, give Him the proper recognition of praise and attention to His word, then He will reward us according to His word guiding and directing us through life and this difficult time.

Hobbie McCreary is pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Johnson City.

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Hobbie McCreary is pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Johnson City.

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