Counseling Through Jeremiah 17:5-8, Part 2

Jeremiah 17:5-8

Thus says the Lord, “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from the Lord. For he will be like a bush in the desert and will not see when prosperity comes, but will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, a land of salt without inhabitant. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.”

In Part 1, I considered how there is cursed, wilderness living by trusting in man. The picture the Lord describes is rather depressing. However, He holds out to us a second and better option: blessed, fruitful living that comes from trusting in Him.

The one who trusts in the Lord puts her hope and confidence in Him. She relies on His Word as her authority in life and she seeks to please Him. She depends on His character and His promises, rather than trying to control every aspect of her life. When life throws her uncertainty, instability or suffering, she chooses to rest in Him rather than fret and worry. Her goal is to bring Him honor, rather than honor herself; to submit to His commands, rather than fear the opinions of man.  Instead of living for the approval of others, she trusts in God by living according to His righteous standard with the goal of pleasing Him.  She trusts in Him by not living for others to praise her but rather living to proclaim the praises of her Savior. When she sins, she does not let guilt consume her, but trusts in the Lord by responding with repentance and confession, rejoicing that He is faithful to forgive.

The blessing of trusting in the Lord is compared to that of a strong, healthy tree. The roots of this tree run deep, drinking in the life-giving water of the stream.  It is anchored to the earth.  Heat and drought cannot damage this tree.  It continues to grow beautiful green leaves and bear healthy fruit, regardless of the difficult circumstances. I want to be like this tree, drinking deeply of the living water, rooted in the rich soil of God’s Word. Trusting in the Lord lends security and life in times of heat and pressure.  When my life is built on trusting in the Lord, the Holy Spirit bears fruit in me even amidst difficulties. Love, joy and peace are just a few of the fruitful blessings that come from trusting in the Lord.

How do you need to turn from trusting in yourself or others to trusting in the Lord? In what areas are you struggling to trust Him? Who in your life is a godly friend that can help you see how you need to grow in trusting in the Lord? Is there fruit in your life that has come from trusting in God? If so, how can you give Him honor and praise for that today?

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Jennifer FaulknerJennifer Faulkner
Jennifer Faulkner works as a counselor and 2nd Shift Supervisor at Vision of Hope. She received her biblical counseling certification from ACBC in 2014. In addition to working at VOH, Jennifer counsels women through Faith Church’s counseling ministry. She is very thankful for ministry opportunities to help, teach and encourage women with God's Word.