↻ Updated: February 13th, 2020 by JPE
Trusting God Sincerely
IIn Psalm 34:8, we find God continually inviting us to His boundless love and grace. “O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” Making God your shelter in this life has an added incentive of blessedness. The “Lord is good” if you will just decide to “taste and see” the experience. Trusting God sincerely and taking refuge in Him by faith open the door of heaven’s blessings. This inwardness we venture to call as faith experience only starts to develop after hearing and meditating upon God’s blessed promises. “For this reason,” wrote the apostle Paul, “we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.” (1 Thess. 2:13) Trusting God profoundly, therefore, is only possible if you hear the Word of God and it begins to perform “its work in you who believe.”
O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! —Psalm 34:8
Believism is Not What We Meant by Trusting God Sincerely
By taking refuge in God is something more than simply professing the Christian faith. It is not mere believism and faithful church attendance only during church anniversaries and parties. It is real access to the divine shelter by trusting God wholeheartedly.
We took the following commentary on Psalm 34:8 from The Treasury of David: 1
Why is it, you may ask, that true Christianity is identified with poverty most of the time. Most pastors are poor. Where is the blessedness promised for making God your Cover? “How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” Well, I don’t believe that blessedness here means the modern mega church’s so-called prosperity gospel.
Why is it, you may ask, that true Christianity is identified with poverty most of the time. Most pastors are poor?
Let us try to examine Psalm 34:8 contextually by studying the other related verses and the circumstances present when the Scripture was written (by David). The heading of Psalm 34 of the New American Standard Bible (NASB) has the following caption:
A Psalm of David when he feigned madness before Abimelech*, who drove him away and he departed.
1 I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul will make its boast in the Lord;
The humble will hear it and rejoice.
3 O magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together.
4 I sought the Lord, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces will never be ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him And saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them.
8 O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
9 O fear the Lord, you His saints; For to those who fear Him there is no want.
10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.
Hold in mind that Psalm 34 was written during the height of David’s hiding from one place to another away from King Saul who sought to kill him. (1 Sam. 21) God helped him out of his ordeal. Hence, in verse one he said: “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” He added in verses 2-6, “My soul will make its boast in the Lord…O magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears.”
In the course of David’s nightmare, he feigned insanity before King Achish of Gath. Observe 1 Samuel 21:11-13: “But the servants of Achish said to him, ‘Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of this one as they danced, saying, “Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands”?’ David took these words to heart and greatly feared Achish king of Gath. So he disguised his sanity before them, and acted insanely in their hands, and scribbled on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva run down into his beard.”
Given this predicament, David continued to find favor with God. Now it is clear why did he say: “O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” (Ps. 34:8)
In David’s case, trusting God sincerely was formed out of his death-threat experience from no less than the King of Israel. (What about his fear of death when he faced Goliath?)
Our Sinfulness Versus Our Trusting God Sincerely
How to trust God sincerely? The word “sincere” came “from the Latin sine = without, cera = wax” or without wax or a sine cera contract of not covering the flaws of any sculptured work “with wax to deceive the viewer.” [en.wikipedia.org] 2
It means, from the viewpoint of sine cera, that trusting God sincerely is not possible without His intervention. I cannot rely on Him on everything without the Holy Spirit teaching and helping me to do so. (For without Me, you can do nothing. — Jesus Christ [John 15:5]) For our natural defiance to the God of the Bible is evident as we transgress His laws daily either by commission or omission. Newspaper headlines are proofs we are under the power of sin. Before the Almighty, we are nothing but a piece of dirt—so unholy; so sinful!
I cannot rely on Him on everything without the Holy Spirit teaching and helping me to do so.
Trusting God genuinely, may I say it again, is impossible without His assistance. Wrote the apostle Paul: “…remember that you were at that time separate from Christ…having no hope and without God in the world.” (Eph. 2:12) In Romans 8:9, Paul also said that “the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” In sum, Paul was telling us that without the Spirit of Christ in our soul (that is why real Christians are different: “Christ lives in me,” was Paul’s testimony!—Galatians 2:20) we are without God. Trusting God sincerely as an un-Christian is impossible since you will never trust someone (God or your wife) who is a stranger to you.
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The prophet Isaiah saw our relationship as a broken union or friendship because of sin. We are separated from the Father in heaven, and only Christ can mend this schism since He is our Mediator and the only Way to the Father. “It’s your sins,” wrote the Prophet, “that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.” (Is. 59:2, NLT)
“O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!,” said David. But you won’t trust God sincerely and take refuge in Him the way David did since you don’t have David’s faith and close relationship with the heavenly Father. David, wrote Luke, was the man after God’s own heart.” (cf. Acts 13:22) David killed Goliath through the power of God that was always abiding with him. He was a chosen man of God to be king of Israel — we are not!
Trusting God Sincerely is Possible only with God’s Assistance
Christ taught that “if the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness.” (Matt. 6:23) In Matthew 15:14, Christ enlarged His doctrine: “Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” “Truly, truly, I say to you,” Christ expanding once again His teaching about man’s “darkness” or lost condition before God, “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
David wrote: “O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” It was an invitation, right? He encouraged us to try and experience God as he was “a man after my own heart” —the chosen one to be King of Israel (Acts 13:22). God was with him anywhere he went. But we are not like him—if we are not born of God or born again! We need God’s Spirit to guide us to take refuge in our Creator. We need to be born of the Spirit (cf. John 3:6) before we could start trusting God honestly. Judas Iscariot was always with Christ, but the former did not take refuge in Jesus by faith.
After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ —Acts 13:22
But the thief on the cross was different, for he believed. “And he was saying, ‘Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!’.” (Luke 23:42) The thief knew that Christ was dying like him, but he believed that Jesus was no ordinary person. He believed in Christ’s word that He had a kingdom as “King of kings and Lord of lords.” He believed Christ would rise again to reign upon His kingdom. He believed in life after death, and he wanted Christ to remember or save him. “And He [Christ] said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43) The thief tasted and saw that the Lord was good; he went to Paradise a forgiven and blessed man since he took refuge in Jesus Christ by believing.
The other thief (there were two thieves crucified with Christ) learned of Christ (just like his saved companion), but he chose to reject Jesus. He chose to reject the claims of Christ that He was the Son of God who came down to earth to offer humanity forgiveness by believing in His shed blood. Instead of trusting God sincerely, he said “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” The light of this man was darkness (and how great was his darkness!). He went to hell while facing Christ, the only Light, and Savior of the world, since he chose NOT to believe. Trusting God truly means believing in Christ, who is God the Son, sincerely. Then, “taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”
Trusting God Sincerely by Believing Christ Sincerely
Steve Jobs was an inventor and co-founder of Apple, Inc. We learned from his biography that “Jobs and Wozniak are credited with revolutionizing the computer industry by democratizing the technology and making machines smaller, cheaper, intuitive and accessible to everyday consumers.” He was considered as one of the most brilliant minds in the computer industry. I listened to his “last words” first published by RealLifeGains YouTube Channel. Then, I transcribed it as I couldn’t find a printed transcript of it after googling a couple of times.
Such record is priceless, just like the other speeches of Jobs. But his last words is more exceptional. I couldn’t forget this one sentence from his last message before his death: “Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me.” Steve Jobs was a genius in my opinion. But trusting God sincerely was not visible in his last words. One reason is that he didn’t care to mention our Lord Jesus Christ. Was he a born-again Christian? Taught the Holy Scriptures that trusting God truly is only possible through believing Christ sincerely. (cf. John 14:6) Study the following:
Steve Jobs — Last Words
Steve Jobs’ Last Words moments before he died.
I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes, my life was an epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, wealth is only a fact of life that I’m accustomed to.
At this moment, lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life I realize that, all the recognition and wealth I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death. In the darkness, I look at the green lights from the life supporting machines and hear the humming mechanical sounds. I can feel the breath of God of death drawing closer.
Now I know, when we have accumulated sufficient wealth to last our lifetime. We should pursue other matters that are unrelated to wealth; should be something that’s more important. Perhaps, relationships; perhaps, art. Perhaps a dream from younger days.
Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me. God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart—not the illusions brought out by wealth. The wealth that I’ve won in my life, I cannot bring with me. What I can bring is only the memories precipitated by love.
That’s the true riches which will follow you, accompany you. Giving you strength and light to go on. Love can travel a thousand miles. Life has no limit. Go where you want to go. Reach the height you want to reach. It’s all in your heart and in your hands.
What’s the most expensive bed in the world? Sickbed. You can employ someone to drive the car for you…make money for you, but you cannot have someone to bear the sickness for you.
Material things lost can be found, but there is one thing that can never be found when it’s lost — Life! When a person goes into the operating room, he will realize that there is one book that he is yet to finish reading: The book of healthy life.
Whichever stage in life you are at right now, with time, you will face the day when the curtain comes down. Treasure love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends. Treat yourself well. Cherish others.
** Steven Paul Jobs died October 5th, 2011, Aged 56. He was married for 20 years, Had three daughters and a son. His achievements revolutionized the world we live in today.
[Source: Big Papa. YouTube.Com]
* Note: The above transcript of Steve Jobs’ Last Words was transcribed originally from the RealLifeGains YouTube Channel (but it disappeared). The Big Papa YouTube Channel took over the video presentation. Many thanks to Big Papa.
Credits: Big Papa. YouTube.Com
In Psalm 34, we noticed David’s persistent prayer that God would help and save him from the resolute drive of King Saul to kill him. In verses 4, 6 to 7, he said: “I sought the Lord, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears…This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him And saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them.” In a word, David prayed and then God answered him. That is why in verse eight, his mood changed from pleading to praising—from prayer to assurance of God’s answer and the sharing of the truth about God’s goodness to those who take shelter in Him by faith: “O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” Again, we want to stress that David’s experience as a fugitive happened after he became a child of God (the man after God’s own heart!) since it occurred after God appointed him to kill the giant, Goliath. This scripture, Psalm 34, therefore, was basically intended for those who fear the Lord and who are already saints (or those already sanctified for having believed). Hence, David addressed Psalm 34 to the saints (meaning those who are set apart, sanctified, or made holy; or born-again Christians (cf. John 3:3) in the lingo of the New Testament—See: 1 Cor. 1:2). Observe David’s use of the word “saints” in Psalm 34:9:
I want to reiterate my point that trusting God sincerely happens only through the guidance of the Lord’s Spirit and the Holy Scriptures. In Steve Jobs’ “last words,” for an illustration, he touched the subject about how to live on the earth beyond the accumulation of wealth which is a prized reminder to those who value riches and fame more than the love of the family. All of Jobs’ wisdom about the wise management of life in this world excludes the Davidic admonition to take refuge in God (that means trusting God sincerely). Concerning God, Steve Jobs just said: “God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart—not the illusions brought out by wealth.” Compared to David’s Psalm 34, Jobs lacked the complete fear and dependence upon God on his sickbed given the absolute possibility of his demise. His thoughts couldn’t reach the spiritual expanse explored by those who are trusting God sincerely. For he just said: “Material things lost can be found, but there is one thing that can never be found when it’s lost — Life! When a person goes into the operating room, he will realize that there is one book that he is yet to finish reading: The book of healthy life.”
In contrast, here is the last words of Daniel Webster, a real Christian who was dependent on the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Spirit—who was trusting God wholeheartedly: “The great mystery is Jesus Christ—the gospel. What would the condition of any of us be if we had not the hope of immortality? . . . Thank God, the gospel of Jesus Christ brought life and immortality to light.” His last words were: “I still live.”
In a nutshell, we find that trusting God sincerely, as in the case of Daniel Webster, involves the aid of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, the Holy Bible. Without a meaningful and biblical conversion and relationship with Jesus Christ and His Spirit through faith (cf. John 3:3,14:6,16-17,21,23; 2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 10:17) then we couldn’t talk about giving our all to God and to Jesus Christ on our “last words” as in the case of Steve Jobs.
Psalm 34 is composed of 22 verses (not just 10 as quoted above) and the word “Lord” was mention 16 times. Let’s try to understand David’s trusting God truthfully since he had God’s Spirit—since he wrote this Scripture through the aid of God’s Spirit.
2 My soul will make its boast in the Lord.
3 O magnify the Lord with me.
4 I sought the Lord, and He answered me.
6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him.
8 O taste and see that the Lord is good.
9 O fear the Lord, you His saints.
10 But they who seek the Lord.
11 I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
15 The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous.
16 The face of the Lord is against evildoers.
17 The righteous cry, and the Lord hears.
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted.
19 The Lord delivers him.
22 The Lord redeems the soul.
The bottom line is that trusting God sincerely requires a saving relationship with God—also called as the born-again or born of God experience.
Be Saved First Then Experience Trusting God Sincerely
What if I would trust God sincerely right now without experiencing the Second Birth? Well, our answer is that it is not possible. When David said “O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” (Ps. 34:8) he was just inviting the unbelievers to try and experience God. This invitation includes the second part of the verse that is to take “refuge in Him.” He didn’t say that we would have blessedness out of the shelter of God but only if we take “refuge in Him.” Judas Iscariot, for example, failed to “taste and see that the Lord is good” since he didn’t take refuge in Christ by faith.
READ MORE: Second Birth Needed for Salvation
In the case of Cornelius (Acts 10), he “tasted” God’s goodness before experiencing the Second Birth which occurred when Peter visited and shared to him the Gospel of Christ, which is about our soul’s salvation from hell judgment “by grace through faith.” (cf. Eph. 2:8-9) It also happened to the Ethiopian eunuch. I had experienced God’s goodness before I became a born-again Christian. God is gracious and merciful and giving water to drink even to the robbers. But trusting God sincerely obeys a process we may term as the principle of growing in the faith. It requires one to surrender to God as a child of God through faith in Christ’s atoning blood. It requires one to take refuge in Him.
For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.
—1 Thessalonians 2:13
Before trusting God sincerely we need to understand first why don’t we trust Him naturally—without the help of the Holy Spirit through the Scriptures.
Our relationship with the living God is tainted with our natural inclination toward sin and disobedience to His commands. Like Adam and Eve, we couldn’t stand before our most loving and holy Father God given the constant raids on our soul by our own guilty conscience.
When the first man Adam sinned against his loving Maker, the earth became, to use Billy Graham, “a planet in rebellion.” Sin is always at the helm of every stage of human civilization. But God’s grace decrees that man’s salvation is going to be made possible to all.
Our Heavenly Father gave us all we need to help us find salvation from the folds of sin—and from its hell-judgment! He made the nation of Israel; He wrote the Holy Bible and built His church—all for a witness to Jesus His Son, who is our Lord and only Savior.
He made the nation of Israel; He wrote the Holy Bible and built His church—all for a witness to Jesus His Son, who is our Lord and only Savior.
But the deceitfulness of sin, through its author the devil, continues its grip on the human race. Behind all the tears of humanity lies sin’s brutal power. But, “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more ….” for in Christ “we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses” (Rom. 5:20; Eph. 1:7).
God’s goodness is unfathomable. Adam was created only after making comfortably possible his existence. He committed sin and so placed all humanity under condemnation. But God sent His Son Jesus, to carry out a rescue operation. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved” (Acts 16:31).
Our text says we need to trust or to take refuge in God if we want to taste His goodness. But how to seek refuge in Him? Jesus said I am the Way to the Father. No one comes to the Father, but through Me (cf. John 14:6). It means that God’s shelter for us is only in Christ—by faith!
A self-styled atheist said he hated Christ. Years later, he looked very sick and hungry, but he persisted in his unbelief. By then he chose death in hell than life in heaven. “He who does not believe has been judged already.” God couldn’t save anyone outside of Christ. For Jesus is the Way; no salvation without Him (cf. Acts 4:12).
We had a family friend who was a member of a Bible-preaching church. She was attending church regularly like one who was so devoted to religion. But she was a fake believer. One day, in the course of doing business, she traveled with her friend who was a real Christian through a Muslim town known to have been a rebel-controlled municipality. Seeing the men having long firearms, the political climate fearsome, she asked her friend: “Please pray…please pray.” She asked for prayer since she didn’t know God and her religion failed to work for her. It is it: we can never “taste and see that the Lord is good” if we don’t take “refuge in Him.”
1 The Treasury of David. biblehub.com. http://biblehub.com/commentaries/psalms/34-8.htm (accessed June 7, 2017)
2 Sincerity. en.wikipedia.org. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sincerity (accessed June 7, 2017)