Today’s Truth

In all your ways acknowledge him {the LORD}, and he will make straight your paths.

(Proverbs 3:6)

Friend to Friend

Yesterday socked me with a one-two knockout punch.

First, I got news that a family friend died suddenly. She was a 45 year-old single mom who loved God. She lived paycheck to paycheck and worked tirelessly to scrape pennies together to help her two kids get a college education. They didn’t have much money, but were rich with love.

Now those two penniless college kids are orphans – shaken to the core and scrambling to find money to pay for a funeral because their loving momma had no life insurance.

Death punches hard.

Shockwaves of grief are running through the veins of all who know and love them.

It seems so wrong. So upside-down. Excruciating. Unfair. Crooked.

A second blow came with the news that another friend – also in his mid 40s – has been diagnosed with a brain function condition that is causing him to have speech and processing issues. He is a godly man, a loving husband, community leader and father of four school-aged children. His treatments begin immediately and his cognitive future is unclear.

Sickness punches hard.

Shockwaves of grief are running through the veins of all who know and love him.

It seems so wrong. So upside-down. Unfair. Crooked.

My soul is restless with questions.

If life in Christ is promised to be abundant and full (John 10:10), then why are there times when it seems so empty and broken? Why does pain sting so violently? Why do good people die young? Why do talented employees lose their jobs and struggle to find new ones? Why are there so many people addicted to porn, addicted to shopping, addicted to eating, drugs, pain pills, and alcohol? Why do honorable Christ-followers face such compelling hardships?

Why, Lord? It doesn’t make sense! I want it to make sense!

And I begin to hear His still small voice… Trust me. Don’t rely on your own understanding. Acknowledge me. I will make every path straight…

How, God? How can You make this right? I wonder, recognizing the mysterious beauty of His sovereignty, but perplexed and disillusioned by the collateral damage left in the wake of loss and hardship.

As I am still before Him, I remember.

I remember what I learned recently about the familiar verses in Proverbs 3. You know them, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (v. 5-6).

You see, the second part never made sense to me. I wondered, Why would “acknowledging” God motivate Him to make my paths straight? In the New Testament, even the demons acknowledged that Jesus was the Son of God, so why would acknowledging Him make my paths straight?

I looked up the root word and I found a gold mine.

The Hebrew word for “acknowledge” used there is y?da, the primitive root of which means to know. It means “to understand, to grasp or ascertain; especially to be familiar or acquainted with…”

So, in all of your ways acknowledge him really means: in all of your ways y?da Him… in all of your ways KNOW Him – seek to understand Him – be familiar with Him – be acquainted with HIM… and He will make your paths straight. Which shows us that the key is way less about our challenges and way more about our God.

When we are intimately familiar with God – when we don’t just know about Him, but when we KNOW Him – the most crooked roads we travel are made straight. Not because life is easy. Hardship stings and life is complicated. Not because all that we experience is just. Much of life is unfair. But because when we know God, we know:

His strength that is accessible in our weakness

His comfort that meets us as we mourn

His mercy that withholds the punishment our depravity readily deserves

His peace that defies our unrest

His joy that kisses the cheeks of our sorrow

His courage that emboldens our weary hearts and casts away fears

His redemption that reworks our brokenness into beauty

His love that binds us to eternity and delights over us with singing

Even when the one-two punches come, I can trust God – not because I understand all the circumstances, or even like them – but because I know HIM. And because I know HIM, I can trust that He will provide all that I need to process pains, heal from wounds, and move forward in strength, grace, and peace.

Let’s Pray

Holy Father, You are faithful, compassionate, loving and kind. Thank You for making Yourself known to me through Your Word. Will you calm my restlessness with Your peace today and make straight my paths? Help me to know You more, Lord. Help me to trust You beyond my understanding.

In Jesus’ name,


Now It’s Your Turn

Read and personalize the invitation that Jesus gave to his followers in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” What would it look like if you did this with your heart burdens today? Will you? CLICK HERE to leave a response on my blog. Say, “I’ve laid down my mess and picked up His rest!”

More from the Girlfriends

Are you struggling to trust that God’s love can bring beauty to your life? Learn how God wants to bring you beyond your past heart-wounds and your present challenges to His wholeness, strength and beauty. Broken into Beautiful is a book filled with stories – real stories … gritty and honest, not cleaned up and phony. It’s also filled with Scripture that will inspire you toward the life-changing grace of Jesus. To order the book, go to Amazon or, for a signed copy, visit Gwen’s website.

11 Responses to “Learning to Trust Through Trials”

  1. Brie says:

    Trying to understand GOD indeed hurts, because with our human minds some things really seems imposible, and trying to figure out how it will work out stresses and tempts our faith. But the GOD we serve is a GOD of possibilities, he put a way where seems to be no way, he is the GREAT I AM. Thanks for the massage, it has moved me to another level. am trusting GOD, I want to KNOW and understand him truly

  2. Joan says:

    Thank you so much for today’s devotional. Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of my favorite passages. I also struggle to understand how God can make things right when life is hard. When close family and friends are battling cancer. When I have personal health issues that have me in physical pain 24/7; it’s hard to keep faith and hope. You’ve reminded me of where my focus needs to be. Trusting in Him, knowing and acknowledging Him in All my ways, He will carry me through.

  3. Laura Schilbe says:

    This is so powerful! This is also one of my favourite life scriptures. Thank you for sharing such a deep “make you think” devotional!

  4. Cathy Ann says:

    Also..along with that..Seek he His Kingdom first..Matt6:33-34 to go along with that proverb, I believe..

  5. Christina says:

    we all have free will!……God allows suffering….He doesn’t cause it. Our free will has led to contamination of the environment, unnatural chemicals in food and water supplies. We must continue to simplify and trust and rely on Him! God will make straight our paths! Prayers for all those suffering! Thank you Gwen for sharing…..

  6. Jean says:

    Thank you for this devotional! It has helped me understand and Know God in a different way and level! There are struggles with in my family, health issues with all siblings and some serious health issues with grandchildren and myself! I have been focusing on the issues not on Gods strength, power mercy or Acknowledging Him and trusting Him to make my path straight. Again thank you.

  7. Carole says:

    Proverbs 3:6 is my life verse,I recognize the importance of obedience to our Father. The all consuming knowledge of who He is in my life fills me with the desire to acknowledge Him at every turn. I am filled with His Peace and Joy, when I am obedient to this scripture. I get soooo excited to share what He has done for me,knowing that this is not of me or anything other than my God. Oh how I love Jesus. Thankyou for the venue to praise His Name. His favorite child, and I know you are too ;D Carole

  8. Felicia says:

    I thank you for this today. I am weak in faith and I have a lukewarm spirit. I am trying to proceed and get there and I have such a hard time fully trusting all is well when matters look so bleek. But I thank God for you and my mom. These things help me to be encouraged and to continue strengthening my faith.

  9. Susan Ann says:

    Every trial brings changes. Changes that sanctify us, set us apart, have the potential for us to become holy as God wants and wills for us. “All disciplines for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Heb 12:11 It is for discipline that we endure and grow in faith and dependence on our relationship with God…There is but one why we may ask of God: ” Lord why today? What are you trying to teach at this moment? How do you want to use this thing to produce the righteousness of Christ in me today? …I just deepened my knowledge of all of this, this week, and your message just showed me its application so clearly…Thanks for sharing!

  10. Sue says:

    Years ago as I was starting out in my career, a friend had these verses framed for me, little did I know they would become my life verses. So thankful for a Savior we can trust in and who allows us to lean on Him in times of darkness, heartache,despair, etc…

  11. Jacqueline says:

    i am seriously going to have this script tattooed on my forehead only joking, some days i am so thankful to not have the burden to understand other days i am totally numb and have no words,i know deep down trusting God is the hardest thing and causes me most problems, i can give explanations but they don,t really help and its complicated,i have been bullied for so long i lack confidence in God and myself, expecting the worst cos of tribulations etc, i need to move on in every area, some days there is a vast army about me and i have to remember its Gods fight and be still but in truth its hard but i am pressing on and at least thats something love Jacqueline xxxx

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