Updated: May 1, 2021
““But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8 NLT
Okay. Let’s break this down...
BLESSED: Who is blessed?
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.”
First things first, definitions. Sometimes we are so familiar with the meaning of words, we don’t feel the need to look up their definition(s). However, doing so helps us to uncover layers within the Text. It helps make the message more relatable, easier to understand and more digestible. It causes it to get rooted deeper within us. It expands our understanding. And sometimes, we discover more meaning than we realized a word had.
Blessed - Favor or gift bestowed by God.
Trust - Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.
Hope - A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
- A feeling of trust.
Confidence - A feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust
(1 Corinthians 15:58)
- The state of feeling certain about the truth of something.
- A feeling is assurance.
God favors those who rely on His ability and strength. Those who firmly trust in the truth of Who He Is. Those who believe and expect Him to move on their behalf.
When we fully trust God to be Who He says He Is, it’s easier to rely on His limitless ability rather than our limited knowledge and functioning. When we recognize His sovereignty, our faith and reverence make room for Him to move in and through us + our situation like never before. Could it be that we sometimes miss the favor and blessings of God because we try to operate on our own in our own strength?...
There’s a reason why those who WAIT on the Lord mount up on wings like eagles. There’s a reason why they run and don’t grow weary. There’s a reason why they walk and don’t faint. Because:
By waiting on God before moving, they forgo wasting energy and resources on endeavors God didn’t intend for them to embark on.
They are operating in God’s limitless mighty strength rather than their own limited supply.
Okay. On to second half of the scripture:
How are we blessed?...
“They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”
Roots - the part of a plant which attaches it to the ground or to a support, typically underground, conveying water and nourishment to the rest of the plant via numerous branches and fibers.
We obviously aren’t literally plants but the analogy holds true. Our roots connect us to that which supports - that which sustains life. The deeper our roots grow into our source, the more nourishment we access.
Jesus is the Living Water. He is our source of life. The deeper rooted we are into Him, the less we are overcome by the elements of the world. We are able to withstand as we draw from Him Who has already overcome the world. (John 16:33) We are able to continue producing fruit (of the Spirit) in all circumstances as our bearing relies on He Who is working within us rather than being influenced by what is going on around us. As we ensure that we are firmly rooted spiritually, the rest of us prospers as well for that nourishment flows all throughout our entire being. When the roots are good, the rest is good. When our leaves and fruit start to lack and wither, it’s time to check our roots.
Okay. Let’s build this up...
Sources vs. Resources
A tree planted in soil by the water doesn’t fear the heat or drought because it is confident that the water it’s rooted in will do what it always does - supply what it needs.
If the tree were planted in shallow ground and had to depend on how much water it could gain and store to withstand the heat, it’d have reason to fear. It can’t supply what it needs. If it’s not rooted deeply in the source, it can only depend on how much resource it can hold - but once the resource is gone, it’s cannot restock.
This is why it is imperative to be deeply rooted in The Source. No amount of striving and saving can save you. You cannot sustain yourself.
Those dependent and relying on *resources* have reason to fret. Those trusting and rooting in The Source find peace.
“...You don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.”
James 4:2 NLT
“...And all the time you don’t obtain what you want because you won’t ask God for it.”
James 4:2 TPT
“Jesus replied, ‘If you only knew the gift God has for you and Who you were speaking to...”
John 4:10 NLT
Do we talk to God like we are talking to the Creator of all things? Do we pray and believe like we are making a request to our Father Who owns a thousand cattle on a thousand hills? Do we know Who we are asking for provision from? Do our prayers reflect the One we are going to in prayer? If we truly had an understanding, a glimpse of a grasp, I believe we’d pray bigger prayers, believe better and wait on the Lord instead of fretting and trying to take matters into our own hands. We’d stop scrapping for resources and rely fully on the Source.
God built the world in 6 days. You think He can’t work your situation out in an instant?
God provides for the birds of the air, the fish of the sea and the ants in the ground. You think He won’t provide for the child that He breathes His very breath into?
We pray and believe for so small. No longer will we settle for our own striving to sustain ourselves. (Any “sustaining” we think we are doing is merely an illusion anyway. It’s all God.) No longer will we be complacent with resources rather than digging our roots deep into the Source - Jesus Christ - abiding in His Presence and drawing from His glorious riches.
“And this same God Who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:19 NLT