When a tree does not have strong roots, deep water roots, it cannot withstand the situations of life. We see less signs of life—the leaves are withered and there is little fruit produced because of periods of great heat and drought. When a tree has great roots that sink into the water they always have what they need in any situation and “their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”
We are a lot like trees; we also do best with deep water roots. Today’s verse says “blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence.” That’s how we have deep water roots—when we are deeply rooted in Christ. If we TRUST the Lord, if He is our HOPE and our CONFIDENCE, we will be able to stand firm in life no matter the situation, and we will “stay green” and “never stop producing fruit.”
When you believe, TRULY BELIEVE, in Jesus, living water will flow from your heart (John 7:38). Today we can place our trust in Him for He is our “hope and confidence.” We thrive with deep water roots. We were meant for those deep roots. Do this and the fruit will follow.
“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]
Did you ever take a hike through the woods and see the large trees that were planted many, many years ago? With the thick trunks and high branches the trees tower above all. I like to touch the bark of the tree and imagine how it went from a little tree to a great tree.
God promised that those who mourn in Israel would be “like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.” Great oaks. I’ve heard of oak trees that were 30 feet wide and 60 feet tall. I have not seen anything so great with my own eyes but these trees are in the record books.
Those who were mourning became great oaks. They went from the lowest place in life to the greatest position. Why? For God’s glory. No matter where you are at in life, God can take your life and turn you into a great oak when you are firmly rooted in him.
“To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.” – Isaiah 61:3 [NLT]
Almost a year ago I sat down to write about Daniel 3:18. When I write, there are two different ways that I begin. First, there are moments when I am walking my dog Max and the Lord leads me to something. Second, there are moments when I am reading my Bible (many times during my lunch break), when He leads me to something and I will scrawl down some notes for later. Nonetheless, this week I was again reading Daniel 3:18 and was led to write about it. But it felt very familiar.
I considered that perhaps I had written about it before. After writing devotionals, other books, papers, sermons, lessons, etc., it was a possibility. I felt this overwhelming need to search, and then I found it, “But Even If.” Does someone need to hear it again? Yes, and God knew—it was me!
Life has been very difficult lately. Life in general is difficult, but lately I have been feeling exhausted. Not tired. Exhausted. Everything is a battle. I have followed the narrow path. But when we are on the journey God has placed before us, our expectations of the outcome might be very different from where God takes us. Hence the exhaustion. For some of us it’s frustration or even worse. But God reminds each of us that He is with us and He has a great plan for our lives. No matter where we are at on the journey, no matter what our expectations for a situation, our lips should say, “But even if he doesn’t” we will still press forward and live each day firmly rooted in Him. I’m pressing forward. He is my hope and my confidence.
“But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” – Daniel 3:18 [NLT]
“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” – Psalm 25:5 [NIV]