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THE MERIT OF TRUSTING IN HASHEM

By: Rabbi David Ashear

The pasuk in Tehillim (62:9) states, “Trust in Him at all times.” We are commanded to always look to Hashem for help, at all times and in all situations. No matter what it is we need, nothing is too small or too big to bring it to Hashem. We must strengthen ourselves whenever any sort of problem arises and depend on Hashem for help. And we must recognize that the situation we face was specifically designed by Hashem for a very good reason, and He can easily resolve the problem. Hashem can save a person in the blink of an eye.

The Kad HaKemach (Erech Avel) writes that if a person looked to Hashem for help but the assistance did not yet arrive, he should not feel disheartened. The merit one acquires by seeking Hashem’s help is immeasurable. And when the salvation does come, the Kad HaKemach writes, the person will not only receive the assistance he needed, but so much more, due to the merit of this great mitzvah of having relied on Hashem.

Many people recognize the concept of emunah and truly believe that Hashem can solve their problems, but they fear that they aren’t deserving of His assistance. “Maybe, I’m not worthy”; “I’ve committed so many sins that He might not want to look out for me.” This fear has the ability to undermine a person’s entire bitcahon. Commenting on the pasuk (Tehillim 32:10), “A wicked person has much pain, but one who trusts in Hashem will be surrounded by kindness,” the Midrash writes that even if a person is an evil individual, but he turns to Hashem, he will be surrounded by kindness. Similarly, the Rambam comments on the verse (Tehillim 37:3), “Trust in Hashem and perform goodness,” that even if a person has not performed any good deeds at all, and he knows he is sinful, he should nevertheless have faith in Hashem’s kindness because, after all, Hashem is full of mercy, as the pasuk states, “His compassion is upon all His creatures.” In fact, the Midrash in Tehillim says that if a thief is digging a tunnel to break into a house and calls out to Hashem to save him, even he is helped, because even a wicked person is “surrounded by kindness” if he puts his trust in Hashem.

Another source to this notion is a remark by Rabbeinu Yonah in his commentary to Mishlei, where he writes that bitachon has nothing at all to do with a person’s merits. David HaMelech writes about himself in Tehillim, “I have trusted in Your kindness.” David trusted not his merits and worthiness, but rather Hashem’s infinite kindness. Rabbeinu Yonah also cites in this context the pasuk in Daniel (9:18) which we also recite in our prayers, “We do not pour forth our supplications before You based upon our righteousness, but rather on the basis of Your abundant mercy.” The Chafetz Chaim similarly writes in his work Shem Olam thatbitachon does not depend on a person’s worthiness, and even a person who conducts himself improperly should strengthen his trust in Hashem, and this in itself will protect him. Hashem brings a person salvation in the merit of faith, even if he is otherwise undeserving. When we recognize that Hashem is there waiting to help us, and we seek to tap into that invaluable resource, we earn immeasurable merit and are “surrounded by kindness.”

And therefore, a person should never say to himself, Who am I to ask Hashem for something? Why should Hashem answer me after the terrible things I’ve done? Hashem has mercy for all, and we should therefore never feel embarrassed or unworthy to turn to Hashem for anything we need in life.

Adapted from “Living Emunah,” by Rabbi David Ashear,
with permission of the copyright holders, ArtScroll / Mesorah Publications, Ltd.