When someone says to you, “Trust me,” it probably raises 2 things right away: your eyebrows and your suspicion. Sometimes it’s really difficult to trust people you do know, so what do you do when you don’t know how to trust God?
Why Trust God?
It could be a little pointless to talk about the how or the what without a reason why. So why should you trust God, anyway? Most simply, because He loves you. God’s love for you and me isn’t anything like how we love one another.
Our love for other people is either affectionate, familial, enduring, or romantic. God’s love, however is selfless and eternal. You’ve heard that called agape love and that means God loves you with no strings attached and there’s nothing you can do to change that. So that’s one good reason to trust God. He loves you like no one else is capable.
Another reason to trust God is because He is holy. That means he is worthy of your trust:
“For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does.” Psalm 33:4 (NLT)
And finally, you should trust God because He is our only source of hope. The one true, unbreakable love that never fails is that of God’s love and that is something you can put your trust in.
No matter how trustworthy I am, or how well proven your best friend has been in your life, the truth is humans are going to let you down. It’s inevitable and quite honestly just a part of our nature. I’m going to fail you at some point, but where we are weak, God is strong.
I consider myself to be a person who can be counted on, no doubt about it. But I’ve also done my share of not coming through when I was supposed to.
I have had my moments of being unreliable, unpredictable, and I have dropped the ball. Even when I have had the best of intentions and my motives were right, at the end of the day I’m still a sinful man and I just miss the mark.
Except God doesn’t miss. Ever.
“God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” Numbers 23:19
Getting Real With God
Here’s the obvious statement of the day: to trust God, you need to have faith.
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
The not so obvious and more messy part of that requires getting real with God. That means a little more digging and a lot of honesty. Take King David for example. Here’s a guy of whom even God said was “a man after my own heart.” But how many times throughout the Old Testament do we see David crying out to God in complete despair?
“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” Psalm 13:1
We need to learn from David and become more transparent with God. We need to learn to be ok with asking God things like, “Lord! Are you seeing my situation? Where are you in my mess?” When we can truly and entirely lean on God like this, He will prove Himself.
That’s when we can begin to comprehend the words of the hymnist Louisa M.R. Stead (1850-1917):
and to take him at his word;
just to rest upon his promise,
and to know, “Thus saith the Lord.”
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him!
How I’ve proved him o’er and o’er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust him more!
What To Do When You Don’t Know How to Trust God
My wife and I are entering into our 10th year of supported ministry. We’re frequently told, “I could never do what you’re doing!” Actually, neither can we without putting our trust in God. And even though we’ve barely scratched the surface, we have learned a few things about trusting God. Here are some practical steps for those times when you need to trust God and just don’t know how.
- Prayer is your lifeline. With prayer, your faith grows stronger and without it you’ll become an anxious mess. Without prayer, you cannot stay focused on God and realize His presence in your life.
- Read the Bible. Especially Psalms and the Gospel of John. Psalms is where you figure out how to interact with God, John’s Gospel is where you learn why you can and should.
- Involve others. The Christian life isn’t supposed to be lived alone. That’s why He gave us fellow believers, people who can lean on each other, support each other, and most importantly pray for each other.
- Sabbath rest. Don’t neglect your downtime. Unplug and restore because if you’re constantly switched on you’re going to crash. This is infinitely more dangerous if you’re in one of those seasons when you’re learning to trust God more.