Recently my son, Josiah and I had a conversation about trusting God. He was giving a devotional at the mission organization where he works. In the course of our discussion Josiah made the observation that two things often inhibit our trust of God: control and lack of clarity. That’s sure been true in my life! What about you?
Think about it. We like control. We feel safer when we are controlling our own world. When our lives spin out of control or we face chaotic circumstances the first question that comes to mind is, “Can I really trust God?”
Similarly, who doesn’t like clarity? We want to know for sure where God is leading before we’ll follow. It’s a lot harder when life feels murky and we are unsure of which path to take. At those times we question, “Can I trust God to guide me? After all, He doesn’t seem to be making things clear!”
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.”
I underlined those verses when I was only twelve years old. In my naivety I thought those verses meant if I trusted God – my life would never feel out of control and God would always make His plans for my life clear. Unfortunately, my life does at times feel out of control. And, sometimes, God doesn’t make the way plain. How do I trust Him then?
Here are three decisions I make when I am having a hard time trusting God:
I remind myself that God is good. All. The. Time. It’s easy to doubt His goodness when we can’t see where He’s leading but God’s goodness is steady and sure. I have found the more I praise Him for His goodness, the easier it is to trust His goodness. As I celebrate His goodness, my faith grows.
I remind myself that God’s love is unfailing. Even when life feels out of control or I lack clarity, I am not separated from God’s love. He’s on my side. He’s cheering for me. He believes in me and He will never leave me. I can count on it.
I remind myself that God has been faithful in the past and He will be faithful in the future. When I am having trust issues with God I skim through my Bible and look at all the verses that I have underlined and dated. As I read through the familiar scriptures, I remember the times God has been faithful in the past and remind myself that I can trust Him with the future.
Even though the holiday season is filled with songs of joy and hope, I have talked with many who are wrestling right now with their faith. I get it. Life is hard. Sometimes circumstances feel out of control and God feels distant. If that’s true for you, may I encourage you to lift your eyes to the God who came close? May I encourage you to make the choices I outlined here? Will you dare to believe that God is good, His love never fails and He is faithful? As you affirm these three decisions daily I believe it will be like putting trust tokens in your faith bank. Trusting God is possible. I promise. But, It does take some intentionality on your part.
Today, take a few minutes and listen to Hiding Place by All People’s Worship. As you listen, declare out loud, “Lord, I trust in You!”