I wonder how drastically our lives would change if we completely trusted the Lord with everything. I wonder how many mistakes and heartaches would be avoided and how many of our dreams and hopes would be realized more quickly if we trusted God instead of growing impatient and opting for a plan B that will let us down. Trusting God seems like it should come easily to Christians, but how often have we found ourselves in a wrong relationship, making a bad financial decision, or relying on our own strength because we grew tired of “trusting the Lord and leaning not on our own understanding?” I think the last time I leaned on my own understanding, I unknowingly joined an illegal pyramid scheme. Good times.
The truth is, trusting God completely like a child trusts a parent can be difficult, especially with the desires closest to our hearts. I think many of us trust God with certain areas of our lives, but hold back in other departments without even realizing it, because of past hurts or experiences.
Years ago, I discovered a nasty pattern of going from failed relationship to failed relationship. I realized this stemmed from a lack of trust. I picked the wrong men because I didn’t trust God with my heart’s desire: a good, godly man who would never leave or disappointment me. I would “missionary date” non-Christians, or go after and remain in toxic relationships and eventually a failed marriage, without ever connecting the fact that I never healed from losing my father when I was 12. My dad, a pastor and father of three, passed away at 38 and my heart somehow lost its ability to trust. I needed to re-learn how to trust God in this area of my heart and receive the healing I had always avoided. It was less than pretty stuff, but after a decade of bad decisions and long inner healing sessions, I’m able to trust.
We can’t trust someone we don’t intimately know. This is why so many new Christians struggle with obedience at first, because we don’t take enough time to truly absorb the depth of love God has for us. We can all repeat the love scriptures—“For God so loved the world…” and “as far as the east is from the west so is his love for us”—but we need to deeply grasp our personal value to God before real change can happen. Until we learn to personalize these verses, meditating on God’s deep, faithful, unwavering, parental love for us, we won’t trust him with the most critical issues in our lives.
Believe He Wants the Best for You
I also think our level of trust correlates with our intimate knowledge of God’s character. More specifically, his goodness. When we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God wants to give us our heart’s desires, wants the best spouse, job, house, and XYZ for us, it’s actually easy to trust. But we have to believe it. Psalm 34:8 says “Taste and see that the Lord is Good.”
So many people wonder why they don’t have a stronger sense of faith and trust, but they hardly spend quality time in prayer and the word. 1 John 3:1 says God wants to lavish his love on us. But these are just poetic sounding words unless we spend enough time with him to hear his voice, follow his guidance, experience prayers answered, and be moved by his goodness. I couldn’t really step out in trust and faith until I did this.
I never understood concepts like tithing ten percent on an income, let alone when you’re a single parent making writer’s pay. But the moment my heart really experienced God, changing the way I viewed myself and others, answering prayers and freeing me from addictive behaviors, I began trusting him with my whole heart. And he never, ever, fails. I remember sticking that white money envelope through that tithing slot knowing a utility bill would go unpaid unless God moved…and he did, and has come through every time.
God Sees the Big Picture
It’s easy to lose trust when you’ve been waiting on unanswered prayers for years or situations just seem more confusing, but it helps to remember God’s timing is so different than our own. It’s hard to keep the faith when it seems like we’ve been waiting a decade for a healing, a spouse, or a financial breakthrough, but there’s always a reason for God’s delay.
When I’ve been chomping at the bit for what seems like eternity for things like a better job, God’s always eventually come through with something better than I could’ve imagined. I’m so glad God put up with my whiney impatience when looking for mundane PR jobs a few years back, banging my head against the wall—“Why are you not providing, Lord, this resume is stellar!”—when my dream job appeared months later. We have to trust that God’s plan is still underway, even when we don’t see evidence or even feel like he’s listening.
Think of All the Ways He’s Come Through, So Far
Whenever I feel my trust starting to diminish, I remind myself of all the ways God’s come through, and all the times I’ve felt disheartened in the past only to receive something even greater from God in his time. He’s done so much. He’s saved me from so many bad circumstances, before I even knew him. He’s comforted me at times I’ve felt my world collapsing. He’s provided for me financially, when it literally seemed impossible. He’s opened doors, job and writing opportunities in ways I would have never dreamed. Blessed me with the most loving, supportive family imaginable. And he’s been there through the loss of loved ones, divorce, sadness, confusion, and frustration to the point where I’ve been able to praise him daily through the struggles. That’s why we trust Him. Not because verses tell us to. Not because we’re supposed to. Because he’s been faithful through it all. The next situation we’re called to trust him in will just be one more testimony years from now.
Whatever you’re worrying about, or hoping and believing for—hand it over to God, and experience peace by trusting Him.