Trust is a funny thing. We talk about people with descriptions like, “She is a trusting soul,” or “He should not be trusted.” We all have to exercise trust in other drivers when we come to a stoplight. Or we trust in undeniable facts — even those we don’t understand, like gravity — as we live our daily lives. Trust is something all of us know and apply countless times a day. But for the believer, these everyday kinds of trust issues and situations cannot guide our spiritual lives like learning to trust in God.
Trusting God has always been a struggle for me, probably due to my tense relationship with my earthly father. But daily, I try to increase my trust in God in my actions and attitudes. As I see it, there are two necessary building blocks to a strong trust in the Lord.
The first category of ideas that make up a biblical trust in God is to understand and come to truly appreciate the attributes and character of God. While all of the attributes that theologians have delineated over the years, the most important for me are God’s omnipotence and His sovereignty. As I rack up my experiences with things like answered prayer and the teachings of Scripture, I can answer the first question about God: Can He take care of me? The more I dwell on God’s love demonstrated through the life and ministry of Jesus, the more I see and know what the Bible teaches about God’s power and His rule over all things in the world and my life. So, I recognize that God is powerful enough, aware enough, and loving enough to do good things for His children in any circumstance.
Then, to build a strong trust, I must also answer the question: Does God care about me in my struggle to live in this world and work with the Spirit to grow in likeness to Christ? In other words, God is good, and He is powerful and sees all, but does He actually know and like me? Is God only interested in some Christians and not others, or are my days lived out under God’s wise direction and knowing that He loves me individually. I believe we all have to come to a place where our emotions and even our circumstances are not the determining factors in God’s trustworthiness. So, I must choose to trust based on what I have seen God do in the past in my life, as well as the clear teaching of Scripture.
Jerry Bridges, in his book Trusting God, says:
“Let me emphasize that trusting God does not mean we do not experience pain. It means we believe God is at work even through our pain to bring about something good. It means we work back through the Scriptures regarding His sovereignty, wisdom, and goodness, and ask Him to use those Scriptures to bring comfort and peace to our hearts.”
Trust is absolutely essential for me to be able to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and to follow the leadings of God in my walk with Christ. I am not fully there yet but learning to truly trust God is the most important thing to me in living as a son of the Creator and Provider.