Last updated: 26 Aug 2019
I never knew I'd have situations where my trust in God was shaken. When I got born-again fifteen years ago, I looked forward to nothing but a mountaintop experience with the Lord.
The joy of salvation was real, and I'd have laughed if someone told me I could ever reach a place where I questioned and doubted God's love and faithfulness. Where I even questioned His existence!
I suspect that if you're here reading this, this might be some of your struggles. You want to trust in God, but it's difficult. Your circumstances look more real than your God.
Stick with me and we'll share on what true trust is, what hinders it, and we'll also discover practical ways how to trust in God in all circumstances.
According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Trust is synonymous with faith, believe, commit, give over, rely upon.
It can be used concerning our relationship with God and with one another.
That brings us closer to having a better picture when we talk about faith in God which the Bible defines in Hebrews 11:1 as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
"Is faith not a confession of helplessness, the surrender to God that waits to let Him work? Is it not in itself the most humbling thing there can be – the acceptance of our place as dependents who can claim, or get, or do nothing but what grace bestows?"
Andrew Murray, in Humility, published by Bethany House Publishers.
I found this so comforting. We live in an age where faith or trust in God has been perverted to mean something else – good feelings, which are usually influenced by nice circumstances.
Some preachers encourage their followers never to admit any helplessness or weakness, for that, according to the belief system, is a lack of faith.
When you understand that trust in God is to admit your helplessness and look up to Him for help, it liberates you from the pain of having to produces good feelings. God doesn’t respond to our good feelings.
When you understand true faith, it takes away your fear and anxiety, and replaces them with hope. Because you know that God is good and He'll not disappoint those who hope in Him.
Fear is the opposite of faith. If you're fearful about the present circumstances, if you’re fearful thinking of the future, then you're not trusting God.
Anxiety is the result of fear. You cannot trust in God and be anxious at the same time
When you do not trust in God, you can become bitter and resentful, especially when you see others doing better than you. You may even accuse God of being unfair and partial.
Another manifestation of lack of trust in God is impatience with His way of dealing in and through you. You see, God doesn’t work on our timetable.
Maybe, right now your faith is non-existent because you wished things went a certain way. You pray, you fast, and do all you can, but nothing changes. This makes you doubt God's faithfulness and goodness.
This scenario is very common. Further down, we shall see how to overcome this temptation, and remain calm and trusting even when we do not understand what God is doing.
There are some teachings that basically tell us we can have what we want if we just say the right things.
That is not faith in God's word.
Our faith must be built on the truth of Scriptures, not on our favorite beliefs.
In the parable of the sower in Matthew 13, some seed fell on thorns and were choked. The Lord interpreted the thorns to mean the cares of this life.
There's so much in our world that can distract us from paying attention to God and His viewpoint. That greatly hinders our trust in Him.
If you're like me, you know one or more instances where you prayed and trusted in God, but 'failed'. That is, you did not get the answers you expected.
Those situations wound us, and make us find difficulties in looking up to God again. Even when we do call upon Him, we wonder whether He will indeed come through for us.
Considering what hinders our trust in God, we can be able to see how to trust Him in much better ways.
Right knowledge, right focus and perspective, and learning to trust Him even when we do not understand or see answers to our prayers.
One habit that will hold you up above all and every circumstance is to cultivate the presence of God around you. God is omnipresent, ever-present with us. But consciousness of Him in our lives is partly our responsibility.
When we habitually spend time with Him in prayer and the word, when we fill our environment with godliness through music, literature, holy conversations etc…we don't usually realize it, but it builds up our faith. And provides a reservoir where we can draw from in times of need.
1. Think of God's love for you.
Knowing God's love strengthens your faith. Then trusting Him becomes as natural as breathing.
I can't tell you how much going to scriptures such as Romans 8:28-34 has helped lift me up from discouraging and depressive thoughts into joy, peace, and hope. That's the power of God's Word.
It makes you know that God has your good in mind. That bad situation cannot separate you from His love.
2. Learn to pray instead of worrying and complaining
Remember Philippians 4:6-7.
Pray, pour out your heart to the Lord. He's your Father. He cares for you. Do not complain, but let Him understand how you feel and what your struggles are. That's so refreshing.
Make specific requests. Don't be vague in your supplication. Ask God for something that you can recognize the answer when it comes.
Look for something to be thankful. Count your blessings, name them one by and one, and it'll surprise how much you've focused on the negative to the exclusion of all the good that is around you.
3. Remember God's past faithfulness.
This has held me up so many times. When I've felt like I couldn’t make it, I reflect on my journey with God, and see where He came through for me.
That makes me commit my present situation to Him.
In this place, you do not need to know how God is going to make it. You just know, 'if He's done it before, He can and will do it again.'
4. Act on the word, and not on how you feel.
Depending on the situation, this can be difficult, but it's doable. Faith is belief in God and His Word. Obedience is practical trust. Do not let your emotions dictate. Act on the word.
It is in acting on what God says that our faith is tried and demonstrated. It grows as a result. When you stand firm, despite your feelings, and see God come through, that gives you an experience to fall back on when frightening situations stare you in the face in the future.
On the contrary, when you give in to your fears instead of the Word, you feed your unbelief.
It is possible to live a life of faith. It is possible to trust in God at all times. I pray that God will use these words to encourage you.
Janet is a Christian with a knack for writing. She's passionate about encouraging the pursuit of God and a life of purpose.