Trusting God in All Things
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust means to be confident, to be sure, to be bold or to hope. It is relying on God and placing your confidence in who He is (not in what He can do for you). We must rid ourselves of self-sufficiency and choose to depend on the Lord, trusting that God is enough for us and that He is doing enough for us. “Trusting means to put oneself wholly at the mercy of another (Dr. Constable)” (Jeremiah 12:5; Psalms 22:9). To trust God is to put ourselves wholly at the mercy of God. It doesn’t get any sweeter than that–trusting in the perfect God of the universe who has mercy on such wretched sinners and sent His beloved Son to pay the penalty for our sin.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” - 1 Peter 1:3
The Word of God tells us that trusting God is a choice.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” - Proverbs 3:5-6
“Trusting God is first a matter of the will, and is not dependent on my feelings. I choose to trust God and my feelings eventually follow (Jerry Bridges).” When our circumstances don’t make sense and we find ourselves sad, upset or afraid, we must make a decision to trust in the Lord ( according to who God says He is in His Word and not in who we think He is). We cannot trust in someone that we do not know. “Trusting God is a choice based on knowledge of Scripture and on prayer in an attitude of dependance (Jerry Bridges).”
The more we grow in knowing the Lord, the more we will grow in our trust–seeing more and more that His plan for our life is perfect and far greater than anything we could comprehend in our finite minds.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.” - Isaiah 55:8-9
Jerry Bridges sums up trusting God this way:
“Trust is not a passive state of mind. It is a rigorous act of the soul by which we choose to lay hold on the promises of God and cling to them despite the adversity that at times seeks to overwhelm us.”
WHAT ARE YOU LEANING ON?
“Leaning is not just reclining against something but relying on it totally for support” (Dr. Constable). What are you relying on daily for support? The world? Your owns ways? Your own interpretations of your circumstances? Or on what God says about Himself and this life in His Word?
Relying on our own insights and observations leads us to build our lives on shaky ground. We’ll eventually find ourselves in despair, disappointment, confusion, and possibly even bitterness and resentment towards the Lord. It comes out when we do things like:
Asking why did God let this happen to me instead of how is God using what happened to me to make me more like Christ?
Asking why didn’t God do anything for me instead of what was God doing for His Glory and my benefit?
Viewing life according to how things make me happy or unhappy instead how things make me holy or unholy.
Interpreting life according to your feelings and passions instead of from God’s precepts and promises.
KNOWING THE LORD
"Acknowledge (Proverbs 3:6) means to be aware of and have fellowship with God (Dr. Constable).” Growing in intimately knowing the Lord helps us grow in trusting God. This is why it is so crucial to be in the Word of God, for it is in the Word that we learn more and more about who God is. We must seek to let the truth of God rule our hearts and minds.
Three specific attributes of God to embrace to help you grow in trusting Him are His sovereignty, His wisdom, and His love.
God is sovereign - God is in complete control of all things and nothing is outside of His plan. All created things were designed to glorify God by reflecting the greatness of God. “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure” (Isaiah 46:10).
God is wise - God is all knowing and everything He does is perfect and the best course of action for His glory and our good (Romans 8:28-29). “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways” (Romans 11:33).
God is love - Everything God does is loving, nothing He does can be apart from His love ( 1 John 4:8). God always seeks the highest good of others and gives Himself for the good of others. In fact, He loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son for our sins. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him” (Romans 5:8-9).
In summary: God is “absolutely sovereign over every event in the universe, and He exercises that sovereignty in an infinitely wise and loving way for our good (Jerry Bridges).”
TRUSTING GOD IN ADVERSITY
I want to end with a beautiful illustration about trusting God in times of adversity from Jerry Bridges:
One of the many fascinating events in nature is the emergence of the Cecropia moth from its cocoon -- an event that occurs only with much struggle on the part of the moth to free itself. The story is frequently told of someone who watched a moth go through this struggle. In an effort to help -- and not realizing the necessity of the struggle -- the viewer snipped the shell of the cocoon.
Soon the moth came out with its wings all crimped and shriveled. But as the person watched, the wings remained weak. The moth, which in a few moments would have stretched those wings to fly, was now doomed to crawling out its brief life in frustration of ever being the beautiful creature God created it to be.
What the person in the story did not realize was that the struggle to emerge from the cocoon was an essential part of developing the muscle system of the moth's body and pushing the body fluids out into the wings to expand them. By unwisely seeking to cut short the moth's struggle, the watcher had actually crippled the moth and doomed its existence.
The adversities of life are much like the cocoon of the Cecropia moth. God uses them to develop the spiritual "muscle system" of our lives (James 1:2-4)
Ask yourself: In what situations of my life am I currently having a hard time trusting God?
Bring those things to God in prayer and ask Him to help you chose to trust Him.
Read Romans 8:18-39 and make a list of reasons you can trust God.
Memorize one of these verses: Proverbs 3:5-6, Lamentations 3:37-38, Romans 11:33, Psalm 9:10 or Romans 8:28-29.
Grow in knowing the Lord by choosing a book of the Bible to read and study.
Concepts adapted from:
Jerry Bridges, “Trusting God”.
Dr. Nicolas Ellen, “Trusting God”.