I was recently asked by Shane at Heart Reflections what I would say to someone who was struggling with trusting God. I thought it was an excellent question. (And was flattered that she would ask me.) It is also a timely question for me, because right now, as always, there are at least two or three areas of my life that I’m struggling to commit to God’s timing and provision.
Shane posted my response here and two other blogger’s responses here. Here’s what I wrote:
What is the basis for our trust in God? We are all trusting someone or something–random chance, ourselves (our own skills and ability to make things happen), other people, the stars, money and material possessions, relationships, or the sovereign Creator of the universe. The truth is that God is sovereign (in control, ruling) over every aspect of our lives. When we put our trust in someone or something else, we are putting our hope in a lie.
How do we trust God when He seems distant or absent from our lives? We’ve all been there–we’ve prayed and prayed, and things are still not working out like we planned. Often, when my plans don’t work out the way I hoped, I am devastated. Then I realize that I was not trusting God in the sense of wholly submitting to His plan for my life. I was merely believing that God would give me what I wanted, when I wanted it. Trusting that God will give me what I want is not trusting God. Taking whatever He gives as an expression of His love for me and knowing it is for my good–that is trusting Him. Romans 8:32 tells us: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” We have seen the lengths to which God will go to take care of His people–He sent His own Son to the cross for our salvation. So I can trust that if I have something, it is because it is for my good. If I don’t have something, it is because I don’t need it or it isn’t good for me.
The verse I cling to when I am struggling with trusting God is Proverbs 19:21: “Many are the plans in the mind of man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.” I like to make plans, and I hate it when my plans don’t work out. It can be annoying, frustrating, discouraging, painful, heartbreaking, and devastating. Proverbs 19:21 reminds me that if my plan does not line up with the Lord’s purpose, it is best for me that it fails. It is better that my life be ruled by the purpose of the Sovereign Creator rather than the short-sighted, feeble mind of a sinful human. God demonstrated His love for me on the cross (see Romans 5:8 ) and continues to demonstrate His love for me by only bringing into my life that which is for my good and for His glory. He protects me by not giving me those things I ask for which would not truly be best for me. Praise the Lord!Share
hii upon hill says
That is just what I needed to hear. Also would like to say that I have kept finding the post about perspective to be helpful: instead of thinking that young chn at home were stopping me from doing things that I thought I needed to do, they were helping me not have to do those things and rather enjoy more quietness at home….
Thankyou for an excellent post! At church we have been learning about idolatry, and thinking about what matters to us most – is it Jesus or is it something else that we would hate to lose most?
Also we have just started reading “Desiring God” by John Piper, and I am learning that God is uppermost in His own affections. He wants to bring himself glory (otherwise if there were something greater than him he could not be God) and our job is to trust in him and enjoy him and bring him glory. Often our own plans just don’t fit into that! Hey – I am not the centre of the universe after all! Today I was challenged in ch 2 (Piper) to wonder if my DELIGHT is in Jesus, not just my trust or belief.
Thanks for more good thoughts.