What comes to mind when you hear the words, ‘Trust God’. What does it mean? What does it look like?
Pause. Jot down your thoughts, then read on.
The dictionary defines trust as: a firm belief in the reliability, truth or ability of someone or something. Trust in God is a decision to stand against all odds and believe that He is good, reliable, truthful and able, regardless of the circumstances of our lives. We, as followers of Christ, must so often choose between a life of trust and a life of ease, just as Jesus Himself did (Hebrews 12:2).
Another man who placed his trust in the Lord, in seemingly impossible situations, was Job. He was ‘blameless and upright’ (Job 1:1), yet he endured the loss of all that he loved and everything he’d ever worked for, as the devil attempted to make him forsake God. Job wrestled, saying some things that might not seem very ‘faithful or faith-filled’. He got angry, dismayed, depressed and discouraged. Yet, Job didn’t lose His love for, or trust in, God. After all he had gone through, he recognised Elohim’s (the Almighty’s) power and that there was purpose in what he had experienced. Job acknowledged that His ways were beyond his understanding, noting that while once he had heard of God, now he had seen Him (Job 42:2-5). I’ve experienced this myself…
People often comment on what an incredible faith/trust in God I have, and to be honest I find it hard to know how to respond… yes, I do have a strong faith and I absolutely trust God. Also, though, my life has not been the ‘bed of roses’ that others sometimes assume it has been. My solid belief in God hasn’t come easily. Trusting God is attainable for us all, but it requires commitment, dedication and perseverance, for trust isn’t built on the mountain tops of life, but rather in the valleys.
I’ve had unfulfilled dreams (to be a wife and mother) and significant heartache for a huge portion of my life. For decades I’ve waited, I’ve let God refine me, I’ve grown in knowledge, skills and character. I’ve prayed relentlessly. And, in all that time, it seemed like nothing shifted. There had not been that one ‘glimmer of hope’ that made me think, ‘Maybe things are about to change’. I have had to learn to trust God when nothing has made sense, when I’ve been given no answers, when the future has appeared hopeless. When it felt like my life was hanging by a thread, I’ve had to grip onto the thread of God’s love which always holds onto me. I’ve had to walk in His truth, and not according to emotion, for the reality is, long seasons of ongoing disappointment and seemingly never-ending waiting weary our souls (See Prov 13:12). Not knowing whether we’ll ever get to see our hopes and dreams fulfilled is crushing. I’m sure Abraham and Sarah knew this all too well. Hannah too. Perhaps their prayers were shaped a little like Mark 9:24, “Lord, I believe… Help me with my unbelief”. My prayers have also expressed this mixture of anguish and surrender,
“God, you have to give me hope, because I have none left. Your Word says that You don’t withhold any good thing from the righteous (Psalm 84:11), yet it seems like you’ve held out on me… I don’t understand. I know Your thoughts and ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9), but I don’t see how this is going to work out. Still, I trust You… I know there’s a bigger plan. Not my will, but Yours be done (Luke 22:42).”
Don’t be afraid to pray these types of prayers! David often did just this in the Psalms of Lament (See https://www.gotquestions.org/psalms-of-lament.html). He knew that God’s love for us isn’t about answers, but about who He is. Knowing Him and His character allows us to trust during times of uncertainty. It brings peace when the pieces of life seem to fall apart, rather than into place. God faithfully meets us in these dark places. For me, it’s often in worship. The song, ‘Yes I will’ by Vertical Worship, played on repeat during one of my latest challenges, giving words to my thoughts and helping me to refocus on the God who loves me and has great plans for my life.
“I count on one thing
The same God that never fails
Will not fail me now
You won’t fail me now
In the waiting
The same God who’s never late
Is working all things out
You’re working all things out
Yes I will, lift You high in the lowest valley
Yes I will, bless Your name
Oh, yes I will, sing for joy when my heart is heavy
All my days, oh yes I will
And I choose to praise
To glorify, glorify
The Name of all names
That nothing can stand against”
Another encouraging song to add to your playlist is, “Now here”, by Red Rocks Worship.
The day my hope was renewed
For a long time, I really felt like I was in the trenches, trudging on, but struggling. A difficult place to find myself in, yet the perfect conditions for a miracle to occur.
One day, I received a phone call that would change my life. As a newly approved foster carer, I was asked if there was room in my home and heart for a tiny baby girl. The next day, I collected the most precious bundle you could ever imagine – like a miniature doll, perfect in every way. We enjoyed cuddles, smiles, worship times and so much more. To say my heart was full was the understatement of the century! That sweet girl was God’s gift!
The Holy Spirit gave me this poem to pray and declare over her:
“Ten little fingers and ten little toes; God will be with her wherever she goes”.
God reminded me each time that we had court proceedings (which would determine her future – was she going home? Was she staying with me?) that I needed to keep trusting Him (for TRUST is necessary even AFTER our miracles/answers have come). He’s the ultimate Judge and Father – He knows what’s best for baby and He would sustain me however things unfolded.
And sustain me, He did… for things don’t always go as we’d plan or imagine…
Just before Christmas, suddenly everything changed and I had to say goodbye to my little love. It was heartbreaking! As I handed this girl over, I understood the poem so much more – for now, I can’t be the one who is with her, but God always will be and I can trust Him to care for and protect her.
In my grief and brokenness, I was given another song (‘My God is still the same’ by Sanctus Real), and reminded that pain, hope and trust can co-exist.
Going back to how some people perceive my faith/trust… and the truth of what they are really looking at… a girl who hasn’t got it all together, holding on as tightly as she can to her God, because she knows that if she has nothing else in life but Him, that’s what is important. A woman who has made Psalm 16:5 the cry of her own heart,
“Lord, I have chosen you alone as my inheritance. You are my prize, my pleasure, and my portion. I leave my destiny and its timing in your hands.”
I’m someone who has learnt to trust (and is still learning) through all the ups and downs of this roller-coaster life. When I was a little girl, it was said that I was stubborn (they didn’t mean it in a complimentary manner!)… That grit and determination is my ‘superpower’ of tenacious faith ha ha! (An aside: If you’ve ever been labelled negatively, don’t allow that to shape who you are – you are who God says you are!)
Some truths about trusting God…
- It allows for the honest acknowledgement and grieving over difficult circumstances, whilst persistently pressing on (Hebrews 2:10), and drawing closer to Christ instead of pulling away from Him (Psalm 56:3).
- It is hard, but doable (in Christ’s strength). It is a serious spiritual battle. If the devil destroys our trust in God, he steals our faith and our relationship with our Heavenly Father (John 10:10).
- It often seems illogical as it requires us to believe God is working behind the scenes for our good, even when we don’t yet know what He is up to (2 Cor 5:7 and Proverbs 3:5-6). Remember, nothing is impossible for Him! (Jer 32:17).
- It causes us to listen to His voice of instruction and encouragement, letting it guide our steps when all around is dark and we can’t see the way forward (Hebrews 11:1).
- It is aligned to our sanctification and purpose (Joshua 3:5).
- It is made easier with friends who will pray with and for us, continually reminding us of heavenly perspectives and God’s sovereignty.
- It brings great reward, blessing and the fulfilment of God’s promises in our lives (Jer 17:7, Prov 29:25, Ps 9:10; 28:7; 37:5 and 125:1).
- When we trust God, we’ll never be put to shame (Psalm 25:1- 3).
You may have read all of this and thought, ‘Well, that’s good in theory, or that’s good for you, BUT…’ So, I want to be very real with you. I’ve read many books, written by people who have received their miracle, who appear to have gained amnesia along with it – suddenly they forget the pain of the past – the very pain you may still be experiencing. It seems they’ve lost their understanding and compassion for others who are still hurting. These stories have left me feeling bitter rather than uplifted (‘Oh sure, now that your dreams have been fulfilled, it’s easy for you to say, “Trust God”. It’s so easy to tell someone else to trust, when you don’t need to trust yourself’). Maybe that’s what you find yourself thinking right now. If so, I want you to know that I have not forgotten! And, while it may seem like it some days, when you’re struggling in those trenches, God hasn’t forgotten you either.
I see you. I may not know your personal situation, yet I do know that the wait is wearying and ever-so-long. I know that the fight is harder than anyone else knows or could ever possibly understand. I know that words can’t describe what you’re going through. I know that it’s easy to feel like giving up hope. STILL, I trust that God is good. He IS faithful (Hebrews 10:23) and loving (Psalms 32:10). He IS worth trusting. He WILL sustain you (Isaiah 43:2-3, Psalm 3:5 and 2 Thessalonians 3:3) and He WILL act, on your behalf, at the right time (Isaiah 60:22 and Habakkuk 2:3 (although His timing and ours may well not be on the same page!).
So, gorgeous, lean into Him. Give Him your heart and your prayers. Ask Him to renew your hope and to carry you when you are just too tired to walk another step. Allow Him to teach you about trust as you experience Him in each and every season.
Also, let your journey be a comfort to another – share what God has done in your life. Let the beauty of what He’s done for you be an encouragement to someone else who’s a few steps behind.
And hold fast to this… God truly does work for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). And, the trust we learn to have in the ‘dry seasons’ builds a foundation upon which we can then rejoice in the ‘rainy ones’! (prepare your rainboots and umbrellas, girls, because the rain IS coming!)
Scripture references: The Holy Bible (several translations)
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