Do you trust God? Most of you who call yourself Christians would not hesitate to say yes, but ... Do you really, in every circumstance? Often we get caught up in circumstances that we think we can handle on our own, and we leave God out of it. Other times, we get caught up in circumstances we cannot control, and our first reaction is to panic, run, worry, stress ... anything but run to God.
Recognize the ‘BUT’s
When we face up to reality, we must recognize that many times we say “God, I trust you, but ...” If you tell someone that you trust them, adding a ‘but’ to the sentence actually says the opposite. So, we need to learn to recognize the ‘but’s in our life, and then learn to remove them. To fully trust God, means acknowledging His attributes of infinite scope, and recognizing the limits of ours.
“God, I trust you, but I don’t understand.” The Psalmist uses this one, but then states that despite the frustrations of not knowing the full picture, he trusts in God’s faithfulness. God does know and understand. Job asks the question ‘Why’ twenty times ... and God’s answer is ‘Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me. (Job 38:2-3)’ Do you truly believe that God is all-knowing, and His wisdom can be fully trusted?
“God, I trust you, but I don’t like your answer. It is not how I would do it.” The real question here is if you trust that God’s plan is always better than anything we can come up with. To us, God’s way is often not logical. Okay Spock, step aside and think about this from God’s perspective. Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither 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.” If you do not like the answer, you must put our pride aside and let God do what He is going to do, acknowledging that it will turn out better than your plan.
“God, I trust you, but I just can’t handle this anymore.” People remind us of that verse that tells us that God will not give us more than we can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13), but we get into situations where we feel like we are beyond what we can handle ... way beyond. What we really need to be reminded of is that God knows us better that we know ourselves. Also, He promises to carry us through all challenges, and to use those trials to help us grow. Isaiah 40:31, 46:4, Deuteronomy 31:6, 32:11, Psalm 23, 1 Peter 5:7 and many others promise God’s care, especially in times of trouble. When we truly trust God, we can then say, ‘With God, I can do this!’
Removing the ‘BUT’s
The key to total trust in God is to be in His Word. When you spend time daily praying and studying the Bible, God reveals Himself to you. The more you get to know God, the more you will trust Him. The reason there is so much prophecy in the Bible, is so that you can see how faithful God is in keeping His promises. They are also evidence of His character, which goes beyond the favorites of love and faithfulness. In any relationship, the more time you take to get to know the person, the more you are able to trust them (unless they prove themselves untrustworthy). With God, you will always find Him trustworthy, but He will not always do things the way you would. Over time, you will learn to trust Him more as He answers your prayers. Perhaps it is time for you to start journaling prayers and answers to prayers so that you can look back and see how God worked in your life.
We know that we must remove the speck from our own eyes before removing the log from others’ eyes, so I recommend focussing on building up your trust first. Part of being a Christian, though, is building each other up. So, as you grow in your trust for God, bring others (especially loved ones) with you on the journey. Show them the evidence of God’s faithfulness both in the Bible, and in your life. Be gentle, loving, and patient as trust takes time to develop ... longer for some people than others. Also, remember the obstacles that you needed to remove in order to grow in your trust for God. Pride is one of the biggest obstacles for the trust journey. It is what gets in the way, when we try to do things on our own, or to push God into doing things our way. Ignorance is another obstacle that can be removed by putting time and effort into growing in knowledge about God. Compromise is another obstacle, deviously taking us away from God’s truth. It seeks to tear down our belief in absolute truth, and that God’s Word is absolutely true. When you help others take down these obstacles, and spend more time with God, then you are guiding them to a trusting relationship ... with no BUTs.