Bible Study / Faith

Trusting God (what the Bible says & how to actually do it)

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And those who know your name put their trust in you,
    for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.

Psalm 9:10, ESV

Trust is having confidence in someone.

It is a confidence that comes from believing that the person one trusts is honest and trustworthy; in essence, you trust them because of their character and often their ability.

We as humans trust other people all the time, even without realizing it.

Now, there are certainly exceptions to the rule, and there are plenty of reasons why we might choose not to trust anyone lightly. But generally speaking, we do trust others, even subconsciously.

We trust architects and builders to design bridges every time we cross them in our car.
We trust our plumbers to fix our broken sink pipes and electricians to install wiring safely.
We trust principles and teachers with our children.
We trust fire fighters to be prepared for emergencies.
We trust our pastors to preach the Word faithfully.
We trust our spouses to care for us and our children.

3 practical ways to trust God in everyday life and a picture of a happy woman who is trust God

What does trusting God mean?

However, I think we can both agree, trusting God isn’t exactly the same as trusting humans; trusting Him is even better!

He does not fail, does not make mistakes, does not desert us in our time of need, and He is always present and available when we need Him. 

Those are things finite humans cannot do no matter how hard they try, but He -as the infinite sovereign Creator and Sustainer of the universe- can…and does.

Trusting God means being wholeheartedly confident in Him and His character. It means knowing He will do what He says He will do, and that He’ll never act contrary to His character as disclosed in Scripture.

Trust goes hand-in-hand with faith.

Faith is the assurance we have in the Lord and His works based on the hope we have in Christ.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 

Hebrews 11:1, ESV

Trust is rooted in and flows out of our faith and knowledge of God. And we know that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing the Word of Christ” (Romans 10:17, ESV). Read the Word, learn the Word, and then we will be equipped to live the Word.

Trust in God is faith put into action through obedience to Him and His Word.

In Hebrews 11, there are a number of examples of people whose hope was grounded in the hope of the promised Messiah, from Abraham and King David to Samuel and the other prophets.

Their faith, which was put into action as an outflow of trust through obedience to His commands, resulted in their becoming heirs of Christ’s kingdom, along with those of us who also believe in Jesus.

To have a faith like those in Hebrews 11 means trusting God’s character even when you don’t see His action, like Abraham believing He would be the father of nations even though his wife appeared to be barren.

What does it look like to trust in God?

It’s not enough to read about trust and then learn about it; now it’s time to examine (and apply) that knowledge and start living what it means to trust God.

So what does trusting God look like?

This is a great question, and it’s the essence of our mission at Graceful Abandon: Read the Word, Study the Word, and then Live the Word.

Trusting God looks like obedience

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 straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6, ESV

Here we are encouraged to trust the Lord completely, not depending on our own knowledge. Rather than having dependence upon our own selves, we ought to walk in faith and obedience to Him.

The result of our faith in action through obedience is that He will make the paths we take straight, which is another way of saying that He will make our paths free of obstacles. 

This doesn’t mean that our lives will become suddenly easier or less messy, but what it does mean is that as we faithfully obey Him, He will open doors and guide us in the way He wants us to go.

Trusting God looks like dependence

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him, and he will act.

Psalm 37:5, ESV

Trusting Him includes depending on Him to meet our needs, trusting on HIS action not our own.

There are dozens (if not hundreds!) of examples throughout Scripture of times when man’s brilliance and ability failed, but God was not hindered.

However, one of my favorite reminders is found in Psalm 23, as King David writes about the careful and loving ways that God cares for His people.

Just as a good shepherd is reliable and carefully tends his sheep, so God is trustworthy and provides for our needs. We can rely on Him, even when our life circumstances bring us to “the valley of the shadow of death ” (Psalm 23:4, ESV) because even there, He will be with us.

And not only is He with us, but He protects us (“I will fear no evil”) and provides for us (He “prepares a table” even with the enemy right there).

Surely, such a good and faithful Father can be trusted!

Trusting in God looks like believing in spite of our feelings

When I am afraid,
    I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
    in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
    What can flesh do to me?

Psalm 56:3-4, ESV

Satan is very good at creating situations in which he plants doubts in our minds concerning God’s trustworthiness (see Genesis 3).

Sometimes we don’t even need Satan to inspire our doubt; our own humanity tries to force God into a small enough framework we can understand Him with our finite minds. This smallness makes us then question if He’s big enough to care for us (ironic, isn’t it?).

And sometimes our faith is small, like the disciples’ faith in Matthew 17:14-20. But, like the father of the boy with an unclean spirit in Mark 9:14-27, we can go to God with the faith we do have and ask Him to “help our unbelief”, trusting that He will answer us and grant us the ability to trust Him fully.

Trusting In God Day To Day (even when the plumbing breaks)

And listen, my friend, don’t just wait for the big, tragic, overwhelming times to trust God.

Trust Him in your daily life.

Trust Him as you parent, as you care for your home, as you work, as you answer your kids’ questions and seek answers for your own, and for grace to cover every moment.

Recently, for me, that meant that I had to trust God to help us find a plumber when our upstairs shower was leaking into our downstairs living room. I had to rely on Him for joy when all I really wanted to do was cry and ask Him to help me be thankful when all I was feeling was downright ticked at the guy who installed our relatively new shower. And I had to obey Him to not grumble or complain, but in everything to give thanks.

You know what I learned? I learned that trusting God in the mundane, daily things can be harder than with the big things.

But He is every bit as faithful. My circumstances didn’t miraculously change; I still had to call around, wait, get estimates, and deal with the construction and repairs. But my heart and mind? There was definitely a miracle worked on the inside! I’m learning, day by day, to trust God more.

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