Sometimes I get tired of hearing the phrase “Trust in God.” It seems so abstract. So impractical. Even growing up in a Christian home, I had no idea what “trusting God” looked like or how to implement it in my own spiritual walk. I don’t think I was alone in that sentiment.
While the Bible commands us repeatedly to “trust in the Lord,” it’s worth our effort to discern what is meant by those words. What does trust look like? How do we live it out?
Trusting God is essential because it is by depending on Him that we receive the peace, joy and strength to endure whatever life gives us. Trusting God gives us confidence and security in our decisions. In truth, the entire Christian walk boils down to simply trusting God. But trusting God is not as abstract as it seems. It is actually the most practical—and pivotal—discipline of the Christian life. Here are three stepping stones to understanding trust as it pertains to our spiritual relationship with Christ.
1. Trusting God Means Knowing God
“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)
The word “know” in the Bible has many layers of meaning. When it comes to our knowledge of God, however, the word “know” refers to the intimate knowledge between a husband and a wife. This kind of knowledge isn’t just knowing about God: It is knowing God personally, deeply, daily!
We can’t trust someone we don’t know. In order to trust God, then, we have to make a concerted effort to know Him as He has revealed Himself to us. Where has God revealed Himself? Through His Word!
The Bible gives us a bird’s-eye view of God’s plan for humanity, from the very beginning to the very end. It reveals His faithfulness, His kindness and His love, as well as His hopeful future for all who call on His name. By studying God’s Word we come to know Him in a close relationship that builds a foundation for trust.
2. Trusting God Means Listening to God
“Whoever is of God hears the words of God.” (John 8:47)
Imagine you are out with your dream date. He’s perfect in every way, except one: He never listens to you. How long do you think that relationship would last? Not long! Listening is foundational to any good relationship.
We can’t trust in God if we never listen to Him. As we grow in our knowledge of God’s personality, we must then work on cultivating a strong prayer life. At first, this may be difficult. Prayer is spiritual communication, and as such, it requires us to not rush our hearts, to be still and to realize that prayer isn’t just something to check off the list. It’s a time for us to pour out everything in our hearts at throne of grace. It is a safe place.
Persevering in prayer is necessary to seeing God move in our lives. This means praying when we don’t always feel like it, coming before God in faith that He hears us and that He wants to answer—and He does! But we must prepare our hearts to listen, as we would in any relationship. A trusting heart has a listening ear.
3. Trusting God Means Believing God
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
By knowing God and listening to Him through prayer, we can then take the final step: believing what God says.
It’s simple in theory, but so hard to walk it out. The root of all our insecurity, doubt and fear goes back to this one question: Can I really believe what God promises? It’s the same doubt Satan threw at Eve in the Garden of Eden when he asked, “Did God really say…?” (Genesis 3:1)
But if we are diligently seeking to know God and we are listening to His heart, we can rebuke the lies of the enemy. We can choose to believe God at His Word, trusting that He will do what He promises to do. The promises in God’s Word are for us—for you and for me. We get to believe them. We get to hold on to them. And we get to trust God.
Sometimes we have to choose trust in the face of difficulty. If something bad , must remember that it is not the product of God Himself, but the product of this fallen world. When everyone around us is affected by pain and suffering, the anchor—the one solid foundation—is God’s goodness. His presence is our peace. He is the most trustworthy being we could ever find, truly an anchor for our souls.