How to Trust God

Are you trusting God for something or are you trusting in God?

Jeremiah 17:5-11 This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind, who makes the flesh his strength and turns his heart from the LORD.  6 He will be like a shrub in the desert; he will not see when prosperity comes.  He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.  7 But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him.  8 He is like a tree planted by the waters that sends out its roots toward the stream.  It does not fear when the heat comes, and its leaves are always green.  It does not worry in a year of drought, nor does it cease to produce fruit.  9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it?  10 I, the LORD, search the heart; I examine the mind to reward a man according to his way, by what his deeds deserve.  11 Like a partridge hatching eggs it did not lay is the man who makes a fortune unjustly.  In the middle of his days his riches will desert him, and in the end he will be the fool.”

Trust is having an unmovable belief in God, not yourself, not other people, not entities or programs or karma or anything outside of God.

When you trust in other things, your focus is on that thing.  Your imagination and vision and plans revolve around that thing.  As a result, you move your heart from God.

What is trust?  Trust is a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.

You turn your heart and damage your trust when you switch your focus from God to other things.  This happens when you come to rely on that other thing being or happening.  If the vision in your heart is not of who God is, but in things, a person, a scheme, a plan, a product, an ability, or a faint hope, your trust is not in God.  Even if you’re convinced that God ordained the product, person, or plan, if that is where your focus lies, your trust is not in God.  When you trust in anything other than God, you turn your heart from God.

1 Samuel 17:33-37 But Saul replied, “You cannot go out against this Philistine to fight him. You are just a boy, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”  34 David replied, “Your servant has been tending his father’s sheep, and whenever a lion or a bear came and carried off a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it down, and delivered the lamb from its mouth. If it reared up against me, I would grab it by its fur, strike it down, and kill it. 36 Your servant has killed lions and bears; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.”

37 David added, “The LORD, who delivered me from the claws of the lion and the bear, will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”  “Go,” said Saul, “and may the LORD be with you.”

Now David knew the Lord.  He fellowshipped with Him.  David spent time meditating on the things of God.  David spent time praising and worshipping God.  When the lion and bear came, David was victorious, but David did not attribute the victory to his skill and prowess.  He did not look to his tools or his training.  He knew it was the Lord who delivered him.  So, when it came time to face Goliath, David had no illusions about who would be responsible for the victory.  His trust was in the Lord who had delivered him before.   He didn’t say that his ability to hit the target was the reason he felled the lion and the bear.  David didn’t say that he would defeat Goliath because of his strength or years of experience.  He didn’t say that it was because of who he was to God or because of the hours he had spent with God that made him victorious.  He didn’t say it was because of the alms he had given or the work and preparation he had done.  No, David said it is the Lord who delivered him from the bear and the lion, and it is the Lord who will deliver him from the hand of the Philistine.  That’s how you trust God.  You don’t rely on anything other than the Lord God.  You don’t put your focus and attention on the ways God can move or the people He can use to meet your need. Your focus and your hope must be in God Himself, alone.

So, how do you do that?  First, you must know Him.  Spend time with Him.  Build your confidence in Him.  Take God at His Word.  But to take God at His Word, you first have to know His Word.  Know His Word and believe it.  Hear it for yourself, not through an intermediary.  If you’re basing your trust on another person’s knowledge and experience, your trust is in that person, and in your belief in what that person has said. No, you have to study, you have to pray, you have to do and confess and know for yourself.  It takes time, and it takes effort.  Be consistent.  Whatever it is that you feel led to do, do that purposefully, intently, and consistently. 

Growing in the things of God and developing your faith in Him requires openness and willingness.  It is a deep understanding that He is smarter, and His ways are better.  It is an understanding that He doesn’t change and that His Word is true.  It’s a willingness to be completely honest and open and vulnerable to Him.  Lean on the knowledge that there should be no fear when you approach Him.  There should be reverence, but no fear.  He is love, and He loves you, and there is no fear in love.  He knows our mistakes already, anyway, and still, He draws us to Him.   

How to trust God?  Evaluate what you trust.  Is your trust in your job?  Is your trust in yourself?  Is your trust in your accounts or in your hope for the future?  Is your trust in other people’s generosity?  Is your trust in your tithes and offerings?  If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then your trust is not in God.  God does bless, but your trust should be in the God that blesses, not the blessing.

David did not trust in what had delivered him before.  No, his trust was in the one who had delivered him before and who would deliver him again.  His trust wasn’t in the way God would deliver him.  His trust was in the God who delivers, and ours should be too.

Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.