Trusting God can be one of the hardest things about the Christian life, but it's not impossible. In fact, it's an essential part of our faith journey because trusting God is the key to living a meaningful life—one that God can use and will bring Him glory (1 Corinthians 10:31; Matthew 5:16). So how can we learn to trust Him?
Learning to trust God is a very intentional process. It takes commitment to build a trusting relationship with a person, and it's the same with God. We wouldn't blindly trust someone we don't know, so making efforts to know God better is the first step.
The Bible is God's love letter to us, so it's the perfect place to start. Even if it's a single chapter or only a few verses, just make that commitment to read at least some of the Bible every day. This is how we get to know God's character—by seeing how He responds to people in both good and bad situations. We'll learn of His mercy and grace toward men and women who constantly mess up. (For example, read about the lives of the Israelites in the Old Testament!)
We'll also find God's promises in His word and see how He fulfills them. We'll discover stories about His faithfulness to His people. When we see examples of God's good character in His word, our own faith will be strengthened, because we'll see that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
If God was faithful to His promises in the lives of the people in the Bible, we can know He will be faithful in our own lives too. If God has never lied before, we can be assured He won't lie to us (Numbers 23:19; Psalm 89:34). If God has been faithful to fulfill every one of His promises, we know He won't let us down (Joshua 21:45; 1 Kings 8:56). God isn’t like humans who change all the time, rather He is a steady, powerful, and loving God who has our best interests in mind (Hebrews 13:8; James 1:17). No human could have all these attributes, but if they did, you could surely trust that person.
Talking to someone is one of the best ways to get to know them. We talk to God through prayer. He often answers back through His Word, the Holy Spirit, or even other believers, but there's no limit to how God will communicate with us. It might be through a beautiful sight in nature or through a kind word from a stranger. Be on the lookout for His answers; being aware of God's answers to our prayers is one way to develop our trust in Him.
Something I've found really helpful in learning to trust God is by keeping a prayer journal. All I do is write down what I'm praying for in a notebook along with the date. Some people will actually write their prayers out as they pray, which helps the mind slow down and really focus on what they're saying to God. Then as the days go by, I can look back at what I've written and see how God answered that prayer.
He may not answer right away or He may not answer in the way I was expecting, but I can be assured that He will answer because He's answered my prayers in the past. My journals are proof! If He says "no" to something I ask for, I can examine the situation again, because maybe He's trying to build my faith and trust in Him or teach me something about my heart. That's an answer in itself! (Also see: Why isn't God answering my prayer?)
Surround yourself with people who will encourage you in your spiritual journey, helping you learn more and grow your faith in the Lord. When we're in community with those whose lives are examples of how trustworthy God really is, we can be encouraged in our own walk with Him (1 Kings 8:56).
Proverbs 3:5-6 gives us a great promise about trusting in God, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." We may not always understand His ways, but we can be assured that they are good and that He has good purposes for our lives (Psalm 100:5; Isaiah 25:1; Ephesians 2:8-10).
At some point, we have to take our hands off the wheel and trust the God who made us. Besides, how silly is it that so many of us trust God for our eternal salvation in Jesus but can't seem to trust Him with the other aspects of our lives? 1 Thessalonians 5:24 encourages us that, "The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it." ("It" referring to God transforming us into complete holiness.)
The God who loves us enough to provide for us (Matthew 6:25-34), keep us from stumbling (Jude 1:24), and give everything needed for eternal life (John 3:16) is certainly worthy of our trust. He knows everything before it even happens (Psalm 139:1-12), He created you in your mother's womb (Psalm 139:13), and He loves you more than anything on this planet (1 John 3:1). Will you take the first step toward trusting your all-knowing, loving Heavenly Father today?
Trusting God is the key to living a meaningful life—one that God can use and will bring Him glory. Learning to trust God is a very intentional process that involves getting to know Him better through His Word, talking to Him, being aware of His responses to our prayers, and surrounding ourselves with a faithful community. Seeing how God has always been trustworthy and faithful in the true stories of the Bible and in the lives of those in our community shows that He's been trustworthy in the past and is trustworthy now. Keeping track of God's work in our lives will help remind us of how He has cared for us in the past, thus helping us trust that He will continue to care for us in the future.
Stephanie is a 21-year old with a passion to see believers grow and become passionate in their relationship with the Lord. She is a lover of sweat tea, sunshine, and the freedom that comes from Christ. In her free time, she can be found singing, playing guitar, writing or jamming out to Hawk Nelson, Phil Wickham, and worship music. Her dreams are to become a worship leader and a published author, while living a life full of fun and joy that comes from the Lord.