“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding”-Proverbs 3:5
With all your heart…
With all my heart…
With all my heart…?
This is one of those famous “go-to” verses in the Bible about trusting God. It’s one that I happen to love, too. However, I’ve recently been thinking a lot about that word “all.” I’ve dwelled on the concept of wholeheartedly trusting all that God is to be in control and take care of all that I am. Is it something that’s easier said than done? Absolutely.
Trust isn’t something that comes instantly. If someone you just recently met put a blindfold on you, put you in their car, and said, “Just trust me,” you wouldn’t. Right? You’d have a hundred questions. You’d (hopefully) go running in the other direction from that weirdo. You most certainly wouldn’t trust them. Why would you? After all, you just met them and you really have no idea who they are. They never earned your trust.
This might be an extreme analogy, but my point is that we can’t just instantly trust God either. No matter how badly we want to or how often we say we do, I believe that this trust is something that takes time to cultivate. I believe that we have to train our doubtful, limited minds to not only be able to put all of ourselves into God’s hands, but to do that and be at peace no matter how bad our lives may look at the time.
God loves us far too much to ever do anything but take care of us. Even so, this life is far from perfect and sometimes we face some super tough situations. Our lives may seem to fall apart at times, but God stays the same and promises to see us through it all.
“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:19
Read that last paragraph and that verse again. I bet you believe it, and I bet it sounds pretty good to you. It sounds pretty good to me. I know it’s the truth. It’s comforting to read that verse and know that God will always meet my needs. But really, how often is our trust in God really put to the test?
It’s easy to say we trust God when things get a little shaky. Maybe we’re stressed out about school or we’re having a really hard time at work because of issues with co-workers. These are difficult situations which we might pray about and tell God that we trust Him to work it out.
I think it’s easy to trust God in those situations and similar ones because we still have partial control over them. If we apply ourselves hard enough in school and make the time to study and do homework like we should, we can earn good grades. If we take the initiative to talk things out with co-workers, it’s very possible that we can work through whatever issues we have.
But what about when something is completely, utterly, 100% out of your control? Think about it: how many times do we really face situations where there is really nothing we can do to fix it? It isn’t every day. What if you lost your job? What if you found out you had cancer? Those are situations, along with plenty of others, where our trust is really tested. We have no choice but to trust that God has complete control over a situation that we have absolutely no control over.
I think that the key is this: we can’t wait for things to go terribly wrong in our lives and then figure out if we really trust God as much as we say we do. We can’t go along happily—day after day—and then try to build trust in God when we hit a wall. We need unshakable faith and trust in God before bad things come our way.
So with all that in mind, I was thinking about ways that we can build up our trust in God before we face a situation that will put us to the test. Here are a few things I came up with:
1. Trust Him with the little things.
Here’s a personal story for ya: Recently, I had a doctor’s appointment. It turned out that my doctor was slightly concerned about something and recommended that I go for further testing just to be safe. Even though she was just taking precautions, it was a scary thing to hear. Immediately I thought to myself, “You are covered by the blood of Jesus. You are going to be fine.”
Even so, my mind was running a million miles per hour. I prayed, asking God to give me peace and calm me down. He said to me, “I’ve come through for you so many times in the past. Even though this seems bigger and scarier to you, it’s all the same to Me. I’m going to take care of you just like I always have.”
Now THAT was the most comforting thing He could have told me. It’s a lot easier for me to trust God with big things because I have trusted Him with smaller things in the past. I began to think about all of the times He made me promises and followed through with them and made ways for me that I couldn’t have made on my own.
(These test results came back normal, by the way! I am perfectly fine!)
I have reasons to trust God with big things because I’ve given Him opportunities to make ways for me in the past.
Small situations that require trust are like building blocks. They help to build our faith up so when big strorms hit, we have something to hold on to. We have those little things to look back on as assurance that God will take care of us time and time again.
2. Give Him glory when things go right.
This ties in with #1. I believe God has a hand in all of our successes, whether it be a drive to work every day without getting into an accident or finding the person we want to spend the rest of our lives with. I don’t believe we get lucky. God makes small paths for us and he makes huge highways for us. No matter how big or small, He deserves praise for the good that comes our way.
By recognizing God’s sovereignty when things go right, we can become more and more confident that He will still be sovereign when things go wrong. Consciously thanking God for the good things He does for us helps us to remember that He is always doing good for us, even when the future becomes fuzzy.
3. Leave the bigger picture up to Him.
…even when things don’t look the way you had hoped or planned. If I’ve learned anything from following Jesus, it’s that I have absolutely no idea what the bigger picture is supposed to look like. If I had a dollar for every time I wanted things to go one way but they went another way, I would be rich enough to find a way to make it snow in Florida on Christmas (yeah, I’m super bitter about this blistering heat in December).
Looking back on all of those times, I can only say that I’m so grateful that God sees the bigger picture when I don’t! If I had it my way, I would have changed so many situations in my life that I wasn’t happy with. I’m confident that I would have royally screwed my life up and would not be where I am today.
Sometimes we simply just don’t get our way, and that’s okay. God has nothing but our best interest in mind, and sometimes we have to take roads that we never planned on taking in order to reach the places He wants us to be. After all, that’s where we want to be, right? Where God wants us. If that’s our desire in this life, then we can’t stress out when we don’t get what we want or when situations are less than ideal. That means we have to trust that He is leading us somewhere even better than where we are now!
Trust is a weird thing to me. It’s not the same for any two people because our lives are so completely different. There is not an exact science to becoming completely trusting in God and His love for us. However I hope this post at least makes you reflect on your life, no matter what kind of mess you might find yourself in, and that you will find your own ways to completely put your life into the hands on the One who made you.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.” -Jeremiah 17:7-8