Psalm 56:3 states, “When I am afraid, I will trust in You.” This was one of my son’s favorite verses when he was in the hospital. I will never forget when he wrote it down and my wife took a picture of it and sent it to me. That verse was great for our son, Trey, but little would I know how much I would need that verse in my own life. There were times I was so afraid when he was in the hospital, and there are still times I get afraid now, even though I know he is with the Lord. When I get afraid, or have fear in my heart, I remember that I must choose to trust the only One who can remove my fear. I like what Psalm 16:8 says, “I have set the Lord before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” I have learned and continue to learn that to set the Lord before me is to recognize God’s presence and His constant help, but this is something I must choose to do. Trust is a choice, but it is often a difficult choice to make.
Why is that? Why is it so difficult to trust God? Deep down we know that God knows best and His ways are best, but yet we often struggle to trust Him in and through all things. As I have reflected on my own journey of learning to trust God, I have identified three things that often keep me from placing my trust fully in the Lord. These things must be combated with deep faith in God. As the famous quote goes, “Faith is not knowing what the future holds, but knowing who holds the future.” Even though Christians do know that all things will work out in eternity, we do not know how things will always work out on this earth. As we wait for eternity to unfold, what are the things we must combat on this earth that often attack our faith?
The first thing to combat is our feelings. Many people are prisoners to their feelings. As their feelings go, so goes their life. We all know that we cannot trust our feelings. Feelings can change like the weather and they are often so very fickle. When we are afraid, hurting, discouraged, sad, etc., we cannot let our feelings be in the driver’s seat of our lives. Instead, a real, deep, abiding faith in the Living God must be in control of our lives. This is a choice though. We must choose to trust in God instead of how we feel. Psalm 56:11 says, “In God I will trust, I shall not be afraid.” Remember this, trusting God is a matter of the will, and is not dependent on our feelings. As we choose to trust God, our feelings will eventually follow.
The second thing to combat is circumstances. It is hard to trust God, whom you cannot see, when things are falling apart in your life, which you can see. Like feelings, circumstances cannot be in the driver’s seat in your life. Why? Because things change all the time. This is why my favorite verse is 2 Corinthians 4:18 which says, “So we fix our eyes, not on what we CAN see, but on what we CANNOT see. For what is seen is temporary and what is unseen is eternal.” As Christians, we must choose to see the unseen, which is only possible by faith. Remember, your world may feel like it is falling apart, but as you trust God, He will provide peace and strength in the midst of your storm.
The third thing to combat is people. You have to be careful whom you listen to. When you are in a storm, the voice you need to hear most is God’s voice. Yes, God can use people to speak truth into your life, but if you are not careful, you will begin looking to people, instead of to God, and sometimes people can lead you astray. Only the truth keeps you grounded, centered, and hopeful. When you are suffering or hurting, what you need most is the truth. Get in God’s Word and rest in the promises He gives. God is 100% faithful and every one of His promises is true. He, and He alone, can be trusted, but you must choose to trust Him.
Never forget that trust is not a passive state of mind. Trust is a vigorous act of the soul by which we choose to embrace the promises of God and cling to them, in spite of the adversity that at times seeks to overwhelm us. This week, choose to trust God. He will never fail or forsake you.