Trust in God (the confidence you place in God to take care for you as the One Who is perfect in wisdom and understanding, love and power, righteousness and faithfulness to deliver on His promises ):
- Is a commitment based on the facts of who God is and what He has said or done not how we feel.
(Hab 3:16-19; Luk 22:41-44 w/1Pe 2:23; 1Pe 4:19 w/5:6-10 commitment to the facts requires actively recalling those facts (as it re: to who God is and what He has said or done) (e.g. Psa 143:1-12; Psa 9:1-16; Psa 11:1-7).
- Only benefits us to the degree that we trust.
- Is why He decrees the tough times to come.
- Will be easy or hard based on the depth of our relationship w/God.
The less I know someone, the harder it is for me to trust them (e.g. “I don’t really know them that well”). And the only way to know someone better (i.e. to possess a deeper – more trusting relationship w/them) is by spending time learning about each other. This is what I call “reciprocating self-disclosure” and is the basis of all relationships – including our relationship w/God (RS-D = revealing our hearts/persons to one another). The way to accomplish “reciprocating self-disclosure” w/God and GROW/GO DEEPER in our relationship w/Him so that we find trusting Him easier is by spending time getting to know Him personally (His thoughts/feelings/desires/the facts of Who He is and what He has done) and thru His listening to His Words and (then) communicating back to Him (who we are – our thoughts/feelings/desires/etc) thru prayer. And the most important time to be doing this is when the GOING is good (i.e. you prepare for war in the times of peace) —otherwise when the tough times (and their subsequent distractions) COME, you wb have a hard time trusting God. Unfortunately this is where a lot of Christians seem to be when the going gets tough (they have a hard time trusting God thru the trials – b/c they SLACKED in their relationship when things were good). THEY DON’T KNOW HIM that well (and so) have a HARD TIME (really) trusting HIM when THINGS GET ROCKY —the same way it IS w/trusting anyone else you didn’t that well.
In times of CRISIS, OUR GO-TO people will always BE those we have the deepest/closest relationships WITH (even if they are the last people we sb trusting). We are WIRED that way – WE GO BACK to what (or WHO) we know (regardless of the fact that they might be BAD/untrustworthy people).
Hence the reason people go back to abusive relationships/unhealthy lifestyles – even though they are the reason things are tough to begin w/. It is b/c that person (in those cases) is the only ONE they ever GREW close enough to TRUST. (Again) WE ALWAYS GO BACK to what/who we know.
SO, IF you want to make TRUSTING GOD easier (especially during those tough times), then you need to spend the NECESSARY time getting to know HIM and HIM – you (when things are not tough). Otherwise, the tough time (you are going thru) will include also (the tough time) of putting your trust in a God you don’t know (that well).
*The ease (or lack thereof) in trusting God during tough times is, therefore, the best litmus/life test for revealing how deep/good our relationship with Him really is.
- Is what He wants in relation to those things He has promised.
What He has promised:
5.1. PURPOSE: All things that happen in our lives will benefit us (Rom 8:28; Mat 6:9-10)
5.2. PROVISION: We will possess everything we need to live blessed lives – i.e. happy/joyful, desire-realizing, faithful, God-glorifying lives (Psa 37:1-11, 16-31; Mat 6:11; e.g. desires – Gen 2:18-23 = God promises to provide a helper/spouse customized to you)
5.3. PARDON: We will receive forgiveness for our sins, salvation from eternal wrath (Jer 31:34; Eph 1:7; Mat 6:12)
5.4. PROTECTION: We will be protected from such blessedness being taken away by evil or evil people (Psa 37:12-15, 35-40; Psa 46:1-11; Mat 6:13; Joh 14:1-3)
5.5. PARADISE: We will inherit the blessings of the kingdom (now) and eternal life in the perfect paradise of the world to come (Joh 3:16; Mat 6:13 Fn)
- Is not what He wants in relation to things He has not promised.
(Jam 4:1-4 = Trust in God for sinful things/things that will ultimately bring their destruction and the destruction of others is NEVER what God wants – nor what He promises to give. Hence the reason Jesus calls Peter “Satan” in Mat 16:21-23)
- Does not negate being responsible.
Our trust in God for the above promises does not mean that no effort on our part is required. Instead, such effort in these areas is part of our God-ordained responsibility and the secondary means God uses to deliver on what He has promised. For example as it re: to:
7.1. PURPOSE: we are to be committing everything we do to our God-ordained purpose (Col 3:17)
7.2. PROVISION: we are to work/labor to realize what we need or want (Mat 6:26, 33; 2Th 3:10 = Paul’s command here is as much about discipline as it is upholding this principle of provision thru labor)
7.3. PARDON: we must seek justice/repent if we want to receive God’s forgiveness (Luk 3:3-14)
7.4. PROTECTION: we are to mindful of the wicked world we live in and protect ourselves (Luk 22:36)
7.5. PARADISE: we must be faithfully obedient to all of God’s laws if we hope to realize the blessings of the kingdom (now) and heaven (later) (Psa 50:16-17, 23; Psa 66:16-20) – Notice the connection between faithfulness and the ability to trust in God (or expect Him to care for you: (Psa 34; Psa 37:3-6, 34-40; Psa 52; Psa 55:22-23; Psa 86:1-2; 2Co 1:8-14; Heb 13:5; 1Jo 3:21-22 – this is why James can say what he does in – Jam 5:16b “the prayer of a righteous man has great power” or “avails much”).
Such faithfulness (unto “effectual trust”) includes those who become repentant/compliant (Psa 32:10-11; e.g. Jon 1:17-2:10).
Example of unfaithfulness causing your trust to not be effectual (unto provision/protection, etc.) = Something so small and stupid as you won’t put your dog on leash (though that is what the law requires where you live) (Mat 5:17-20).
CLOSING CHALLENGE (Pro 3:1-26)
 In a 2015 Psychology Today article, the writer reports the following based on the studied observations of social/behavioral scientists, “Self-disclosure promotes attraction. People feel a sense of closeness [or trust] to others who reveal their vulnerabilities, innermost thoughts and facts about themselves.”