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Trust in God (the confidence you place in God to take care for you):

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 42:1-11; Psa 5:1-12; Psa 9:1-16; Psa 11:1-7).

Only benefits us to the degree that we trust.

(Mat 13:53-58; 1Chr 5:18-20)

Is why He decrees the tough times to come.

(2Co 1:8-9) = Notice Paul’s confidence (even in the midst of such despair). This is only due to the close relationship he already possessed w/the Lord.

Will be easy or hard based on the depth of our relationship w/God.

This is true of all relationships. 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. And the same is true w/God.

The way to GROW/GO DEEPER in our relationship w/Him so that we find trusting Him easier is (likewise) by spending time getting to know Him and ourselves. What this looks like is two things: 1) Listening and learning about Him, ourselves and the world we live in thru His words – which means attempting to understand what He is telling us about Himself, ourselves and our world thru the Bible’s teachings (Rom 15:4). 2) Talking to Him thru prayer – especially the Lord’s prayer since it is here that we are reminded of our purpose in living and His promises to us (Mat 6:9-15).

These TWO disciplines are how to spend time and grow/GO deeper in our relationship w/God. 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 bankrupt (AND in a BAD WAY).

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 – even though that is 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 (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).

In this light, consider David’s words in (Psa 22) = David had known/spent time getting to know God from the time of his birth – and as a result, the trust he had in Gods deliverance remains strong –even though things were incredibly rough. David felt at times as though God had abandoned him.

Tying points 2 and 3 together then – what can be said about trust in tough times is this:

The ease (or lack thereof) in trusting God during tough times is the best lithmus/life test for revealing how deep/good our relationship with Him really is.

CLOSING CONTEMPLATION = HOW MUCH and How EASY do you find it to trust GOD when things GET tough?