Trust in God

That’s easier said than done, isn’t it? Trust in God – how do we do that, especially in the darker times when the temptation to doubt his goodness is strongest?

Firstly, it requires knowledge of him, which is why reading the Bible, reading testimonies of God’s goodness to the heroes of the faith down the centuries and listening to testimonies of our peers and church leaders is so important. Psalm 78 says:

[W]e will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
his power, and the wonders he has done.

Then they would put their trust in God.

Trust comes from knowledge, from recalling facts about how he has worked in the past to demonstrate that he is praiseworthy, powerful and a worker of wonders.

But second-hand knowledge only gets you so far. Knowing about God and his wonders isn’t sufficient to inspire trust when things look bleak. Immediately after telling his disciples “Trust in God; trust also in me.” (John 14:1), Jesus gives them some facts to rely on (“In my Father’s house are many rooms…”), but Thomas immediately starts saying ‘But wait, what about this…and that…? I don’t know all the facts…I don’t know the way to your Father’s house…”

Jesus doesn’t reassure him by laying out every piece of information he will need for the journey ahead; he reminds him of their relationship. The facts are important, but the thing that’s going to get the disciples through is knowing Jesus personally.

It is through relationship that we are able in the midst of fear, failure, sorrow or suffering to declare “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.”

Relationship, of course, comes through communication – prayer (the listening variety as well as the speaking), Bible reading for the purpose of hearing God’s voice more than just learning facts about him, and worship are all vital if we’re to cultivate the depth of relationship with God that allows us to trust him when the voices of doubt are shouting louder.

If we’re to be able to trust God in the valley of the shadow of death, we need to start communicating with him in the green pastures and following his lead beside the quiet waters. It’s hard to trust someone you don’t know, and it’s hard to get to know someone without communicating with them.

It’s not impossible, of course, which is good news for those who find themselves in times of trial before they’ve had a chance to spend years in deep study of and communion with God! That’s one reason why we’re encouraged to be in community with other believers, so that those who have experienced the trustworthiness of God, can pass on their stories of his goodness to others.

In other words, mature believers need to commit to honest, open communication with their brothers and sisters – those they are in relationship with, to pass on their first-hand knowledge of who God is and what he has done.

[T]ell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
his power, and the wonders he has done.

Then they would put their trust in God.

This post first appeared on ThinkTheology.

6 Comments On This Topic
  1. Tanya Marlow
    on Oct 11th at 8:43 am

    Great post! I especially like your exposition of John 14, how Jesus appeals to the relationship rather than knowledge itself. Thank you.

  2. naomilynnshawaomi
    on Oct 11th at 11:05 am

    Great thoughts on the reason for and power of testimony. Reminds me of Bill Johnson’s (Bethel Redding) teaching on how the Lord intended us to use the testimony, stories, of His miraculous deeds as a means to invite Him to come and ‘do it again’! The very root of the word testimony means to ‘do again’! How wonderful to know that as we share our stories – or even those tales of others’ victories, if we have none of our own yet – that we make room and create the atmosphere for God to do it all again!

    I love the way of the Kingdom! Let’s keep spreading the Good News of Heaven coming to earth – until the whole world hears!

    • Jennie Pollock
      on Oct 11th at 11:09 am

      Thanks Naomi, I did not know that about the word ‘testimony’ how interesting! And I love the thing about making space for God to do it again. What a wonderful mystery.

  3. godsidekurt
    on Oct 12th at 9:04 pm

    Loved your post on “Singleness” over on…I will be sharing it on my blog if you tomorrow if you wanna check it out. Blessings.

    • Jennie Pollock
      on Oct 12th at 11:48 pm

      Thanks so much, Kurt. Post the link here when you’ve done it so I can come and say hi!


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