What Does “Trusting God” Mean?

Trust is not one of my strong suits. I could try to blame my struggle on not knowing enough trustworthy people, but I know the problem is rooted in me . . . in my desire to protect myself and in my fear of getting hurt or let down.

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I know that not trusting others is one of my defense mechanisms. Whenever I’m faced with an issue requiring trust, I skip right over it and jump into evaluation mode.

I think to myself,

If I can gain a comprehensive knowledge of the problem, perhaps I’ll master it and escape trusting altogether. (Sounds like a guy named Gideon, doesn’t it?)

My issue with trust isn’t new; my attempts to grow in this area aren’t new either. I’ve studied the word trust thoroughly, but my studies didn’t make me feel much better about trusting.

I discovered that trust is about having tremendous confidence in someone or something, depending on someone or something for help. A lovely thought but not very encouraging.

Real Trust

I learned that real trust assumes that the one whom we trust demonstrates a fortified character of . . .

  • Honesty
  • Fairness
  • Truthfulness
  • Justice
  • Morality
  • Ethics
  • Consistency

By this time, if you’re like me, you’re thinking, “There’s no way! No one and nothing is that trustworthy!”

Here’s the conflict: Scripture says that there absolutely is someone that trustworthy.


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God’s Word calls us to trust in our heavenly Father without reservation, believing that He will sustain us and cause all things to work for our good (Romans 8:28).

My defense mechanism of not trusting others completely backfired when it came to God. You see, there is no stronger defense than Him. He is the answer to my struggle with trust—when I follow His call to trust, I discover that His character is fortified with . . .

  • Honesty
  • Fairness
  • Faithfulness
  • Truthfulnes
  • Justice

He is the ultimate example of one who is moral, ethical, and consistent. He is unfaltering. He is dependable.

Each time I trust Him, this truth settles deeper in my heart and my struggle with trusting grows less.

Let Me Hear From You

May I say today, I have learned that there is absolute freedom, joy, rest, and peace in trusting the sovereign, faithful Lord.

I want you to know this freedom, joy, rest, and peace for yourself.

If I can trust God, I bet you can do it too. Come on, take the leap!

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4 thoughts on “What Does “Trusting God” Mean?

  1. Mari,
    Oh Mari, I cannot imagine you grief; the deep valley of pain that continues. Fear is a dreadful, enslaving condition. Mari, I struggle with high levels of anxiety; panic attacks, chest pains, rapid heart rate, muscle tension, flashbacks-rooted in anxious fear. My son Jonathan was not diagnosed with Tourette’s until age 8. Before 2006, Jonathan had typical autism-it was manageable to some degree. Then, it all changed. I watch my son ‘go away’…as if his body and mind were taken over by Tourette’s, ADHD, OCD, ODD, Global anxiety disorder (GAD), and Mental retardation. I catch myself sometimes thinking on ‘what was’ and ‘what is’ now. A different reality that birthed a profound intimacy with Jesus Christ as my Lord. As excellent book, “A shepherd’s Look at Psalm 23” is extremely comforting. Here is a few examples. More than any other animal, God calls us sheep. We are sheep; he is the Shepherd-no surprise there. However, here are a few characteristics of sheep. They have no defense mechanism; they are scattered, helpless, suspicious, and always panicked. The ONLY calming agent for sheep is the presence of their shepherd. A Shepherd who has carefully and consistently proven himself faithful allows the sheep to rest without fear. Mari, I leave you with two thoughts. One: all fears remove us from what is true and right. Satan loves, loves, loves it when our minds are fixed on worry, fear, unrest, uncertainty, pain…it is all a distraction. Therefore, you must determine to take every thought captive-literally, and immerse your mind with truth. “Lord, I praise your for knowing this test result, you are faithful and good…Lord, I praise you in my weakness because I will see your strength filling my soul… “Lord, I thank you for giving me your truth, which calms all my fears and allows me to rest…stuff like that. Allow truth to remove fear. Two: Fear is rooted in what we cannot know. We cannot know what will happen in an hour, a day, a week…nothing (James). What do we know, God is unchanging, sovereign, and loves us without conditions. Whatever the circumstance, He is everything. Thank Him for how He is transforming you and growing an unspeakable intimacy for you to have with Him. Mari, please let me know how you are doing-really, my heart is near to you.

  2. Hi Colleen…I was perusing different entries of your (I love your heart) and wanted to tell you some things that have helped my broken heart. First, let me say that my 22 year old daughter (previously an honor student, staunch defender of the faith in her public schools) developed schizo-affective disorder, related to schizophrenia but not quite as severe; still it changed her into a person who can’t think well, has flattened emotions except despair and depression, and who is so socially anxious she will not come out of her room for days. Gone is the previous life. She rejects God now too, and scorns Christianity. These are the facts, not a pity party, as you know…now for the comfort. I’ve re-discovered the writings of Henri Nouwen, whom you may have read/heard of. There’s a book of his calleed “Lifesigns” and here’s a quote that ministers to me (this will be lont): Introduction: From the House of Fear to the House of Love
    “…we are a fearful people…there always seems to be something to fear: something within us or around us, something close or far away, something visible or invisible, something in ourselves, or in others, or in God.
    (p.4) “would there be so much fear if it were not useful to somebody? …Gradually, I began to see the simple fact that those I feared had a great power over me. Those who could make me afraid could also make me do what they wanted me to do. People are afraid for many reasons, but I am convinced that the close connection between power and fear deserves special attention.”
    (On all the “what if” fearful questions, p. 6) “Fearful questions never lead to love-filled answers. Underneath every fear-filled question, many more fear-filled questions are hidden…
    “If this is the case, the nature of the questions we raise is as important as the answers to our questions. Finding the right questions is as crucial as finding the right answers.”
    (p. 9) “…is it possible in this fear-provoking world to live in the House of Love and listen there to the questions raised by the Lord of Love? Or are we so accustomed to living in fear that we have become deaf to the Voice that says: “Do not be afraid.” This reassuring Voice, that repeats over and over again, “Do not be afraid, have no fear”, is the voice we most need to hear…heard by Zechariah…heard by Mary…heard by the women who came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been rolled away…the voice of God’s messesngers, be they angels or saints
    “It is a voice that announces a whole new way of being, a being in the House of Love, the house of the Lord…
    “It is I, do not be afraid,” (John 6:21) Jesus offers us this house right in the midst of our anxious world.”
    He had such anguish in his life, and described his journey to peace, which seems to be speaking to my heart…don’t know why I wanted to share this with you…maybe I just care.
    with sisterly affection and regard,

  3. Dear Doug,
    My apologies for not responding sooner; I’ve been out of the office but read your note and have pondered it often. Doug, though it seems impossible, you are exactly where God has allowed you to be. That may feel mean or wrong, but feelings must be servants to the truth, not considered as the truth. You are not alone, Doug! I have spent time in deep, dark, vacant soul crevices. The purpose is not to destroy you or your faith, it is for you to examine your beliefs, to seek the unchanging truths of God. Romans 12: 2 command us to renew our minds, II Cor. 10:5 command us to “take every thought captive”, in order to KNOW the Lord God as YOUR intimate savior, and to know His truth in this utterly lost world. Someday, you will believe these darkest of times were necessary in the transformation of your soul. I took the liberty to examine your comments because I wanted to show one of the practices which lead to a work in my soul. Please know, this is not a right or wrong deal-it’s dissecting areas of our live-knowing Him freely and resting in Him intimately. If time permitted, so many things could be discussed-call IFL-my extension is 5016 or continue writing on the blog. You can’t imagine how many people are in the same struggles and have questions just like you. Here’s the practice.
    If possible, highlight the I, Me, My,and Myself references. Then, underline any places mentioning or inferring a belief and/or expectation. Here goes:
    1)Examine your focus: “I”, “Me”, “My”, and “Myself”: I observed 27 “I”, 10 “Me”, 4 “My”, 2 “Myself”; perhaps alerting you to where you focus may be…your efforts, not God’s grace. God has already forgiven your sin, he is longing for you to rest in his gift of grace. Years ago, I was in a Bible study class, which included study during the week. I was exhausted and asked the Lord if my resting instead of studying was okay with Him. Without question, God showered me with His peace, love, and rest-worked in my soul without structured form. Doug, God desires the eyes of your heart to see Him-to firmly focus on His work, not on your efforts. Tell Him you are unable to reach for Him any longer. Ask Him if He will find you in all your struggles, then be still and rest. Tell Him you cannot see through the darkness, asking Him to be near or carry you through to safety. God, I am choosing to trust you, to believe you are faithful even through this dark, horrid valley. Reveal your presence to me, remind me of your faithfulness, bring to me your everlasting goodness, peace, and unconditional love; even when I look everywhere and you seem gone, may you empower me to believe you are with me.
    2) Examine what you expect or believe God will do: Countless Christians reject their faith because God didn’t hold up His end of the bargain…your expectations were never met. Without question, any belief that is not rooted in God’s truth is a false belief. What God says in His word is the truth-not what we think He’s said. One such example is the terribly misunderstood, false belief that “God won’t give us more than we can handle”. UGH! The statement assumes strong believers are able to endure suffering. NEVER. It’s referring to temptation, which is endured only by God’s filling us with His strength. In all things, we are broken, weak, incapable, and lost-God supplies what we need throughout life. Please consider your beliefs and expectations releasing them to God’s sovereignty over your life. Doug, I appreciate your time, this is a long reply. I’m delighted you shared your experiences-I believe there are many struggling with these things.
    Warmly, Colleen Swindoll

  4. I so want to trust, but trust requires faith and I can’t seem to wrap my brain, heart, soul around it. I know what I need to do, I pray constantly, but can’t seem to feel like it is ever enough. I feel as though God is not hearing me, not listening…my heart aches searching for my place with Him. Feeling like a failure to myself and my family keeps me from giving myself to Him. I hear about those that “give it all to God” and I so want to do that because I cannot handle the pressures–I feel. I know God has it all under control, but back to faith. I feel God is preparing me for great things, but at this point-it could not come fast enough! I don’t know what I am expecting Him to do, perhaps release me from my strife and give me the gift of grace, faith, and trust. I want it, I just don’t know how to get it or let it happen…
    I love church and I feel fully alive when I am there…then I get home and doubt powers forward bringing me down making me question everything. I have a hard time waiting, I don’t know what I am waiting on. What is the test, and how does one “survive” the test. I know that God will never give us more than we can handle–but I question whether I can handle what He is bringing me as it totally incapacitates me–how do I over come this? Trust, faith, confidence, love, all I feel short on, but long on love for God…how can I make these all meet one another? Thank you