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How Do I Trust?

Everybody trusts in something, even if it’s in ourselves, or in money, or in authority, or in gravity, if nothing else. But the defining factor is not even that we trust in something. The issue is with where we place our trust.
It seems almost backwards that we should shift our trust from ourselves unto God. After all, we spent most of our adolescent years shifting our reliance off of our parents to build our trust and dependence in ourselves. And now we’re supposed to take all of that hard-earned trust, and just give it all away to God? It hardly seems logical. But it is necessary. 

Of course I’m not saying that we should not be confident in ourselves as far as knowing and believing who God says we are, and walking in the authority of Christ on the earth. That is in fact very necessary, but it comes in a humility which realizes that we can do nothing except through Christ who strengthens us (John 15:5, Philippians 4:13).
So then how exactly do we do it? How do we really trust? It’s quite simple, really . . . trust is a choice. There are no secret formulas or simple steps to trusting in God. It’s just a choice. But there are some ways that we can posture ourselves that will make it easier for us to make that choice. The first one is to admit to your own weakness.

Admit Your Weakness

Learning to trust God is really about dying to yourself. In order to trust in God, you first have to move your trust away from the things that you’ve learned so much to rely on—most of all, yourself.
Take a look with me at John 15:4-5:

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

We can bear no fruit apart from God. Until we admit our own weaknesses and shortcomings—our own inability to fulfill our deepest desires—we have no reason to trust in God. So long as we believe that we can make it on our own, we won’t even be able to trust fully in God.
In essence, this comes down to an issue of expectations. We know what to expect from ourselves. It’s safe. We can predict our own actions (most of the time). But with God, well, “of course He isn’t safe. But He’s good.” (C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe)
God is not tame. He’s not controllable. He’s not a system or rule that we can predict. He’s a being of His own, with thoughts and feelings and free will. Now certainly, just like with any other person, the more you know Him, there is a level to which you can set your expectations based on His character, but ultimately, God can do whatever He wants.

“‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

You’re just going to have to accept that you can’t do it on your own. You’re not strong enough. And that’s OK. It’s not wrong to be weak—it’s entirely normal, and perhaps exactly as it should be, because it’s in our weakness that He is strong. Remember, your weakness is the very thing that allows God’s strength to work in your life, so keep your eyes on Him and you’ll be alright. And that’s where you’ll find the next part of posturing yourself for trusting God.

Remember His Strength

A thousand different sermons could be given on Matthew 18:3-4 (also Mark 10:15 and Luke 18:17), and every one could portray a different aspect of what it means to “be converted and become as little children” and to “humble himself like this little child”. Yet one more aspect of little children is their complete trust in the strength of their fathers.
As a little child soars into the air, tossed by her father’s strong arms, she fully trusts that her father can and will catch her. When the little boy is frightened, he clings tightly to his father and looks to him for protection. He looks to his father and mimics his bravery and heroism.
Every child, when they are young (and barring extreme circumstances), holds their father in such high esteem. They are the strongest, fastest, and coolest person in the universe.
Yet somewhere along the line, we forget this about our fathers - usually as we learn to trust in our own strength - and we forget this about our Heavenly Father as well.
Sure, we know He is good and strong and faithful in one sense, but there seems to be some disconnect between that knowledge and the way we feel when we most need to trust Him.

Remind yourself of His sovereignty. Remind yourself of His strength. Remind yourself of His faithfulness. Most of all, remind yourself of His great, great love for you. You can do this any time just by remembering what God has done for you and who He has been for you in the past. If you have the Scriptures available to you, you can find almost endless accounts of the character and strength of God throughout history. Job is a great place to start for His sovereignty and strength, and for love, you need only to look to the Gospels to see how much He loves you.
When we remember these things, we are giving ourselves reason to place our trust in God. Especially as we remember what He’s done for us in the past, there’s no better proof than our own experience that He will come through for us again.

Find Accountability

We are a forgetful people! Though these first steps could alone help you posture yourself to trust in God, it won’t be easy to remember them when you really need them. That’s why this next step is so important.
You need to find someone in your life who exhibits a strong trust in God and ask them to hold you accountable. It’s so important to have someone in your life with an outside view who can help you put things in perspective and remind you of the first two steps. It’s also important that the person you find has the posture of, “Let’s pray about it,” and not, “Go pray about it.” Sometimes you do need to seek the Lord privately, but you need someone who will walk with you—not someone who will just give you advice and then send you on your way.
We were made to be social creatures for a reason, and I know this is difficult (believe me, do I know!), but it is so important to share your journey with someone else. Look at the Scriptures. When it says to confess your sins to God, it is always that you might be forgiven (1 John 1:9), and when it says to confess your sins to one another (James 5:16), it is that you might be healed. You cannot have true freedom without both of these things.

God is more than enough to meet our every need, but we have to understand that He uses the natural as well as the spiritual to do it. In all creation, the first thing He ever called bad was for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18“It is not good that man should be alone”). And in one of the last recorded prayers of Jesus, we see His cry that “they may be one just as we are one.” (John 17:22) He created the natural to coexist with the spiritual, and He created us to share life with others like us. There’s just no other way . . . we need each other for our healing and freedom and to enjoy life abundantly.

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