It’s easy to say we trust God, but do we really? True trust means no worry, no taking back what you surrendered. True trust means peace. No matter what.
In our last episode, Ginny Yttrup joined us to talk about surrendering to God, and in the comments on the post we talked about how hard surrender can be and one of the things Ginny posted was: “Surrender is a walk of trust.” She nailed it. One short little sentence, very big idea. Because what she was saying was trusting is a prerequisite of surrendering. How can you surrender anything to God if you don’t deep in your gut trust Him?
We all THINK we trust God, but if we do, why do we worry, fret, take back what we’ve surrendered? Why do we struggle to find peace?
What is trust?
- New Oxford American Dictionary: “To believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of”
- New Oxford American Dictionary: “Have faith or confidence”
- Webster “To rely on the truthfulness or accuracy of”
- Webster “To place confidence, depend, hope”
If we’re talking about trusting God, we have to ask: Is God trustworthy?
Can we hope in Him?
Rely on Him?
Is He strong enough to do what He says He’ll do?
Sure it’s easy to say He is…on the surface, but what about the deep places? We talk on this podcast about the deep having different meanings, and often we talk about the place of struggle, but the deep is also a place of deep relationship with God. Deep abiding. Deep knowing. Deep communing. Deep…trust. If we want that kind of relationship with God, then we better settle the question in the deepest part of our being. Is God trustworthy? Because that’s going to affect everything going forward.
Is He trustworthy/truthful?
How do you decide? You look at what He says and does. What’s His track record?
Moses, at the end of his life, before the Israelites crossed the Jordan River into the promised land, reviews for them everything God had done. He gives them their history so that they can remember God’s track record.
- “The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” Deuteronomy 7:7-9
Joshua does the same thing at the end of his life:
- “Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.” Joshua 23:14
And God is still keeping His promises, like the promise of sending us a savior in Jesus:
- “From [David’s] descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as He promised.” Acts 13:23
So the evidence in Scripture proves that God is trustworthy, but what about strength?
Is He strong enough to do what He says?
Daniel chapter 3 talks about Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego in the furnace in Babylon:
- Nebuchadnezzar makes a big statue and forces everyone to worship it, but Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refuse, and they’re brought before Nebuchadnezzar who’s furious at this rebellion.
- He gives them a final chance and the consequences: “…if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” Nebuchadnezzar challenges God.
- Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego believed God was strong enough. They stood up to an angry king and said, “…the God we serve is able to deliver us …”
- They’re thrown into the hot fire, but they don’t die. Instead they’re walking around in the furnace. Nebuchadnezzar says, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”
- Nebuchadnezzar, a polytheistic pagan who believes in many gods, claims this God is the highest among them all. He concedes God’s dominance. ”I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”
Can we hope in God?
In 2 Chronicles 20:1-30, King Jehoshaphat and all of Judah face an attack from a vast army:
- “Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.”
- Jehoshaphat stands up in the assembly amidst everyone and prays to God. “Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you…”
- He goes on about how God said if His people cry out to Him, He will hear and save them.
- He finishes the prayer by saying, “Oh God, will you not judge them…For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you…”
- They don’t run around preparing for battle. They stand before the Lord…and wait.
- God answers them through one of the prophets and says, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s…You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you…”
- They worship God and obey Him. They go out the next morning praising God, and Jehoshaphat reminds them again to have faith. And they see God’s deliverance.
- God causes the different armies to slay each other and they all die. Israel doesn’t have to fight at all. They go down into the desert and collect the plunder, so much that it takes 3 days. And they have another celebration praising God.
God’s track record is impeccable. The point of these things being written in Scripture was exactly so we could have the hope and trust we need now.
- Romans 15:4 “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
When we believe God is trustworthy, it glorifies Him.
For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written: “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing the praises of your name.” Romans 15:8-9
How do we build trust?
Take Jehoshaphat’s example:
1) Look to God first: focus on Him first, not the problem, not your weakness. Focus on God and who He is.
- Acknowledge who God is – His sovereignty, strength, might. He’s capable.
- Acknowledge what He’s done in the past – He’s proven His trustworthiness. Confess the ways He’s shown that to you.
- Acknowledge the promises He’s made to you
- Confess your situation, your problem
- Confess your dependence on Him and your willingness to trust in Him
- Watch. Listen. Keep focusing on God.
- When you listen and He tells you to do something, do it
- Praise Him while you do what He’s commanded
Benefits of trust
- Peace. “You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].” Isaiah 26:3, Amplified version.
- Steadfastness. “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever.” Psalm 125:1
- Joy. Psalm 33:21 “In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.”
- Blessing. Psalm 52:8 “But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.”
We want to hear from you!
What promises has God fulfilled in your life?