What Does it Mean to Trust God?
By Dennis Farris
If you could run any kind of business, what would it be? Would you run a restaurant, a music store, or maybe a bakery? Maybe your business is successful, incredibly successful, and you make a ton of profit every day. Everyone loves your business, people are coming in from out of town to experience the quality and hard work you’ve put into all of it. You have a decent amount of savings built up and you have your next thirty years of life planned out. Suddenly, it happens. You feel that little nudge at your heart, a little prick at your soul. Maybe it was something the pastor said at church Sunday morning or maybe it was something that popped up in the news. Maybe it was something you overheard in a post-church conversation between two of your customers. God is calling you to something and it scares you greatly. You know that, if you choose to follow the calling, you won’t be making the money anymore. The thirty or so years you planned out in your life will no longer be within reach. You may even have to move away, to areas you would never think or dream. You realize that, in following God, you must give up everything. Ultimately, it comes down to a choice then— do you trust in God, or do you trust in your own plans?
Many of us in the mission field have had to make tough choices like this. I gave up a job that paid enough for me to afford the nice car I drive, along with other things, desires, and wants. There were also plans on promoting me to a new position with much better pay. I had the skills and knowledge to push myself far in any part of life I would desire to do so. It was a tough choice but, ultimately, I had to choose to trust in God to take care of me and lead me. I threw out years of plans for this simple, yet complex, idea to trust God. But what does it mean to trust God?
First, let’s establish that not everyone is called into the mission field. Not everyone will be called out of their workplace or out of their homes, to other countries, or to local missions. Some of us are simply called to serve in our local church and be a light to our communities. Our trust in God is all the same, regardless of our walk of life, and we will see that as we go into this blog.
To understand what it means to trust God, we must first define a few things, namely what trust is and who God is. The dictionary defines trust as the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. In essence, it is the absolute belief that something will do what is it designed to do, or that someone will do what their job entails, or will do what they said they will do. Trust, by itself, is an absolute, with no varying degree. When we place our trust in something or someone for a specific purpose, regarding that purpose, it is not an occasional trust. Unless we modify trust with an adjective such as “sometimes” or words such as “but” it stands firm, absolute in its definition.
We have written books upon books on theology, on the separate attributes of God and on His character. We cannot even begin to explain who God is within a short blog, but we can at least touch on a few of His attributes:
God is Omnipotent
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The entirety of Genesis 1 is a testament to His power and knowledge, as He alone created the very splendor of creation, the various different systems working together to enable everything to function, all created simply through a few spoken words.
God is Omniscient
According to Matthew 10:19-20, He even knows the number of hairs on each of our heads. Something seemingly insignificant, that would be nearly impossible for us to count, is known by God. In Psalm 139, God knows us and our design before we are born. God knows the very number of stars in the heavens, Psalm 147:4-5. He knows things we as humans could only attempt to know. He knows the hearts of men (Psalm 139:1-3), our desires, even our words before we speak (Psalm 139:4). There is nothing outside the knowledge and wisdom of God.
God Loves Us
The very Gospel, the foundation of our beliefs and our life in Christ, is a demonstration of the love of God. We know that God is righteous, holy, and good. He is the good judge and, before Him, anyone who has sinned, who has broken the law, must be punished. We do not enter a courtroom charged with a terrible crime and expect to get pardoned. We are not there to be judged for the good we’ve done but for the bad. Yet, God in His infinite wisdom, love, and grace, has chosen to give us salvation. Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned and Romans 6:23 declares the wages of sin is death, in that we should be judged and should only be found worthy of death. Yet, in His love for us (Romans 5:8), He chose to send His Son to die for us, who lived a perfect, sinless life, in order to atone for our sins. Simply by believing in Him, (John 3:16) we are cleared of our sin before the almighty Judge. This is the ultimate display of love, in that Christ, being God, would give His life for us. John 15:13 says that He would willingly lay down His life. He demonstrates His authority and power by rising again three days later. When we come before the almighty Judge, the God who is love sees those whom are called to the name of Christ and no longer sees the sin. This love is even furthered by the idea that we are not simply called of Christ but as children of God. 1 John 3:1 declares the love of God as such, that we, who were once called sinners, are now named the very children of God.
What does trusting in God look like? Our first sign of trusting in God is when we accept Christ, believing that He will indeed save those who are called to His name. However, outside that, trusting in God is not always easy. It can be difficult to see Him in the difficult times, as it can be far easier to see the things going wrong, to see the difficulties, and to start to panic or freak out. We see this when Peter stepped off the boat into the water, saw the waves and panicked, even with Christ right in front of him! Even following after the cloud of God, seeing all the miracles of God, Israel still groaned and griped about their situation and sinned. For some people, we often forget about God in our good times, and then blame God in the bad times, as though everything should be perfect. We cannot comprehend the bigger picture that God may have for us and often forget that God is the reason we can even have our good times.
In many cases, we may even forget about God’s involvement in our situations. We are more prone to trust in things tangible or noticeable, be it money or people. Even then, trust must be built up and gained through relationships and experience. Because of our experiences and relationships with things, it can be difficult for us to turn to something intangible, such as God. We start working on our plans, ideas, and try to gain what we can to get a foot in the situation, only to fail, or perhaps succeed and congratulate ourselves. However, beginning to trust in God is when we step back and realize our good times are a result of God’s providence and grace, of His power. That our successes, which seem due to ourselves, are simply because of the skills and abilities He has given us. When, in our bad times, we take a look at all the good things that’s happened for us, that when we shouldn’t have had food, we still did. When we shouldn’t have a place to sleep, we still do. We change our mindset to realize that God does and will provide for us all of our needs. For some of us, it was giving up comfort, personal financial stability, and a good job for the sake of following Him and His calling for us, that we might serve Him. When we place all of our needs and desires in His hands and get the pleasure and joy of watching Him provide for us. Ultimately, trusting in God is a decision we make to place our life in the hands of an almighty, all-knowing God who loves us, believing that He will take care of us through both good and difficult times.
Dennis is a part of the CBM Internship program, which exists to encourage young people to experience missions! To learn more about the CBM Internship program click :[www.childrensbibleministries.net/internships].