How Much Do You Trust God?

All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have a friend who tells me she doesn’t trust people very much. She has few friends because she is extremely careful where she places her trust. Of course, that attitude comes from a lifetime of deep disappointments. Here’s the truth of the matter: people are people. They are not always intent on harm or inconsiderateness (although some are). But they are often so self-involved that they don’t consider the consequences of their words and actions (or lack thereof).

If you’ve ever had a contractor who failed to show up for a scheduled job, you know how it feels. If you’ve been promised a promotion that you didn’t get, or help that didn’t come, you are less inclined to trust those people completely again. There’s a certain part of you that wonders if they will disappoint you one more time. It’s an unsettling place to be.

Trust means reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, and surety of a person or thing. It signifies confident expectation and hope. It’s the opposite of disappointment and mistrust. In today’s world, people often misplace their trust – in money or job, in family or friends, sometimes in alcohol or drugs. The problem with all those things is that they ultimately prove unreliable.

God is the only place to safely place your trust. Throughout the Bible, God showed His power and mercy on behalf of those who trusted Him. As a matter of fact, the Bible was written to demonstrate God’s great love for you, to show you His plans for your life, and to inspire you to trust Him with all your needs and desires.

There are many stories in the Bible that inspire trust in God. I believe that’s why He put them there, so you would learn that you can trust Him. Let’s look at a few:

The Story of Ruth

Ruth, raised a Moabite, left her family and homeland to accompany Naomi to Israel. There, she took responsibility to provide for herself and her mother-in-law, trusting God to show her what to do and give her favor in a strange culture.

And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother-in-law since the death of thine husband: and how thou has left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest now heretofore. The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust. (Ruth 2:11-13).

Ultimately, she married Boaz and became the great-grandmother of King David. Ruth went from homeless widow to wealthy matriarch by trusting God.

The Story of Abraham

You may remember Abram, who left home and family at the age of 75 to go to a land that God said, “I will show you.” Abram trusted God to lead him and show him when and where to stop. Obviously it worked, because several verses later, the Bible says … Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver and in gold. (Gen. 13:2).

Two chapters later, God promised the childless couple that they would have a child – an old man and a barren old woman. It made no sense from a logical point of view, but Abram trusted God. And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him (Gen. 21:5).

Fast-forward again. After waiting a century for the child, God did tempt [test] Abraham …Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom you love … and offer him for a burnt offering (Gen. 22:1). In essence, God asked Abraham, “Do you trust Me?” Abraham did, even to the point of tying Isaac on the altar.

Perhaps you remember the end of the story. God’s angel stopped the sacrifice, provided a ram in the thicket, and God spoke The Blessing upon Abraham saying, … in blessing, I will bless thee, and in multiplying, I will multiply thy seed … And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice, (Gen. 22:18) Abraham’s trust and absolute dependence on God led to blessings immeasurable – in his own life, and for all posterity.

The Story of Joseph

Born the favored son of a wealthy man, Joseph’s brothers, in a jealous rage, sold him into slavery. He ended up in Egypt, far from his home and family. And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian (Gen. 39:1). Seriously? Prosperous -as a slave? Then Potiphar’s wife, in a jealous rage, had him sent to prison. But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison (Gen. 39:21). Favor … in prison?

Joseph spent years in slavery and imprisonment, but he trusted God through all of it to take care of him. He maintained a good attitude (hence the favor), and performed his duties with excellence. Ultimately, he found favor with Pharaoh himself. Then Pharaoh sent, and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon (Gen. 41:14). God gave Joseph wisdom to interpret Pharaoh’s dream, and Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt (Gen. 41:41).

Joseph probably didn’t understand why he had to suffer through slavery and imprisonment, but the result of his faithfulness and trust was immeasurable. His trust in God’s protection and provision through all the miseries he faced resulted in blessing, promotion, and provision for the entire nation of Egypt.

The Test of Faith

The ultimate test of faith is how much can you trust God for? Are you willing to give up your home or your children, like Abraham? Are you willing to follow a path unseen and unspecified, like Ruth? Do you trust God for your food and clothing, like Joseph? Do you trust Him to heal a headache but not heart disease? Consider these trusting souls:

  • The woman with the issue of blood, who had been sick for 12 years, who said, “If I touch His garment, I will be whole.” She faced serious charges for even being in public, but was willing to trust in Jesus’ power to heal. And [Jesus] said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith [trust] hath made thee whole; go in peace (Luke 8:48).
  • The widow who had only enough oil and meal to make one more cake before she and her son faced starvation, yet she shared what little she had with Elijah. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD (I Kings 17:16).
  • Or the widow with two sons who faced slavery to pay for their father’s debts, who had only a pot of oil left in her house. Elisha told her to borrow pots from all her neighbors – not a few, he said. And it came to pass, when the vessels were full … He said, Go, sell the oil, and pay the debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest (2 Kings 4:6-7). Don’t you think the neighbors must have thought, ”What’s that crazy woman doing, borrowing all our vessels and pots when she doesn’t have anything?”
  • Jairus, whose daughter died while he went to get Jesus’ help; and then had to wait patiently while Jesus ministered to the woman with the issue of blood. Can you imagine the thoughts that must have bombarded Jairus’ mind – impatience, despair, anger at the interruption? But … Jesus answered him, saying, Fear not: believe [trust] only, and she shall be made whole (Luke 8:50).
  • Or the gravity-defying axe head that fell in the water. And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim (2 Kings 6:6).

Moses trusted Him to lead the Israelites across the Red Sea and through the wilderness, and to meet every need for the 2.5 million people who made the journey. Lepers came to Jesus, trusting Him to not only heal them but restore their decimated bodies. Blind, lame, dumb, maimed – all came, trusting … and Jesus healed them all. Nobody got left out!

The Ultimate Trust Test

Can you trust God? Consider the life of Jesus. He came to earth, knowing what He would face … and the consequences if He did not. His great love for His Father, and for every member of the human race, sent his family fleeing to Egypt when he was just a small child. He faced temptation and starvation in the desert, was hated and pursued by those in power, was beaten and tormented prior to facing crucifixion. Yet, Jesus trusted God to rescue Him from hell itself and was obedient even unto death.  As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep (John 10:15).

Jesus, unlike Joseph, could have walked away from the tests and trials. Here, as a man, He could have said, “I can’t do this, Father. Please don’t ask it of me.” Don’t you know, God would have come up with an alternate plan … just like He did in the Garden of Eden when Adam failed the test?

Instead, despite the terror and pain Jesus knew was coming, he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt (Matt. 26:39).

How much do you trust God? Do you let the issues and challenges overwhelm your thoughts and emotions? Or are you willing to ‘let go and let God’. All through the Bible, there are stories of people who had no recourse and no hope – yet they trusted Jehovah Jireh, translated ‘the LORD who provides’ (see Gen. 22:12-14). He never failed those who trusted Him, and He is ‘the same, yesterday, today and forever’. Whatever you need or desire, trust His great grace and mercy to provide exceeding abundantly above all you can ask or think. He can be trusted.

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