Actually Trusting God

Knowing God can be trusted and actually trusting God are two different things.  One is just simple knowledge, the other is the application of the knowledge.  One is easier than the other.  But also our understanding of who God is helps us be able to actually trust him.  We can have no worries about the unknown future, results, and have peace with Joy; all from actually trusting God.

The Knowledge of the Trustworthiness of God

We can know for an absolute fact God can be trusted.  Isaiah 26:4 makes this clear: “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal“.  Forever and eternal are things that never end and never fail.  Thus, his will never ends and never fails making him the most trustworthy being in all reality.  Jeremiah 17:5-8 is the best on this topic:

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
    who draws strength from mere flesh
    and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
    they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
    in a salt land where no one lives.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”

Trusting the will of the flesh (including yourself) and in other people is unreliable.  “When” problems come, which they will, trusting in someone or something other than God leads people away from God AND the WILL eventually fail.  BUT trusting in God, when problems come, is the absolute assurance that there is nothing to worry about in the face of trouble.  That God’s will and light WILL shine through those who trust God in the mist of their problems.  The key is being content with God’s will. 


The Holy Spirit declares through Paul that in everything God has planned and does for those who have faith in him will AWAYS result in goodness and the eternal benefit for those who believe (Romans 8:28).  BUT this is where modern charismatic and prosperity teachers twist scripture.  One of the hard lessons that we need to accept is that the eternal benefit and goodness may be simply knowing God and receiving the gift of eternal life and not material gain or good health.  But, eternal life and knowing God is eternally greater than any amount of wealth or good health in this life.  This contentment only found in accepting and trusting God’s will reveals a lot about our own hearts.  Do we actually trust that God is good, or do we feel our wants and desires are more good?

Unchanging

Another characteristic of God that makes him absolutely trustworthy is the fact he does not change.  He has the absolute greatest and best plan from before creation and this plan does not change, it does not need to; it is the best possible plan.  He is the source of all knowledge and sits outside of time allowing him to see all of time.  He has knowledge of all time before creation of time.  Thus, he knows the most beneficial result and goodness for each believer before they were created.  He knows more than us, sees more than us, and understands what is good far greater than us.  If God would go back on his plans and change is mind than he would not be trustworthy.  You may trust in God’s plan at one moment and then God changes his mind at the next moment.  That would make him unreliable, inconsistent, and untrustworthy.  Mal 3:6 God declares “For I the Lord do not change”.  So, if he does change… than he would be a liar too.

Applying The Knowledge of Trust

God wants us to take acts in faith.  Just sitting around telling people you believe in God is no different than demons having the knowledge of God’s existence (James 2:19).  Trusting God is not passive but is active.  James beats it in our heads that faith and trusting God WILL compel us to living out that trust and faith (James 2:29). The title of the chapter says it all “faith without works is dead”.  What is the work in this context?

We set forth plans and take steps of action for the purpose of loving God and our neighbor with God’s Glory as the ultimate goal.  God may close doors or lead us in a different direction causing us to adjust our plans.  It is trusting God in the unknown and accepting ANY kind of result from our efforts. 

The Unknown Future

We do not know the outcomes of our plans.  We can assume, research statistics, and make seemingly reliable calculated decisions but God is God.  We may have the greatest Gospel presentation memorized to perfection, plan the optimal date, time, and place to meet with the most open seeking person and then boom; our car breaks down.  We may weight the pros and cons of a job move and feel like we have made the best decision for our future and boom government action hurts the business and they freeze hiring.  But, with the broken down car and undesired job situation; it happened for the reason that only God knows and foresees; and we can trust that the future end result is perfect and good even though our small brains can not understand.

Flexibility Is Acceptance 

Even the Apostles had to remain flexible in their plans to spread the Gospel and grow the church.  Paul wanted to travel the world and plant churches everywhere, yet, it was God’s will for him to sit in Jail; but little did he know, he would evangelize the guards and convert even members of Nero’s family, from jail!  He didn’t see that coming.  Paul understood this Flexible Planning for God’s Will.  Acts 16:6-7 makes this clear: “Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to”  Paul planned one thing, The Holy Spirit had another plan, a greater plan.  Remaining flexible is us accepting the fact that God’s Will is greater than our own and allowing us to continually conform to what ever God has planned. God’ doesn’t change, we do, for him.


The Results


The last part of applying the knowledge of God’s Trustworthiness is leaving the results up to him.  We can willingly do this because we TRUST that they will be good no matter what the initial apparent result looks like.  If, on our way to give a the perfect gospel presentation to a seeking friend and our car breaks down, we can then get a ride and still meet up with that person.  Then, lets say we gave that perfect gospel presentation and our seeking friend just says “cool,  but I don’t believe it”.  Then what?  We leave that to God.  There are an infinite amount of possibilities that WILL lead to eternal good and God’s greatness; just that at that moment like we had hoped.  We can trust that even though we do not get the desired results at that moment, that God is trustworthy in his ultimate Goodness.  The results may never be seen by us.  The results may even be our hearts being changed in a greater understanding of God and his Glory.  Whatever, and whenever the results take place; they WILL be good, because God is Good; and THAT we CAN absolutely trust in.  


Overall Actualized Trust

  1. Know and desire God’s Will and His desires and commands
    1. Love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself
      1. Make disciples of all nations and proclaim The Gospel of Jesus Christ.
      2. Fulfill all ordained responsibilities: (husbands, wives, elders, deacons)
  2. Take #1 and apply it to Planning and Goal setting
  3. Pray that your heart is willing to be flexible if plans change and goals are not specifically achieved.
  4. If God changes our plans and our goals, revise with #1 in mind.
  5. Pray that your heart is willing to accept ANY result ordained by God.
  6. Give thanks and praise God for ANY and ALL results (good or bad) or changes.

Notice that PRAYER is extremely important. It does not ‘change’ God’s mind but it conforms YOUR heart to what ever His Will is and will be.  It keeps us focused on the sovereignty of God and supports our trust in him at the task in hand.


Deny Your Self


In order for us to allow ourselves to trust God fully, we must denounce our wants and desires.  We must be willing to give ourselves up for God’s Will and his Glory.  Choosing to take a more difficult job or a job with less pay for God’s Glory takes a lot of self-denial.  Having to confront a close christian friend about sin they are living in takes a lot of trust that God will restore them.  Even the seemingly easy decision to sell an super expensive exotic car because of our sinful hearts the car is negatively influencing is a tough decision with God’s Glory in mind. 


Once we empty ourselves and deny our selfish prideful wills; the ability to be flexible and accepting of what ever God’s plan is becomes easier and we become more content in our faith.


At the end of it all, God’s Will will be done no matter what.  Actually trusting God brings us peace with this and allows us to experience Joy in this life no matter the goals and results of our plans.  We can have peace and joy during the hardest times!  We can have peace and joy in the mist of hardship and hatred!  We can trust God that all things will result for good; in the mist of trials and problems!  Actually trusting God brings him his due glory, honor, praise for all eternity and He gives us peace and joy in this life! 


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