The Problem with Trusting God

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Road to Arcadia
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When I graduated from high school, I received all sorts of cards, wall hanging and picture frames. On them were sayings like:

Reach for the stars!

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you.” Jeremiah 29:11

Unlock your potential!

With God as the captain of your ship, you’ll never be steered wrong!

I knew these words were meant with the best intentions but at the time they really kind-of scared me. Because I honestly didn’t know if God was captain my ship or if He actually did have prosperous plans for me.

My faith didn’t really become personal to me until I was in my first year of college, in the place I was sure God had “steered” me, and yet the place where I was incredibly miserable. It took many months and late nights of pouring over Scripture for me to realize that I truly wasn’t where God wanted me to be but instead simply following my own plans because of what had seemed to fall into place. I was “reaching for the stars” if you will, but it was in vain.

Finally I was brought to a place where I yielded control of my life to God and through His grace was able to see where He really wanted me to be (it was somewhere I’d never expected!). And truly it gave me peace to trust the Lord.

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Fast-forward 13 years later and I’m at the same crossroads again. Ready for change, feeling led as a family to make some big adjustments according to our convictions. And yet, this time, after praying through something that has been on my mind for a long while, it all of a sudden blew up in my face. Hopes crushed, plans unfulfilled and me left wondering why.

And for some reason it seems trite when people throw out the same type of “sayings” that were on my graduation cards:

Everything will be fine, just trust God. He knows what He’s doing!

Isn’t it great to know God has a plan for your life?

Something better will come along, I promise!

Yet I wonder if I’m the person that says those things unknowingly too, without really thinking of what the person I’m saying them to is going through. Doubt. Frustration. Maybe disbelief and anger.

All those emotions and more have been on my mind these days and yet those feelings don’t change the situation. And I know now that I had a problem. Still have that problem, actually.

It’s something I’ve been learning all my life, going back to those first days in college when it finally became clear to me.

The problem isn’t putting our trust in God. That will never lead us astray. But my disbelief and doubt stems from the fact that I was trusting an outcome, instead of God.

If you have a type-A, control freak personality like yours truly, you know what I mean. Yielding to the God of the universe and trusting Him, really trusting, is a tedious and painful process. It really shouldn’t be, and I’m ashamed to say that it is that way sometimes, but it can be used for good. For molding us into the people God desires us to be and showing us that we, in fact, are not the creator of the universe.


And the Lord said to Job: 

“Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.”

Then Job answered the Lord and said:

“Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you?
I lay my hand on my mouth.
I have spoken once and I will not answer;
twice, but I will proceed no further.”

Job 40:1-3



Does trusting God mean I will have a great revelation and understand exactly why this has happened? Not necessarily. And it also isn’t a guarantee that by some act of my own that I will easily submit to the will of God in the future. But it does mean I have to let go of the things I thought I knew, once again, and believe the truths of the Word.

“Trust in Him at all times, O people, pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:8 

Yes, pour out your heart! Telling God how you feel, asking for His grace, resting on His mercy. He really does know what He’s doing. It doesn’t mean the situation will immediately turn itself around or that things will all of a sudden make sense, but falling back on God’s grace comes with a promise, that He will never leave us or forsake us.

Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve had trouble trusting God? I’d love to encourage you and pray for you, so please share with us if you feel led.

Linked up at Tending the Home Tuesdays and Time-Warp Wife.

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Jenn

Blogger/ Author at The Purposeful Mom
Hi, I'm Jenn! I'm happily married to my college sweetheart, mother to four wonderfully spunky children and a woman who needs a whole lot of Jesus! I spend most of my time taking care of my home and family, reading good books, blogging and dreaming up ways that I can finally have a perfectly organized home--ha!

Comments

  1. says

    Fabulous post — and so true! We’ve been in a journey of trusting God and you are so right — our faith wavers when we don’t like the outcome! We like to trust when all turns out well, but not when everything seems to be falling apart! However, I know He uses those times in our life just as much if not more than the good times when everything is falling into place! Thanks for sharing! :) I came over from Time-Warp Wife!

    blessings,
    Elizabeth

  2. says

    Stopping by from Women Living Well Link Up. Thank you so much for a beautifully written truthful post, I am this A type you talk of and I have found it so hard to not want to override God, I am still working on that. Have a blessed day. Tara.

  3. says

    WOW– I am totally there right now. In fact, we are about to make some serious life changing decisions that seem crazy, but know that is the path that God is leading us down. I am scared of the outcome, but peaceful at the same time.

    Thanks for sharing this today. I needed to hear it.

  4. says

    Jenn, this was so encouraging to me. I needed this today and I am sure many other women were touched by it too. Thank you! I am going to feature this in my Weekly Wrap Up tomorrow.

  5. says

    I have that problem right now. My biggest issue is that I don’t really think He loves me or want what’s best for me, so trusting Him is complicated. I do want to but I don’t know how to.
    Recently I was up for a job (I’ve been 2 years unemployed) and everything was going great, until I decide to pray to God (after I decided, a few weeks back I was done with Him, since He has been ignoring me for the last few years) but I prayed anyway and I didn’t get the job. Another proof He doesn’t love me so much. So now I’m back to square one, I don’t have anything left, no pride, no hope,nothing. I really want to feel peace by praying to Him, trusting Him, But He’s not making it easy for me to trust Him, He’s let me down too many times already.

  6. says

    Dear Ambar,

    I will put this in multiple responses because it became too long :/

    Hi, my name is Lindsey. I read your comment and just had to respond. I hurt for you situation, because I have been there. I am there.

    I am a stay at home mom. My husband has been unemployed for nearly half of our six year marriage. We have 4 children and have moved to different parts of the country multiple times to try and find work to no avail sometimes. It has been hard. It has been miserable, and it really does leave you wondering “What have I done wrong, that my life has turned out this way?” We never expected life to be like this.

    I have spent many sleepless nights praying that God would do something huge to just blow our minds. My husband and I have both cried on our face on the floor that God would provide for him a job to support our family. Six months later we are still without a job … but … He has taken care of us through other means. He has answered our prayers and met our needs, but just not in the way we expected or even thought we needed.

    I think it comes down to really understanding our place before God and who God is.

    We are all sinners and deserve nothing but death, but God in His great mercy decided to set His love upon us before time began (Romans 6:23). He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins. He took the wrath reserved for us so that we did not have to die but could live in eternity with the Father, our Father.

    “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

    God already showed His great love, and it is beyond anything we ever deserved. We cannot understand His mercy and love without first understanding what He saves His children from.

  7. says

    God promises us – and God cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18, Titus 1:2) – that He loves us and will be faithful to us. We have so many examples in His Word of how he has showed His love to very unlovable people. He was faithful to the Israelites even though the continually scored Him and disobeyed Him. He loved Him and was loyal to them but also disciplined them. ( Hebrews 12)

    “If we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13)

    “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

    God promises those whom He loves that because of His great love for them He will do all He can to accomplish what is best for them. What is best for us is usually not what we just want or desire. Often what is best for us, what makes us better people, more like Christ, more obedient to God is what hurts for a time … sometimes even a long time. God sometimes disciplines His children to make them more like Christ. Other times God just allows trials which come about because of general sin in the world to help us become more like Christ. Because there is sin in this world we suffer. God promised that all His disciples would suffer in this life, possibly even die. We deserve no more than Christ Himself received while He was on earth.

    God gives us His Word, the Bible, to reveal Himself to us. He promises us that He will never leave nor forsake His own. He gives His Holy Spirit to those whom He saves to reassure His children that He is there. His children bear fruit which in turn proves their salvation. As His disciples we are sanctified (made more like Christ) as we journey through the trials of life and are disciplined when we disobey. When you are a Christian during those times it is difficult to see Christ working outwardly we stand on the promises given to us in God’s Word. We look to how God worked in the lives of others and has proved Himself over and over again. We do not expect God to prove Himself to us because He is God. We realize we are but the clay and He is the potter. We must trust – have faith – that His Word is true and He will not forsake His own but bring them into the shelter of His never failing love.

    “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:21-25

    “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

    I know you are hurting. I am hurting too, but God is faithful and whether we see it at this moment or in the next five years it does not change His faithfulness. God does not exist for our bidding, we exist for God’s glory. Continue to pray that God will reveal Himself to you, that He will be real to you so that you can believe. If you desire to talk more, I would love to share more of my story and help in any way. My email is roadto31@gmail.com

    “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” 1 Peter 4:19

  8. says

    Thanks Lindsey to take the time to share your story and point of view, I really appreciate it.
    I guess I’ll have to wait and see if someday I can trust Him and feel His presence.
    Thank you

    • says

      Ambar, I thought of you early this morning. My heart has been heavy as of late so I couldn’t sleep. I began reading a sermon series by a well known pastor, John Piper. I thought you might be able to glean something from it as I was. I will add the link below.

      “Trusting God’s promises is the most fundamental way that you can consciously glorify God. When you believe a promise of God, you honor God’s ability to do what he promised and his willingness to do what he promised and his wisdom to know how to do it. … Nothing dishonors God more than not to believe what he says. Or to put it positively, if our goal is to glorify God in all that we do, then we must make it our aim in all that we do to believe the promises of God.”

      http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/battling-unbelief-at-bethlehem

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