“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)
Those were the words of a desperate father, struggling to trust the Lord to heal his epileptic son. He wanted to put his full confidence in God, but wasn’t sure how to do it.
If that dilemma seems all-too-familiar to you, here are four things you can do to shore up your trust in God.
1. Study His résumé.
If you’re not certain whether you should trust God, do a background check on Him. Start with His references from the Bible. Investigate His work in the lives of Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Hannah, Samuel, David, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha and Mary, among countless others. Get a sense of His past work habits and reliability. Talk to others who know Him, people you do trust. Find out what He’s done in their lives and how He’s proven Himself to be trustworthy in their eyes.
2. Connect the dots.
In Romans 8:28, the apostle Paul writes, “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God.” All things, in this context, include circumstances and situations that don’t appear to be good at all at first glance. This is the elusive heart of trust, the belief that even when things seem to be going wrong, God is laying the groundwork to bring about something good from them. That doesn’t mean we should be glad when something bad happens; it just means we recognize that nothing is so bad that God cannot bring good from it.
3. Keep a journal.
Every time God answers a prayer—in your life or in the life of someone you know—write it down. Every time He fulfills a promise in His Word, write it down. Every time He brings about something good in your life, write it down. Don’t rely on memory. Create a body of written evidence. Give yourself something to look back on, convincing proof for your future self that God can and should be trusted. (Check out 7 journaling prompts for help you mediate on biblical wisdom.)
4. Follow God’s lead.
“You shall be holy; for I am holy.” Those were God’s instructions to His people in Leviticus 11:44 (later referenced by the apostle Peter in 1 Peter 1:16). The perfect logic behind the instructions is that those who claim to follow the Lord should reflect His qualities. Holiness is one of those qualities.
Another is trustworthiness. God might just as well have said, “You shall be trustworthy; for I am trustworthy.”
The best way to convince people that God is trustworthy is to demonstrate that you are trustworthy. In your interactions with others, go to great lengths to be a person of your word:
• a person who can be depended on to do what you say you’re going to do
• a person who keeps confidences
• a person who places the highest priority on telling the truth.
Let people see God’s trustworthiness through you.
ENCOUNTER THE BIBLE ALONGSIDE THE GREAT VOICES OF THE CHURCH, PAST AND PRESENT
Many things have changed over the past 2,000 years. The good news of Jesus Christ isn’t one of them.