It seems so easy in the Bible. People put their trust in God, and He rewards them by doing something miraculous in their lives. Why, then, is it sometimes so difficult for us to put our full trust in God?
We put our trust in lesser things every day, including weather forecasts and news sources—not to mention the online retailers and social media sites that promise to safeguard our personal information. So why can’t we extend the same trust to God? Here are four possible explanations.
We (consciously or subconsciously) blame God for things that go wrong.
When we suffer tragedy, or even a string of misfortunes, we face a very real temptation to place the blame at God’s feet. We may reckon that if He’s all-powerful, He could have intervened. The fact that He didn’t may cause us to question His reliability. Seeing His work in other people’s lives can exacerbate the problem. We may start to feel as though we’ve either been “targeted” or ignored by God. Trust is difficult for people who feel as though they’ve been burned before.
God often takes us out of our comfort zone.
Picture a little girl with floaties on each arm timidly making her way to the edge of a swimming pool. Her father stands chest-deep in the water below. His arms are outstretched. “Jump,” he urges her. “I’ll catch you.”
The girl hesitates. The pool deck is familiar and safe. The water isn’t. Her thought process is clouded by “what ifs.”
• What if I slip?
• What if the one who’s supposed to catch me isn’t strong enough or quick enough?
• What if he tricks me and lets me go under?
In order to demonstrate trust, she has to ignore the what-ifs and leave her comfort zone.
Sound familiar? Trusting God almost always involves a leap of faith away from what we know and where we’re comfortable. The fact that the leap inevitably lands us in a better place doesn’t make it any easier.
Trusting God has consequences.
To truly trust God is to acknowledge that His way is best and that His Word is the ultimate authority in our lives. But acknowledgement is only the beginning. Trusting God impacts the way live, the way we think, the priorities we establish and just about every other aspect of our lives.
Trusting God means that we can’t decide to overrule His Word when it comes to, say, the way we treat enemies or the choices we make. In order to trust Him, we must do what He says and ignore our own instincts and desires. Giving up that kind of control doesn’t come easily to most people.
We need help to trust God.
Maintaining a solid, unshakable trust in God is difficult—so difficult, in fact, that we can’t do it without God’s help. The father of the epileptic boy who begged Jesus to heal his son understood that. When Jesus told him “all things are possible to him who believes,” the man cried out, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (see Mark 9:23-24).
God doesn’t take offense at our bouts of unbelief. He stands ready to strengthen our trust in Him whenever we need Him to.
For further reading, check out 66 Reasons to Trust God.
Many great Christian thinkers, past and present, have talked about the struggles of trusting God. Now you are explore what many of them say with the in-text commentary of the Ancient-Modern Bible. One Faith. Handed Down. For All The Saints.