Is there an issue in your life where you really struggle to trust God completely? Scripture affirms over and over again that we are to trust Him.
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” (Psalm 37:3–5, ESV)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5, ESV)
What does it mean to trust the Lord? The word translated “trust” in these verse has the idea of “to be confident, to feel safe, to rely on.” The Bible presents our Lord not just as one whom we are to love and serve, but as one who can absolutely and totally be trusted. Let’s think about that for a moment. The Lord desires that we trust His Word, but the reason we can trust the Word of God is because we trust God. It all comes back to that issue. Our trust is in the Lord himself. E.M. Bounds in his classic book The Necessity of Prayer speaks to this issue…
“Have faith in God,” “Trust in the Lord” form the keynote and foundation of prayer. Primarily, it is not trust in the Word of God, but rather trust in the Person of God. For trust in the Person of God must precede trust in the Word of God…Trust, in an historical fact or in a mere record may be a very passive thing, but trust in a person vitalizes the quality, fructifies it, informs it with love. The trust which informs prayer centers in a Person.
I believe that Bounds is exactly right to link our trust to our prayer life. Think about it. If there is a person in your life that you don’t trust, it’s difficult to have much of a relationship with them. You might be required to talk with them in your job or they might be a member of your family, but the reality is that you will go through the motions in your interaction with that person because ultimately you are not assured that they are acting your best interest or even have your best interests at heart. Where there is not love, there cannot be trust. Ultimately our perception of a person’s love for us determines our capacity to trust them.
What does this have to do with prayer? Everything! What does prayer have to do with trusting God? Everything! Remember, where there is not love, there cannot be trust. However, there is another side of that coin – where there is love, there can be trust. We can trust God first and foremost because God loves us.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:7–10, ESV)
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35–39, ESV)
You see, the basis of our trusting God is His faithful love for us! If we believe with all of our heart that God loves us, then we can trust Him with all of our heart. If I know God loves me, then I also know that He will always act in my best interest. Therefore, I can trust Him. Love and trust are intertwined. If I am assured of love, then I can trust.
One more thing: prayer is the key to trusting God. Think about it. Isn’t conversation how relationships grow? Aren’t talk and trust intertwined as well? Ask a married couple who never talk to one another if there is really trust. Go to any large company or organization where one group never talks to another group and you will find a lack of trust every time. So it is with our spiritual lives. Prayer is the engine that drives our trust in God. Once again, Bounds has the right words here when he wrote, “Trust grows nowhere as readily and richly as in the prayer chamber.”
We are assured of His love, therefore we can trust Him. Because we trust Him, we talk to God in prayer. The more we talk to God in prayer, the more we are assured of His love. The more we are assured of His live, the more we pray. And the more we pray…well, you get the idea. It goes like this..
Love > trust > prayer > love > trust > prayer > love > trust > prayer
Are you struggling to trust God this Monday morning? Rest assured of His love and start praying!