“Trust” is a rare thing in our day and time. There was, of course, a period of history in which we as a society seemed to be more trusting. We trusted institutions. We trusted authority. We trusted the media. We implicitly trusted all these entities and more, but those days are long gone.
Now we live in a time when we, frankly, don’t know who we can trust. We are increasingly jaded in this respect, and as a result, we tend to not trust anyone. And yet God is the same as He has ever been, and He is as trustworthy now as at any other point in time. That’s because God is faithful – He always keeps His Word, and because He does, we can always trust Him.
That’s easier said that done, because drawing in a sea of distrust, it’s very hard to muster up the kind of confidence that we ought to have when it comes to God. And yet we know we should. We may even want to trust God more. So how can we grow in our trust of Him? Let me suggest three ways:
1. Exercise the muscle.
If you want to be able to do more pushups, then there is really only one way to do it – it’s to do pushups. And though you might not be able to do very many at first, through persistence and discipline you will inevitably find that your muscles are growing and inevitably so is your pushup ability.
The same thing is true spiritually. If we want to be able to meditate on God’s Word, then meditate on God’s Word. If we want to be able to fast, then we should fast. And if we want to be able to trust, then we should trust. We must exercise the muscle.
True enough, it might not be easy at first. But every time we choose to pray instead of worry; every time we choose to look to God’s promises rather than our circumstances; every time we turn to the Bible rather than to our own thoughts – these are all exercises that help our trust muscles.
2. Remember the past.
As we are exercising the muscle, we should also look backward. If we take a moment every now and then and look back over the course of our lives, we fill find that God has left us countless examples of just how trustworthy He is. How He has never abandoned us. How He has provided for us. It might not have been in the way and time we desired, but He has – over and over again. It reminds me of my favorite quote from the great man of faith, George Mueller:
“If God fails me this time, it will be the first time.”
Our lives, like the life of Mueller, are strewn with the faithfulness of God if we would only take the time to remember. So if we want to grow in our trust, instead of being overwhelmed by some circumstance big or small that is causing us a measure of anxiety, we should remember and let our trust be grown by the great acts of God in the past. Above all, let us call to mind that the One in whom we are trusting did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all. Which, of course, is the third way to grow in trust…
3. Look to the cross.
Yes, God has provided for us in tangible ways. He has brought about jobs, relationships, opportunities, healing, and a host of other things in our lives. And yet there is no greater example of just how trustworthy God is than the cross of Jesus Christ.
We were dead in our sins and transgressions. We were helpless to do anything for ourselves. But God, in His great mercy, provided for us and turned us from enemies to children, from outcasts to adopted sons and daughters. If we ever find ourselves waning in trust, and if we want our trust to grow, then there is no better place to fix our eyes than the cross.
This post originally appeared at thinke.org.
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