What Does it Mean to Trust God?

Updated: Oct 17, 2019

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight. — Proverbs 3:5

Have you ever been told to “trust God?”

People who believe in God like to say this a lot, to themselves and others, especially when things aren’t going well.

But how do you trust God? Especially when you are afraid and don’t feel like it? What, even, IS trust?

“Trust,” according to Google, is:

Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.

Trust in God does NOT mean that:

You believe everything will go the way you want it to, and it does.

If that were true, those who follow God should be the most enviable people on Earth. Everything would go their way.

But obviously, it doesn’t, and they aren’t.

Some people think that “believing in” God does entitle them to a problem-free life. If they have problems, they think they either don’t have enough faith or God is “not holding up His end of the bargain.”

But the Bible contradicts that idea.

“In this world, you will have trouble,” Jesus once said (John 16:33; emphasis added). And a lot of the most Godly characters in the Bible suffered tremendously.

In the end, suffering and pain is something everyone must face, whether you trust in God or not.

God will explain everything that is going on in your life

God didn’t answer Job when he asked “Why me?”

God doesn’t owe you an explanation when life is painful and confusing.

When bad things happen — really, really bad things — many of us are tempted to ask why. Some of us get an answer…but many of us never do.

Trust in God DOES mean that:

No matter what happens, you will turn TO Him instead of away.

That’s it. That’s as far as I understand “trust in God.”

Even if other people laugh at you and say that you believe in a capricious and demanding “flying spaghetti monster”

Even if, in your darker moments, you sometimes feel like God is a capricious and demanding “flying spaghetti monster”

Even if life hurts real bad and nothing you asked God for worked out the way you were hoping it would…

Even in spite of those things, trusting God means you continue to turn to Him, and away from the naysayers. You keep praying, even when those prayers seem to have absolutely no effect. You keep saying, like Job:

The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

In the end, it’s up to you. You must choose to…

Trust God: If God is a benevolent, omniscient, omnipotent being who is in total control and will one day wipe all evil from the face of the universe and restore humanity to harmony, peace, and joy, then this is definitely the choice to go for.

Or trust Fate: This choice will help you live with less stress in daily life, for the most part. But it has its limitations. It doesn’t provide you with much hope in the dark times, for instance — Fate does not guarantee that the pain will end someday. Fate does not personally care about you. Fate is just fate.

Or trust ONLY yourself: In my opinion, this is the worst of the three choices. Human beings are notoriously unreliable, and we can’t control the weather, much less our past/present/future. Trusting yourself too much can lead to mental unwell-ness.

I have to confess I am notoriously horrible at trusting God. It’s all well and good to write and talk and think about it, but living it out?