We need to learn how to trust God which will make our lives a lot less frustrating.
If we do not trust in God our life will resemble the ball within a Pinball Machine that flies, bounces and crashes around.
One player may know where the ball is going, another will not have a clue how to steer that ball.
The ball itself just crashes about and has no control over which direction it will go in.
If the ball could see the player it could say one of two things:
- “Oh no not that player, they haven’t got a clue!”
- “Oh yes, this player is good, I trust that I will end up in a high-scoring hole!”
How can I learn to trust God?
The answer lies in seeing the One who is controlling your situation as good and loving.
1. Noah had to learn how to trust God in the massive flood
Noah had no sail or rudder on his Ark, I wonder how he felt,
Humanly speaking, he would have felt powerless and out of control.
Our lives are sometimes swept along by strong currents and storms and we seem to be totally out of control!
(This article is based on Genesis 7:17-24 which is included at the foot of the page)
How strange to build a huge boat, without any form of propulsion, no sails, no oars, no engine, and even more strange, no way of steering it – no rudder!
I can remember when I went to the dry ski slope to have some lessons.
We were told about the clothing, boots, etc.
Then we went to the bottom of the slope.
The instructor told us to side-step up the slope in an orderly line.
Then one by one, move out from the line, turn round! And ski down the slope!
‘What!’ I thought, ‘I haven’t even been told how to stop, or steer!’
My turn came, and I zoomed down the slope, out of control – or so it seemed.
It took ages to slow down.
If someone had suddenly run out in front of me, there would have been nothing I could have done, I was out of control.
I couldn’t have swerved, and I couldn’t have stopped. I just had to trust the ski instructor.
How powerless Noah must have felt, being pushed along by the currents, and the wind.
I can imagine him saying: “I can’t steer it! – I can’t stop!”
Noah had to learn how to trust God.
2. What about our lives, are we able to trust in God?
Sometimes in our lives, we can feel that we are totally in control and everything is going so well.
Then some extraordinary situation hits us and everything suddenly is out of our control.
This is especially true when something like cancer strikes a family member.
Suddenly our life feels like it is being swept along, and we feel powerless to slow things down.
It is times like this when we need to learn how to trust God.
The Lord protected, and guided the Ark, without mankind interfering.
If we have surrendered to the Lord, we should realise that He is able to look after us.
At the end of Jude’s letter, he wrote:
To Him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you before His glorious Presence, without fault and with great joy, – to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord,”Jude 24 NIV
3. How do you learn to trust God
So often we want to hold onto our life’s steering wheel, we want to keep the captain’s hat on.
For those of us, who rely on our own strength in a crisis, or lean heavily on someone else, there are some interesting verses in Isaiah:
Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but who do not look to the Holy One.”Isaiah 31:1 NIV
If you think that those verses are irrelevant, because we wouldn’t go to another nation for help, and we wouldn’t rely on weapons of war, then the next verse interprets it further:
Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses are flesh, and not spirit, but he who helps will fall, and he who is helped will fall down.”Isaiah 31:3 NIV
It’s not to do with armies and weapons but is to do with us believing in our abilities, or the skill of others to get us out of trouble.
The Lord is saying, woe to those who trust in themselves, or who trust in the strength of others.
It will bring grief and sorrow.
It is good to turn to God, especially when the situation is very dark and difficult:
I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.Lamentations 3:19-24 NIV
I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ “
We may be overwhelmed by our feelings of fear, but we need to step away from our feelings and onto the solid ground of God’s truth.
We need to realise that our faith is more important than our feelings:
Trusting God is more than a feeling; it’s a choice to have faith in what He says even when your feelings or circumstances would have you believe something different. Your feelings and circumstances matter and are very much worth paying attention to. God cares about them both.‘How to Trust God, Even in Difficult Times’ by Brittany Yesudasan. CRU. 1
But those things alone are not reliable enough to base your life on.
They can change at any moment, even in an instant. God, on the other hand, does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and therefore is worthy of your trust.
Trusting God is not about ignoring your feelings or reality. It is not pretending that everything is OK when it isn’t. Trusting God is living a life of belief in and obedience to God even when it’s difficult.
4. Talk with God about your problems
Speak openly about your problems and frustrations, as King David did in the Psalms!
Do not let those gloat over me who are my enemies without cause;Psalm 35:19-23 NIV
do not let those who hate me without reason maliciously wink the eye.
They do not speak peaceably, but devise false accusations against those who live quietly in the land.
They sneer at me and say, ‘Aha! Aha! With our own eyes we have seen it.’
Lord, you have seen this; do not be silent. Do not be far from me, Lord.
Awake, and rise to my defence! Contend for me, my God and Lord.”
David was pouring out his worries and frustrations to the Lord.
He was not pretending everything was wonderful and that he had to put on a smile all day long!
David was being real and truthful to himself and to God. (How much we share with others will depend on how deep our friendship is with them and how trustworthy they are.)
Here in another Psalm David speaks from his heart and tells it as he sees it:
Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; hear me and answer me.Psalm 55:1-7 NIV
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught because of what my enemy is saying, because of the threats of the wicked;
for they bring down suffering on me and assail me in their anger.
My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me.
Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me.
I said, ‘Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.
I would flee far away and stay in the desert!…’ “
The Lord does not fall off His throne when He hears real, gritty prayers like this – He wants reality.
Do not be afraid to speak to Him about what you are feeling, even if you think those feelings are unChristian.
Remember, the Lord is the One who can see all things and He has a plan for our lives.
Here are some verses, which would save us from a lot of worry and striving, if we took them to heart;
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 paths straight.”Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
The Lord is able to look after us.
Here is what this article is based on:
For 40 days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth.Genesis 7:17-24 NIV
The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water.
They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered.
The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than 20 ft.
Every living thing that moved on the earth perished – birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind.
Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in it’s nostrils died.
Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.
The waters flooded the earth for a 150 days.”
Why do I struggle to trust God?
Doubt comes in when we see our present situation being the most important thing in our lives.
We trust God when faith rises in us, and we see that He is holding us in His hands and that this situation is not taking Him by surprise.
References – open in new tabs:
Ark image: thanks to The Pictorial Dictionary published by The Educational Book Company, London.