How Can We Completely Trust in God?

The power to trust the Lord comes from the Holy Spirit. In ourselves, we could not fully trust God. Doubt and fear are normal, for Satan is constantly attacking the peace of those who love Jesus.

Contributing Writer
Jun 23, 2022
How Can We Completely Trust in God?

People put their trust in things and other people every day: a bus driver; the chair they sit on; the loyalty of friends. So, what is trust? The dictionary defines “trust” as “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.” How does one arrive at a decision to trust God? How is this trust expressed, and what does one trust God with?

What Are We Entrusting to God?

The Psalms are full of the words “trust” and “faithfulness.” God’s faithfulness literally means his trustworthiness. Believers can trust God with everything, including these five things:

1. God will save him or her from the enemy. “To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame” (Psalm 22:5).

The enemy could be external or internal, a hurtful person, or a sinful habit. The Lord is faithful to all those who call on him, not to remove all hazards, but to save souls.

He might also choose to rout the enemy in some way — prevent harm or remove temptation — but he has not promised this. He has, however, promised that for those who trust in him and repent, he will provide peace and healing (2 Chronicles 7:14).

2. God will provide clarity and direction. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

3. God is faithfully eternal. “Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good” (1 Peter 4:19).

This might sound obvious, but the concept that God always was and always will be is difficult to comprehend.

In a world of duct tape, disposable cell phones, and compostable cutlery, how does one come to terms with the notion of eternity?

Christians trust that they will live eternally with God whose nature is also eternal and totally reliable. “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock” (Isaiah 26:4).

4. Believers know that God will always love them and never forsake them. “But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation” (Psalm 13:5).

People are broken and they do damage to those whom they should be able to entrust with their hearts. Spouses and children are neglected and abused. Friends fail each other.

But the psalmist sang “my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him” (Psalm 28:7). Even for the one who has been neglecting or abusing, God invites confession, repentance, forgiveness: a second chance.

Christ’s broken body, hanging from a cross, reminds a forgetful and longing heart of God’s incomprehensible, intense love for his people. “And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you” (Psalm 9:10).

5. God can be trusted with joy. “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord” (Psalm 40:30).

Jesus told his listeners that sad, poor, mourning individuals would be blessed. The disciples often spoke of an inexplicable sort of joy bestowed on them even while they were suffering. “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12).

Though he describes the ways he was beaten, imprisoned, rejected, and nearly stoned to death, Paul’s writings are peppered with the reality that living in Christ brings joy, not from circumstances, but from his presence.

While Christians await the return of Christ, they can also turn to him at any time because his Spirit is constantly with them.

How Can We Know?

Jesus declared boldly that he was the only way to God (John 14:6). The people who followed him believed Jesus was the Messiah, even though he was not the only person to make that claim. “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24).

Some of them even performed miraculous works of healing: none of these men was the Christ; however, only Jesus can lay claim to that title because only he both died on the cross and rose from the grave.

Kirk Wellum asserted that “everything about God is trustworthy because of who he is in the perfection of his being. [...] He has acted in history to carry out his plan of salvation for his people.”

The apostles trusted Jesus so fully they were prepared to die if it meant the gospel spread around the world, and that has certainly been the result.

God’s own Word has been consistent, so why would he suddenly change now? As the writer of Hebrews says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (13:8). Many so-called “Progressive Christians” want to believe that the Lord’s commands have changed with the times.

On the contrary: believers can rely on God not to change his mind. He can be trusted because he is always the same, higher than social constructs of relative truth.

Facing personal sin is difficult but being able to trust that Christ paid for all of it enables the believer to approach the throne of grace on an equal footing with every other person, both trembling in reverence before the Creator and confident that God forgives those who are genuinely repentant (2 Corinthians 7:10).

Learning to trust God is a process, one in which he proves himself over and over in the believer’s life. Eventually, it becomes clear that nothing and no one else can provide a permanent antidote to fear, sadness, and pain.

A temporary fix such as drinking too much, binge-watching TV, viewing pornography, obsessively working, exercising, cutting, or disordered eating will give way to feelings of guilt, shame, and regret.

Fulfillment from God, however, is permanent and never leads to those feelings. One adds personal experience to the evidence that God can be trusted completely at all times.

How Can We Express Complete Trust in God?

We can trust him by resting in him. This takes practice and involves giving up those habits, which were a distraction from fear and an expression both of mistrust and impatience. We learn, by practice, to find peace in God.

This is not to say that we expect him to take away all suffering, but we come to seek Him in the midst of it, and, by doing so, we get more of Him. He will always reliably provide more of himself if we ask.

Believers express trust by letting go of anxiety. They still exercise caution and reasonableness — Jesus fled from angry crowds more than once — but fear does not control them. Fear has its place.

One might even do things, which are legitimately scary because God has sent them into a situation (missions for example). The decision to obey, confident in the Father’s constant presence, is an expression of trust.

We express trust by following Christ’s example. Jesus surrendered to the Father’s will when he said “not my will by yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Jesus prayed for direction so that he knew what the Lord wanted.

One writer asserts that Jesus had a “well-rounded, magnetic personality. He carried children in His arms — and what child wants to be around someone who never laughs”?

Jesus trusted the Father warmly, exuberantly, and joyfully: “for the joy set before Him [he] endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

Those who trust in the Lord pray, study Scripture, seek fellowship, and rest. They long to “proclaim the excellencies of him who called [them] out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

Trust the Helper

The writer of Hebrews was confident that Jesus was at the right hand of the Father because Christ had done what he said he would do. He defeated death and rose from the grave.

Still, the power to trust the Lord comes from “the Helper, the Holy Spirit, [who] will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26).

In ourselves, we could not fully trust God. Doubt and fear are normal, for Satan is constantly attacking the peace of those who love Jesus.

One can reclaim the Lord’s peace over and over, however, by looking for evidence. We find it in Scripture, in our own lives, in other testimonies, and by asking the Holy Spirit for regular reminders of Christ’s faithfulness.

For further reading:

Why Are We Told to Put Our Trust in God and Not Humans?

What Does it Mean to Trust in Jesus?

How Can I Trust the Lord with All My Heart?

Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/marek piwnicki

Candice Lucey is a freelance writer from British Columbia, Canada, where she lives with her family. Find out more about her here.


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