Trusting God can be difficult, especially when life gets hard. Yet the Bible tells us to trust in the Lord with all our hearts (Proverbs 3:5). How do we know if we are truly trusting God? Here are some key takeaways:
- Trusting God means relinquishing control and relying on Him completely.
- Obedience to God demonstrates our trust in Him.
- Peace and joy, despite circumstances, show we are trusting God.
- Believing God’s promises over feelings or circumstances.
- Thanking and praising God, even in trials, displays trust.
- Surrendering anxieties to God requires trust in His goodness.
Trusting God does not come naturally for most of us. Our natural inclination is to trust in ourselves or others before God. However, the Bible calls us to fully rely on the Lord. Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (NKJV). This requires surrendering control to God and relying on Him rather than ourselves.
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Relinquishing Control Demonstrates Trust
A key part of trusting God is letting go of the need to control everything. We have to acknowledge that we are not in control – God is. No matter how carefully we plan and strategize, the future is in God’s hands. When we try to control life rigidly, we end up frustrated and anxious. But when we loosen our grip and acknowledge God’s sovereignty, we gain freedom and peace.
Trusting God means accepting that His plans and timing are better than ours. It means releasing our own agendas and ideas of how things should be. As Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV) says, God has good plans to give us a hope and a future. But we have to trust that God’s way is best even when we cannot yet see the outcome.
Letting go of control may feel unnatural and scary. But God asks us to step forward in faith, relying on His ability to guide rather than our own understanding. As we surrender control to God day by day, we will find increasing freedom, confidence and rest. Our role is not to control but to trust the One who is in control.
Obedience Demonstrates Trust
Obedience is an important way we demonstrate trust in God. Trust is more than just belief – it shows up through our actions. We have to step out in faith and obedience to truly rely on God. Trust without obedience is not true trust.
When God gives us clear direction in His Word, we show trust by following His commands. For example, Scripture tells us to be kind to others, forgive those who wrong us, care for the poor, worship God, be sexually pure, and more. Obeying God in these areas shows we trust His wisdom and goodness. We are putting His ways above our own.
Trust also means obedience when we sense the leading of the Holy Spirit. As we develop sensitivity to God’s voice, He will direct our steps—but we must trust and follow. God is not just giving suggestions; His guidance deserves our full obedience. We have to set aside our own reasoning and choose to act in faith.
Stepping out in obedience often requires trust because we cannot see far ahead. Much like Abraham leaving his homeland in Genesis 12, we have to obey despite uncertainty about the future. As we walk in obedience day by day, we will develop stronger confidence in God’s trustworthiness and ability to lead us.
Peace and Joy Demonstrate Trust
One key indicator we are trusting God is when we have supernatural peace and joy despite our circumstances. We all experience trials, pain, grief, uncertainty, conflict, and loss. When these come, do we still experience God’s peace and joy? Or does our trust waver based on our situations?
The Bible says, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” (Isaiah 26:3, NLT) Though we cannot control difficult circumstances, we can anchor our minds on God. As we turn to Him in trust, He gives us confidence in His sovereign power and steadfast love.
We also see examples in Scripture like Paul and Silas singing hymns of praise despite being in prison (Acts 16:25). They expressed supernatural joy in the midst of suffering because their trust was anchored in God. When we have joy despite trials—the “joy of the Lord” that is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10)—it shows we are trusting God with outcomes.
No matter what happens, we can rely on God’s character and promises. He is always good, loving, just and faithful. Fixing our focus on who God is gives us stability to withstand anything life brings. Our circumstances cannot change who our God is. As we trust in His unfailing presence and strength, He fills us with confident peace and steadfast joy.
Believing God’s Promises Over Feelings and Circumstances
Because our feelings fluctuate, we have to trust God’s truths and promises more than our perceptions. Human beings are emotional creatures; our feelings get easily swayed by circumstances. If we primarily rely on emotions to evaluate our relationship with God, we will end up on a spiritual roller coaster.
When we face disappointments, delays or grief, we may be tempted to doubt God’s goodness and care. Conversely, when life is going smoothly we can become smug and self-reliant. But God calls us to stability that is rooted in His unchanging character, not our emotions. Isaiah 26:4 says, “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal” (NIV).
Rather than focusing on fickle feelings, we must fill our minds with Scriptural truth. The Bible contains God’s promises to guide, comfort, heal, restore, and bless us. When we meditate on and believe these promises, it strengthens our trust in God. Feelings will come and go, but God’s Word stands forever as a foundation we can rely on.
As Corrie ten Boom said, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” We cannot foresee tomorrow, but we know the One who holds it. He has proven Himself faithful every time. By clinging to God’s Word over emotions, our trust can remain steady no matter what comes.
Thanking and Praising God in Trials Grows Trust
Expressing gratitude and praise to God, especially during trials, demonstrates remarkable trust in His goodness and sovereignty. Human logic tells us that thanking God makes no sense when life feels painful and out of control. However, supernatural peace and hope rise up when we choose to worship God in spite of suffering.
James 1:2-4 tells us, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (NIV). James says we can have joy in trials because God uses hardship to produce character growth. This eternal perspective allows us to praise God even on the hardest days.
Corrie ten Boom reflected, “There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.” When we thank God in the lowest moments, it signals we trust His purpose and care more than what we can understand. Faith does not require an explanation from God. Instead, we can be like Job who – after losing everything – fell to his knees and worshipped God (Job 1:20-22).
Choosing praise in pain seems counterintuitive. But it enables us to see from God’s perspective and access His strength. Thanking God releases us from fear and despair. Our focus moves to God’s faithfulness rather than the overwhelming circumstance. As we lift our eyes to Him in trust and praise, His peace and hope fill our souls.
Surrendering Anxiety to God Requires Trust
When we feel anxious or afraid, surrendering those feelings to the Lord requires trust. Human nature tells us to withdraw or self-protect when we are uncertain. However, God calls us to fully rely on Him by giving Him our cares and burdens. As 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (NIV). This verse tells us two key truths about God’s character: He cares about you, and He is strong enough to handle anything you are facing.
Surrendering anxiety means consciously acknowledging our fears and concerns to God in prayer. We can admit we feel afraid or overwhelmed. The act of speaking those fears aloud to God requires vulnerability and trust. Rather than clinging tightly to control, we release our grip. We lay the burden at Jesus’ feet, trusting Him to help us carry it. As Psalm 55:22 encourages, “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken” (NIV).
Fixing our eyes on the truth of God’s sovereignty and goodness allows our anxiety to fade. God sees the whole picture and knows exactly what we need. He promises to give us strength, wisdom and peace when we look to Him. Though relinquishing control feels uncomfortable, it is a gift. In exchange for our anxiety, God gives us confident rest and direction. As Isaiah 26:3 promises, God will keep in perfect peace all whose minds are stayed on Him.
Trusting God in a rapidly changing world is challenging, but He promises to be our rock and shelter if we rely on Him. Fixing our eyes on God’s character and promises stabilizes our faith. Obedience, gratitude, releasing control and surrendering anxiety all demonstrate deepening trust in our good Father. He is worthy of our full confidence. Though the future is uncertain, God remains constant and He promises to complete the good work He started in us (Philippians 1:6). We can trust Him fully.