Can you tell me how I can trust God more? Is there a book that would be helpful?
The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you. Sing praises to the LORD, who sits enthroned in Zion! Tell among the peoples his deeds! (Psalm 9:9-11 ESV)
To trust someone means that we feel we can depend on their competence and character. We have to depend that they can help do good and that they are good. Now to trust God does not mean to depend on God to keep any hurtful or difficult things from coming into our lives. If that was the case only a very select few would be able to trust God since most of us suffer both painful circumstances and are abused in our relationships with others.
What it really means to trust in God is that in the midst of difficult circumstance the Lord will be able to use all of our pain for gain. None of our suffering will be for naught. We need to trust that the Lord has a plan and purpose in our lives and does hear our prayers. To some of our prayers God says yes, to others God tells us to wait, and in some cases God say no to our requests for personal peace and prosperity. It is depending on God to be good, great, full of grace, with us in our times of grief, and working to bring us gain our of all of our pain.
One way to grow in our trust of God is to make a list of all the bible stories and verses that inspire a feeling of trust in us. What is there in the Bible that inspires us to trust God? It would be good to make a list of everything we know from the Bible that touches us at an emotional level and helps us to trust the Lord.
Another way is to read inspirational stories of people who have seen God work in their lives. Biographies of great Christians like Against the Tide which tells the story of Pastor Watchmen Nee who planted 400 churches in China and then was arrested by the Communists. By reading stories and listening to the testimonies of other Christians this can help us trust in God. Trust is the fruit of the stories we tell ourselves about God and HIS faithfulness.
There may also be a group of Christian hymns or praise songs that touch our hearts and create in us a spirit of trust. Music is a powerful tool in developing the attitude of faith. Trust can lead us to praise or praise can lead us to trust.
Trust can also be developed by us journaling a “God sighting journal” in which we remember and review everything God has done for us in our lives. This would be a record of our encounters with God in our personal lives and the times the LORD answered our prayers, It is when we gained insight into how God used even difficult events to bring something good to our lives. Telling ourselves our own life story from a faith perspective will help us grow in trust of God.
We may also have to face events that we have not processed well. These events may have left us doubting or wavering in our faith. It would be important to strive to process these perhaps with the help of a spiritual director or pastor who could help us gain fresh perspective. What motivates our lack of trust? How could we weaken those factors that encourage our doubts? Trust in God is not 100%. None of us have 100% trust in God yet. Our trust in the Lord goes up and down depending on the day.
But we can realistically be striving to grow in our trust in the Lord by reminding ourselves of the many ways that HE has demonstrated competence and character. This story of God’s competence and character will encourage trust in our hearts.
I would recommend reading the book of Psalms, Job, and A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis for books that can help us grow in our trust in God’s character and competence. I would also recommend the Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis since many times our lack of trust in God is really because we have not processed the problem of pain and evil deeply enough.
May each of us grow in our trust of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen