8 Ways to Trust God In Difficult Times
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As much as I wanted to trust God during this difficult time, it was hard. Past experiences left me fearful and unsure if I could trust anyone, even God.
Life has a way of doing that to us sometimes. We read our Bible, and we pray. We say we believe in God and that all His promises are true.
But when it comes down to our hearts and the things we hold close to our hearts, such as our marriage, our children, and our grandchildren. It’s not that easy.
I’ll never forget that day sitting in my car, my heart shattered into a million pieces by someone’s careless action. Wave after wave of emotions washed over me.
The shock, the pain, the feeling like I was going to be sick, then the disbelief. Finally, the truth began to sink in, and I was just numb.
Praise God, that wasn’t the end of the story! Even though I was experiencing pain that I never thought possible, I learned I could trust God during difficult times and even find joy in the pain.
Maybe you find yourself in a situation you never thought you would be in. You cannot see a way out of this pit of pain and suffering. I can assure you there is a way, and His name is Jesus.
Even in difficult times or uncertain seasons, we can find peace and comfort in God’s word. Let me show you.
Trusting God in difficult times and how it relates to our faith
At its core, trust means having faith and confidence in someone or something. The best place to put our trust in is Jesus Christ.
As Christians, faith and trust involve recognizing that God is who He says He is – infinitely wise, completely sovereign, and perfect in love – and placing our faith in Him accordingly.
Trusting God means surrendering control of our lives to Him, leaning on His understanding instead of our own, and relying on Him to guide us. One of the best ways to trust God through everything, even the hard times in our lives, is to trust God’s character.
Trusting God helps us develop a closer relationship with Him and experience His love, grace, and blessings. He is the God of hope, and we can trust all of God’s promises are true.
What Does the Bible Say About Trusting God in difficult times?
These Bible verses offer assurance, guidance, and comfort, encouraging us to trust God’s sovereignty and love.
- Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
- Psalm 56:3: “When I am afraid, I trust you.”
- Isaiah 26:3-4: “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.”
- Jeremiah 17:7-8: “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
God calls us to trust Him with all our hearts and lean on His understanding instead of our own. Let’s be honest; as human beings, this can be hard.
We know the right thing to do is to surrender our wills and desires to Him and seek His guidance all our lives.
In our daily life, the enemy likes to divert our eyes and our thoughts onto all of our problems. He wants us to focus on our own senses: what we can see, hear, and feel.
The only way to see the power of God work in our lives is if we trust him with our whole hearts.
Examples of men who trusted God in difficult times
The Bible is filled with countless stories of men who trusted God and were blessed. From Abraham’s faithfulness to Daniel’s bravery, we can see the transformative power of trust in God.
- Abraham: When God commanded Abraham to leave his homeland and travel to a new and unknown land, Abraham trusted God’s plan and obeyed. As a result, God promised to make Abraham the father of many nations, and he became a great patriarch in the Hebrew Scriptures (Genesis 12:1-3).
- Daniel: When Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den for refusing to worship the king of Babylon, he trusted God’s protection and remained faithful to him. As a result, God kept Daniel safe, and he emerged from the den unharmed (Daniel 6:22).
- The Israelites: When the Israelites were trapped between the Red Sea and the pursuing Egyptian army, they cried out to God in fear and despair. But Moses, their leader, encouraged them to trust God and His power. As a result, God parted the Red Sea, and the Israelites escaped to freedom (Exodus 14:13-14).
These examples show us that trust in God can lead to incredible blessings and miracles. He is a faithful God and is always there for us in our time of need.
By placing our trust in God’s sovereignty and love, we can experience the same faith and trust as these inspiring figures from the Bible.
Examples of women who trusted God in difficult times
The Bible also features many powerful examples of women who trusted God and were blessed.
- Hannah: Hannah was a barren woman who desperately wanted a child. She prayed fervently and trusted God to provide for her. As a result, God blessed her with a son, Samuel, who became a great prophet in Israel (1 Samuel 1:20).
- Esther: Esther was a Jewish queen who used her position to save her people from destruction. Though risky, she trusted God’s plan and pleaded with the king for her people’s lives. As a result, her people were saved, and she became a heroine in the Jewish faith (Esther 4:16).
- Mary: Mary was a young woman who was visited by an angel and told that she would give birth to a son, Jesus, who would be the world’s savior. Though it was an unexpected and uncertain future, Mary trusted God’s plan and willingly accepted the role she was given. As a result, she became the mother of Jesus, a central figure in the Christian faith (Luke 1:38).
- Sarah: Abraham’s wife Sarah is an example of a woman who trusted God. “By faith, Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age since she considered him faithful who had promised (Heb. 11:11).
These women demonstrate the power of trust in God to transform lives and change the course of history. They all received great promises because they knew the best place to take the desires of your heart is to the throne of grace.
By following their example and placing our trust in God, we, too, can experience the blessings of God’s ways and the peace from knowing we are in His capable hands and loving care.
Understanding the Sovereignty of God
To trust God fully, it is essential to understand His sovereignty. God’s sovereignty means He is in complete control and has ultimate power over all things, both seen and unseen.
As it is written in Psalm 115:3: “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.”
What does it mean for God to be sovereign?
This means that the world’s limitations do not bind God and are not subject to the whims of man. God’s sovereignty extends over every aspect of our lives, from the grandest schemes to the smallest details.
All we have to do is look at creation and the works of his hands. First thing in the morning, we can take a deep breath and experience God’s goodness and sovereignty. He is the God of the universe, and every good thing comes from him.
When Jesus taught about the love of money and possessions, he told those with him,
"Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are?" (Matthew 6:26)
Jesus was trying to help us to understand our value to our heavenly Father. In this present life, we will have trouble, of course. But God is a good shepherd who takes care of our needs.
Jesus even tells us,
"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." John 16:33 NLT
Understanding God’s sovereignty can increase trust in difficult times
Understanding sovereignty can help us trust God in difficult times. When we recognize that God is in control, we can take comfort in knowing that our lives are in His hands.
We can trust that even in the storms of life, God works all things together for our good (Romans 8:28).
While we may not always understand God’s plans, we can trust God in difficult times because of His marvelous love for us.
"What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won't he also give us everything else?" Romans 8:31-32 NLT
Why is It So Hard to Trust God in difficult times?
Trusting God in difficult times, despite the many promises and assurances in the Bible, can be especially when walking through dark valleys. The enemy of our souls wants us to focus on the “terror in the night,” our fears about what could happen.
- Believing our ways are better than His: Sometimes, we believe our own ways are better than God’s. We may feel that our plans are better than what God has in mind. But we must remember, all we see is this very moment. The good news is God sees the bigger picture and is worthy of our trust.
- Fear and uncertainty: We may fear what might happen if we trust God. Fear and uncertainty can paralyze us, making it hard to take that leap of faith. But the Bible tells us 365 times, “Do not fear.” That means God tells us daily, “Do not be afraid.”
- Past experiences: Previous hurts, disappointments, and losses can make it hard to believe God will come through for us. I don’t like this about myself; maybe you also struggle with it. Fear of man. (ok, not just men per se, women let us down too) I cannot base my belief and trust in God and his good promises on the bad things other humans have done to me in my past. Humans will always let us down, given enough time. “But the steadfast love of the Lord never ends.” (Lamentations 3:22)
- Lack of control: Giving up control of our lives to someone else can be hard. We want to be in control, and it can be hard to see how trusting God would be comforting. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Whatever the reason, it is important to acknowledge our struggles and actively work towards overcoming them. We can begin by praying to God about our doubts, fears, and concerns.
Ask for help trusting God in difficult times more and reveal His goodness and faithfulness to you. Remember, God is always there for you, waiting to help you trust Him more fully.
Just as the little boy’s father did in Mark 9:24, we can cry, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
Men in the Bible who struggled to trust God in difficult times
- Job: Job experienced immense suffering, including losing his family, wealth, and health. The kicker of this story is that he didn’t even know why all of this happened to him. The Bible doesn’t tell us it was ever revealed to him. Despite this, he continued to trust God and refused to curse Him. Ultimately, God restored Job’s fortunes and blessed him twice as much as he had before.
- Joseph: My goodness, if anybody had a reason to feel sorry for himself, it was Joseph. He was sold into slavery by his brothers, falsely accused of a crime, spent years in prison, and then forgotten about by those he helped get out of prison. Through it all, he trusted God and continued to use his gifts to serve others. Eventually, he was made second-in-command of Egypt and was able to use his position to save his family and many others from famine. I love what he says to his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” Genesis 50:20 NLT Then, by the grace of God and how God has formed his character through these trials, Joseph tells his brothers, “No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.” Genesis 50:21, and at the end of that verse, the Bible says, “So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them.”
- Daniel: Daniel was taken captive to Babylon as a young man and faced many trials, including being thrown into a lion’s den for refusing to worship the king. I don’t care who you are; that has to bring about at least a moment of fear. But Daniel remained faithful to God and continued to pray and seek His guidance.
- Abraham and Isaac – God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, testing Abraham’s faith and trust in God. This could not have been easy for Abraham, but he trusted God’s plan and did not have to endure the sacrifice. Hebrews 11:19 says, “Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again.”
- The Israelites in the wilderness – Despite witnessing God’s miraculous deliverance from Egypt, they struggled to trust God during their journey there. They grumbled and complained, even to the point of wanting to return to slavery in Egypt. Ok, I have to pause here and say this: as a mom, I think they needed a spanking. I mean, seriously? After all the miraculous things God did for them while they wandered around, and they wanted to return?!
- Peter walking on water – Peter had faith to step out of the boat and walk on water towards Jesus, but when he took his eyes off of Jesus and focused on the storm, he began to sink. That’s life in action if I ever heard it. We are doing great in our Christian walk, but then we take our eyes off Jesus, and everything goes wrong.
While these stories show that trusting God can be difficult, ultimately, it is necessary for our spiritual growth and well-being. Even in the midst of trials and hardships, we can trust that God is faithful and will see us through.
Women in the Bible who struggled to trust God in difficult times
- Sarah – Sarah, the wife of Abraham, struggled to trust God’s promise that she would bear a son in her old age. She even laughed at the idea when she first heard it (Genesis 18:12). However, she eventually believed and gave birth to Isaac, the son of promise.
- Rebekah – Rebekah, the wife of Isaac, favored one of her sons, Jacob, over the other, Esau. She took matters into her own hands and devised a plan to deceive Isaac into blessing Jacob instead of Esau. This shows her lack of trust in God’s plan for her family.
- Leah and Rachel – Leah and Rachel, the wives of Jacob, struggled with jealousy and competition over their husband’s affection. They both had children through their maidservants in an attempt to one-up each other rather than trusting in God’s plan for their lives.
- Martha – Martha, the sister of Mary and Lazarus, struggled with trusting Jesus’ plan when her brother Lazarus died. She questioned why Jesus had not come sooner to heal him, showing her lack of faith in Jesus’ power to raise him from the dead (John 11:21-27).
So don’t feel too bad if you have had seasons of struggling to trust God in difficult times. You are in good company.
Since the beginning of time, both men and women have had this same struggle because of sin. We live in a broken world, and until Jesus comes to get us or God calls us home, we will struggle with sin.
The difference between faith and trust
Faith and trust are related concepts, but they have different meanings.
Faith is a belief or confidence in something or someone. Faith is a deep-seated conviction that something is true or real, even if we cannot see or prove it. Faith refers to believing in God and accepting His will and purpose.
Trust, on the other hand, is the reliance or confidence we have in someone or something to do what they say they will do or be who they are. Trust is built on past experiences and evidence of reliability. It is a willingness to depend on someone or something with the expectation that they will fulfill their obligations or promises.
While faith and trust are different, they are often interrelated. For example, we may believe in God and trust He will guide and protect us. In this case, our faith provides the foundation for our trust.
How to Pray for Your Adult Children – 8 PowHow to Pray for Your Adult Children – 8 Powerful Prayerserful Prayers
So, faith is a belief or confidence in something, while trust is the reliance or confidence we have in someone or something based on past experiences.
How both concepts work together in the Christian life
Trusting God in difficult times is a journey that requires both faith and action. As we have seen, the Bible has much to say about trust, and there are many practical steps we can take to develop a deeper trust in God when we are going through difficult times.
Whether grappling with fear, uncertainty, or doubt, God is always there for us, waiting to help us trust Him more deeply.
Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Let us trust in God's sovereignty, love, and goodness through every step of our faith journey.
How to Trust God In Difficult Times
Trusting God during difficult times can be tough. However, this is when we need to trust Him the most. Here are some ways to trust God in difficult times:
- Pray Boldly: Bring your fears and doubts to God and ask for His help. Pray boldly, and let yourself be vulnerable with Him.
- Read the Bible: Spend time studying the Word of God daily. Learn about how He has worked through others and how He can work through you.
- Remember His Promises: Spend time studying the Bible and recalling His promises. Read stories of those who trusted God in times of crisis.
- Choose Faith Over Fear: Resist the urge to give in to fear and choose faith instead. Trust that God is working things out for your good, even if it doesn’t feel that way.
- Lean on Others: Reach out to other believers and ask for support or prayer. Seek guidance from friends or family members who have previously experienced challenging times.
- Practice Patience: Trusting God can take time; we may not always receive an immediate answer to our prayers. Practice patience and continue to trust God, even when things seem difficult.
- Surrender Control: Let go of the things you can’t control and surrender them to Him. This is one of the hardest things to do, but it is the best way to learn to trust Him.
- Practice Gratitude: Celebrate how God has shown up in your life. Express gratitude for the small things as well as the big.
I’m sure you have heard people talk about picking a “word of the year” or “Bible verse for the year.”
God gave me Deuteronomy 31:6 when I was in college. He gave it to me right before it felt like He picked my life up, put it in a colander, and shook the fire out of it! He knew I would need that verse to hold on to as I walked the road ahead.
"So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you." Deut. 31:6
As we can see from people in the scriptures, learning to trust God in difficult times is a process. We will experience trials, pain, and times when nothing makes sense.
But remember, "My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the Lord. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9
Words of encouragement and inspiration to trust God through it all
Trusting God in difficult times can be challenging, but it is also an opportunity to deepen our faith and grow closer to Him. I hope these verses encourage you to trust God in difficult times.
“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” – Isaiah 43:2
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:18
“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” – Psalm 28:7
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can trust God has good plans for us because of His everlasting love.
"The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles." Psalm 34:17
"Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty." Psalm 91:1
Remember that God’s faithfulness and love for you are unwavering, even when life is crazy, and the people in your life are acting crazy.
As you trust Him and seek His guidance, He will lead you through the storm and into a place of peace and strength.
Trust the promises of God, lean on His strength, and let His peace fill your heart. You will find that you can trust God in difficult times.
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