Ever wondered why trust is so difficult? Me too. Let me ask you another question: “How big is your God?” What we believe about God is fleshed out in the midst of trials. Here’s a definition of trust from dictionary.com: noun: trust, firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. “Relations have to be built on trust.” If you consider how that last statement is phrased, let me put it plainly: Our relationship with God is based on how we view Him and His character. Do we know God through our experience with Him? Have we felt and understood His love, His provision, His wisdom, His character? Trust in God is essential. Trusting God is everything. Beth Moore says, “Trust reverses the detours of adversity into highways of destiny.”
For me, it’s been quite a journey of learning to trust God. I am a woman with a past. I tell my story in my book, Get Back Up: Trusting God When Life Knocks You Down. Here’s a portion of it from pages 74 and 75:
“Years after graduating from Bible school, my spiritual growth had remained stunted. Despite being married to a pastor, serving the Lord, reading the Bible, and participating in prayer groups, I still couldn’t forgive myself for the sins I had committed twenty years before. Relief came when I finally fully trusted God’s love to cover my multitude of sins. I accepted God’s forgiveness and let go of the blame, shame, and low self-worth that had been sucking the life out of me. It’s always a gift for me to remind myself of God’s power. “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foe, who was too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me” (Psalm 18:16–19).
Trusting God is about letting go of our own standards of perfectionism and expectation. For years, I compared myself to other women, believers, pastors’ wives, and “church ladies.” No matter how I cleaned myself up—perpetually dieting off unwanted pounds, dressed in the latest fashion, with a perfect manicure and pedicure, immaculate makeup or even sporting the most current hair-do—I still felt like “damaged goods” on the inside. No matter what I did with my outward appearance, it did not help the way I felt about my past. I wished I could erase my mistakes.
“To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.” Isaiah 61:3
After years of battling depression, addiction, and anger, I discovered the battle was already won. I had to let go of my mistakes and let God rearrange and change my ashes into something beautiful. I needed to trust Him. It wasn’t until I could see my sinful self and my past detours covered by the precious blood of Jesus that I let go of my past and asked God to give Himself glory through my mistakes. I don’t know how God does it. God is able to take anything we might qualify as a mess and change it into His message.
That’s His specialty. Remember it is all about Him. Give Him glory in advance of what He will do for you.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the plan you have for us. Trust is hard. It’s hard for me to admit, so there, I’ve said it. I am thankful you can handle my honesty, and in fact, I feel so much better now that I’ve been brutally honest with you and myself. Thank you for what you are going to do in the midst of my trial, my guilt, and my shame. Thank you for the detour of my mistakes; you allowed it so I would know my choice to trust you has allowed you to change the course into the highway of my destiny. Thank you for changing and rearranging it into something that is going to give you glory. I thank and praise you. I adore you. In Jesus’ name, amen.