In Christian circles, we often romanticize trusting God as something we do in anticipation of an outcome we want.
- We have a bad work environment, so we pray and trust God for something to change.
- We have a family member who is sick, so we pray and trust God for their recovery.
- We have a global pandemic, so we pray and trust God for a cure, protection, and way back to “normalcy”.
But how do you trust God when the outcome is not what you thought, prayed, and believed it would be?
I know, it’s a difficult question and I’m going to give you what I believed God showed me as the answer, but first I need to tell you a story.
Let’s talk about Martin Luther.
Most of us know Martin Luther as the German monk who had a hammer and 95 Thesis’s.
But did you know he was also known for struggling with depression?
Once he was so depressed his friends told him he should take some time to get away and perhaps that would give him a fresh perspective on his situation.
He gave this a shot but came home just as depressed as he left. When he walked into the living room he was shocked to find his wife, Kate, sitting on the sofa, completely dressed in black, with their children.
Martin shocked by what he saw asked, “Oh no, who is dead?”
Kate replied, “ Why haven’t you heard? God is dead? Because my husband, Martin Luther, would never be in such a state of mind if he had a living God to put his trust in.”
This shocked Martin right out of his depression and as the story goes, he burst into a deep belly laugh and said, “Kate, you are a wise woman. I have been acting like God we’re dead and will do so no more.”
Acting Like God Is Dead
How many of us have gone through life acting as if God were dead without ever saying those words?
We know a lot about His power and love. We sing about it. We listen to teachings about it. But how many of us have really trusted that He is actively working in and around us to work all things to the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
Trusting Him isn’t about an outcome it’s more about a direction.
Specifically, the direction our eyes are looking toward and our hearts are following.
And one thing you can “take to the bank” is: Gods direction always leads to deliverance.
God’s direction ALWAYS leads to deliverance.
Answering The Question
So, how do you trust God when the outcome is not what you thought, prayed, and believed it would be?
I think it’s by trusting in who He is, what His character is like, and the depths of His love for us. Not In the outcomes or solutions we wanted.
Just Him. He is enough.
I know, this sounds like a cheesy Christian response but even though it does sound cheesy… I’ve found it to be true.
When He told me this for the fourth time I started to feel frustrated like I was missing something. And I was missing something, I was missing what was right in front of me. What He had been saying all along.
He really is enough.
Like so many others this last year, I was praying and trusting Him for outcomes but He wanted me to trust Him for His character…
He wanted me to trust Him because of who He is and who He has been. And it is because of His character that I can find the confidence that if I ask anything according to His will, He hears me. (1 John 5:14)
His love for us is His character. And when you love someone you care about all their needs.
By putting our trust in Him we get our focus off what His hands can do for us and back to what His heart is toward us. And if we can trust Him for who He is then it doesn’t matter what the outcome looks like; we know His heart toward us and that heart is full of goodness, mercy, love, and compassion.
It’s a heart that creates beauty out of brokenness.
What Kind Of Trust Are We Giving?
This isn’t easy stuff. This is the kind of stuff that lives in the “dying to ourselves and taking up our crosses” territory. But it’s the stuff that builds our faith and teaches us how to persevere toward hope when we feel like we’re suffering. (Romans 5:3-5)
His promise is, “I am always with you.” (Matthew 28:20)
Trusting God is about turning our eyes toward Him who is able to do far immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. (Ephesians 3:20)
So, my prayer for you is that you will not just know God but that you will trust Him. That no matter what obstacle is on your path you will believe you are not alone. And that your heart will be filled with fresh joy even if you are in a season of sorrow and you will cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
And if God is for us, who can be against us. (Romans 8:31)
*This post is Part 2 of a series on faith and trust. You can read Part 1: Finding Faith When What You Feel Is Loss here.