When Trust Becomes Too Difficult

“Trust starts with truth and ends with truth.” – Santosh Kalwar

“To trust God in the light is nothing, but to trust him in the dark – that is faith!” – Charles Spurgeon

Have you ever reached a point in your life where trusting God anymore just seemed too impossible?

You were counting on Him for protection and then the accident or death occurred that changed your life forever.  Maybe you were trusting in His wisdom and guidance and you feel more lost now then you ever have before.  You thought He was watching over your family and then tragedy struck or you prayed for His blessing over your pregnancy and your child was born with a birth defect.

You prayed and prayed before the doctor appointment yet the diagnosis was bleak or you believed He has a purpose for your life and it’s been nothing but random and uneventful. 

You’ve done nothing but believe in His promises and that faith has gone unrewarded.  You’ve looked and looked for Him in all you face, but He is nowhere to be found.

How do you keep trusting?  How do you keep believing?

I reached a point like this in my own life a few years ago.  I know what it feels like to be pinned to the mat, begging God to stop the pressure, only to find myself losing the wrestling match once again.   As I get up off the mat in defeat, brush myself off and look heavenward, I wonder if there really is a God, and if there is, can I really trust Him when I need Him most.

Most of my career was spent in the restaurant industry as a multi-unit operations executive.  It’s a crazy business to say the least!  There are always a thousand things going wrong at once – especially when you’re responsible for more than just one location.

Because of the plethora of issues constantly swirling about, I used to teach my restaurant managers to focus their attention on the “Big Three” – the three largest issues in terms of payback or return on investment based on the limited amount of time and resources one has at their disposal.  If you could identify the three largest issues that would give you the greatest overall results, and you put a majority of your time and attention against them, then success wouldn’t be too far behind.

When it comes to trusting God, I have identified my own “Big Three”.  When I have too many circumstances and events in my life driving my disbelief and distrust, I try to focus my spiritual attention on these three areas.  When trust becomes too difficult to imagine anymore, I spend some time meditating on the following:

Trust that God is in Control

So many things in this world seem out of control and it begs the question – “Who really is in control?”

Are We in Total Control?

Obviously, we are in control of our choices and decisions, but how often do these choices become irrelevant or meaningless?  Ask any victim of a hurricane if their personal choices could have prevented the storm from hitting the coast.  Ask the young, healthy person who eats right and exercises often what brought on their cancer diagnosis.  Ask the faithful husband or wife why their spouse left them devastated and alone.  Ask the young child what they did that caused their parent to abuse them.  Ask anyone who was born physically or mentally handicapped what choices they made that drove their disability.

My point is this:  We are in control of some things, but many things in this life are outside of our own control, therefore; we are not in total control.

Is Satan or Evil in Total Control?

The Bible describes Satan as the father of lies (John 8:44), a thief, a murderer, and a destroyer (John 10:10), constantly seeking those he can devour (1 Peter 5:8).

If Satan were in total control, what would this world look like?  If Evil had its way, would there ever be any goodness, blessings, or light?  Would things like hope and peace even exist?   If the “ruler of darkness” (Ephesians 6:12) was in total control, would love, kindness, and faithfulness be a part of anyone or anything?

Apparently, evil does exist, but it isn’t in total control.

Is God in Total Control?

Man is a part of God’s creation, and the Bible tells us that God is in control of all He has created.

“He stirs up the sea with His power, and by His understanding He breaks up the storm.” – Job 26:12 NKJV

“I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.” – Job 42:2 NKJV

“Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass, when the Lord has not commanded it?” – Lamentations 3:37 NKJV

Even Jesus told His persecutors, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given to you from above.” (John 19:11) Even Satan must come before God and be allowed to do his evil bidding (Job 1:12 and 2:4-6, Luke 22:31, and Revelation 20:1-3 and verse 10).

Our power to control and Satan’s power to control is allowed and controlled by God and His ultimate purposes.  If God had no power to control people, no power to control Satan, no power to control His creation…what do you think this world would look like?  Quite frankly, the world would have ended long ago!

Even when it makes no sense to us, even when things seem as if they are spinning out of control, even when evil seems overwhelming, we can trust that God is ultimately in control.

Trust that Love is at the very Center of God’s Character

“God is not looking for men of great faith, He is looking for common men to trust His great faithfulness.”  –  Hudson Taylor

When I watch tragedy unfold in this world, I’m often renewed and lifted up by the reaction and response of people – giving and helping others in need.  Have you ever stopped to think about why this is?  What lies within each of us that triggers this type of response?  What causes people to pull together when everything in our human nature tells us to look out for ourselves first and foremost?

This instinct is a reflection of our Creator.  Since we didn’t create ourselves, we can take no responsibility for it.  We can choose not to act on the instinct, but what has created that flame inside each of us to begin with, the one that knows what goodness, kindness, and gentleness feels like?  Why do acts of faithfulness or dreams of hope stir us like they do?

We are made in the image of God and He is at the very center of all goodness, righteousness, mercy and kindness.  Love is the essential character attribute of God and it drives all His actions toward us.

“We love because He first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19 NIV

The strongest evidence of this is found in God’s plan of redemption for all mankind.  If God were evil, partially in control, or indifferent, His loving plan of salvation through Christ wouldn’t exist.

So, if we can trust that God is in total control and we can trust His actions are driven by His love for us, why does He allow such devastation, havoc, and destruction to take place?  How does that sync with a loving, merciful God?

Trust there is more to the Story then You can See or Imagine

Think about what we see and experience here in this life.  Can it possibly be all there is?  Does fate drive our existence?  Are lives lost or those that are saved simply a matter of chance or circumstances?  To those who’ve lost all they had, is it simply bad luck or being in the wrong place at the wrong time?

If life is nothing but carbon-based life forms evolving, struggling to survive, and eventually dying, all by fate, luck, or chance, what hope is there?  What sense can be made behind the purpose of our lives if this is all there is?  What is the meaning behind all the detail and intricacy of this world if it’s simply spinning out of control?

Each of us can connect with the miracle of life and the Spirit that lives within us.  We all possess a body that is similar in nature, yet there is something invisible inside of us that makes us unique and different – unlike anyone on the planet.  When the body fails, we instinctually know the Spirit lives on.  We can trust there is more to the story then we can see or imagine.

When we look around and see injustice but know that God is a God of justice, we must conclude there is more to the story beyond what we see and experience in this life.  When we see sickness and disease but know that God is a God of healing,  we must realize there is more to the story.  When we suffer hardship but know that God is a God of love and mercy,  we must believe there is more to the story.  When we see death but know that God is a God of resurrection and life, we must know that the story lives on!

This isn’t all there is.  There’s more – a lot more than we can ever imagine.  Our blessings, our hardships, our mistakes, and our infirmities are preparing us for what lies ahead.

If you find yourself in circumstances or situations where trusting God is just too difficult anymore, I hope you focus on the “Big Three” – trusting in God’s control over all His creation, His everlasting love for mankind, and His power to keep the story unfolding for us all.

He is Truth – a place where trust begins and ends 😊

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