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.
Trusting God in every aspect of life should not be hard. After all, He did create everything. He has an intimate knowledge of the most minute details from the very simple to the complex. He certainly knows how it all works together better than we do. Trusting God should be easy, but it is difficult.
Human beings like to be in control. We like to believe we have prepared for every situation and circumstance life brings. But people let us down. We struggle to trust. We fear the next bit of bad news. The ring of the telephone inspires feelings of dread and apprehension. Depression consumes so many, both the nonbeliever as well as the believer.
Christians are supposed to have the answers. They are supposed to be strong and full of faith. Yet fear, depression, and anxiety are found throughout society, even within the local church: from the congregation to the pulpit. Pastors regularly find themselves battling fear of failure, overwhelming anxiety, and depression.
We as believers have adopted an appearance that all is well. We hide the truth from others for fear our weaknesses will be exposed, or worse yet, manipulated and gossiped about throughout the congregation. The Church is supposed to be a place of safety but, all too often, breeches of confidence and trust turn people inward rather than toward the model the Bible teaches. We fear “bearing each others’ burdens,” or allowing others to bear our own because we have been hurt.
It is only natural that we would transfer that hurt to God. After all, He created us. Logically, in some way, we think He must be like us. But in reality, mankind is created in His image though we commonly fall short of God’s character. Our need for acceptance and approval make it hard to trust because we know who we are. We work so hard to hide it from our brothers and sisters, hoping to avoid the pain of being the latest fodder at the gossip mill, that we deceive ourselves into believing we can hide it from God.
But we can not hide who we are from Him. Accepting that fact is incredibly difficult and amazingly freeing for the spiritual well-being of a believer. We can not hide our true selves from Him and yet, He loves us with a perfect love. That is inconceivable to us because no matter how righteous we believe ourselves to be, we all struggle with the concept of unconditional love. As long as believers attribute the characteristics of man to God rather than man becoming more like Him – adopting His character – we will struggle to embrace the safety that comes when we fully embrace the love of Christ. But it is that love that conquers fear.
People will fail because they are people. They have the same fears that we struggle so hard to keep hidden. But God is not a man that He should lie. God is truth. God is love! Trust in that. Trust in Him and give control to the one who has your best interest at heart.
Toby James Swager is an author and director of a community non-profit who lives in Nashville, TN. He serves with a disaster relief organization and travel the USA in response to disasters, helping people to cope with the loss and go through their belongings to help them find stability in an unstable time.