If God loves us, shouldn’t trusting Him diminish our problems? Some Christians believe that trusting God means we shouldn’t have any trials and our lives should always be great. This kind of thinking comes in many different forms, such as:
“If I really trusted God, I would never have financial problems.”
“If I really trusted God, I would always be blessed with good circumstances.”
“If I really trusted God, I would get healed.”
“If I really trusted God, I wouldn’t get depressed or feel afraid.”
“If I really trusted God, my kids wouldn’t mess up.”
“If I really trusted God, I wouldn’t need Christian counseling.”
These ideas would be terrific – if it was the way God actually operated. However, this mindset isn’t realistic. Tribulation happens to everyone. And, Christians can feel very guilty when things don’t change in the way they had prayed and hoped. Some even go down the road of believing, “If I only had enough faith…”
Not too long ago, one of our staff members at Grace Life needed surgery for a serious condition. During the process, this staff member received a phone call from a well-intended Christian exhorting and scolding him to trust God and have faith, rather than go through with the surgery. Yet, this staff member was trusting God and walking in His promises. After prayerful deliberation, the staff member chose to have surgery and a surprising thing happened. In the midst of a very painful recovery, he experienced a depth of intimacy with God he had never known before! God did heal him through the surgery. But, his faith was strengthened with God in new ways.
There is no doubt that God wants us to trust Him, depend on Him, and believe His promises. However, even if our trust in God is 100%, that does not obligate Him to do anything. God always loves us and His sovereign plans are always best for us, even when we don’t understand.
When you look at God’s heart in the Bible, you see a very different perspective. For example, the Apostle Paul once wrote that he was under such difficult circumstances he thought he might die. In 2 Corinthians 1:9-11, he says, “These things happened that we might not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead.” Paul’s challenging life events were not a result of his lack of faith in God. In fact, Paul understood that these difficult circumstances were an opportunity to trust God even more.
For instance, Paul and his traveling mission team experienced depression even though they trusted God. In 2 Corinthians 7:6, Paul wrote, “But God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus.” In addition, Paul had health problems even though he trusted God. In Galatians 4:13, he reminded the Christians, “As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you.”
Trusting God does not prevent us from having problems. Instead, trials are opportunities to affirm we are relying on God because we are united with Him. As we live in our union with God, He will always provide the ability to go deeper into intimacy with Him!