“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
Trust: Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.
So we can trust a person in different ways. I trust such and such because they are reliable. I trust such and such because of their ability. I trust such and such because they have proven to be truthful. Our trust in people is different depending on who they are, what they mean to us, or what they have shown us they are.
To grow deeper in our faith, we’ll have to learn how to trust God. Trust Him with our life, trust that he knows what’s best for us, and trust that His word is true.
When we learn how to put our full trust in God as the scripture says, we will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. This simply means: Our hope in Christ will never be lacking, no matter what we are going through. But this can only be attained by trusting in Christ continually. Not only that, but God also wants us to trust Him while being filled with joy and peace.
Now we are going to explore this. We are going to talk about things in our life that are hindering us from believing God’s word and moving forward. Internal struggles we carry, that do not allow us to fully embrace the gospel, to trust God wholeheartedly as our heavenly father. Each of us should want to grow in Christ and know God more intimately and love Him more passionately.
When we come to Christ and accept him as our savior, we feel a burden has been lifted off. You start to see things in a different way. You start to have new desires within you that you never had before. But there are still things in our life that we have to “worked out” or do away with and fears we must confront, in order that the life of Christ will be evident in us. One of those things that stop or slows us down in our spiritual growth is a lack of trust. When we trust someone not only do we bring our guard down, we are vulnerable to that person also. And who better to be vulnerable with than our Heavenly Father. Below are a couple of things I find that block us from fully knowing our Savior.
- Doubt: A feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction. We doubt our worth to be loved by God, because of our past. We’re uncertain if God truly loves like he says he does. Doubt will stop you from trusting God because it brings instability into our lives. James 1:5-8
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
- Doubt stops us from believing the promises that God has for us.
- Doubt hinders our prayers. Jesus tells us in Matthew 21:21 “ That if we have faith and do not doubt, we will tell this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea it will be done, And if we believe, we will receive whatever we ask for in prayers
- Doubt is the obstacle that stops our faith from growing. Because one minute we believe God because all is going good and the next your uncertain because of life’s surprises. Our faith needs to walk on stable ground in order for it to grow in Jesus.
- Proverbs 3:5 says Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
- Trust the word of God without doubting and draw closer to Him. Believe in Him as the scripture says and rivers of living water will flow from within you (John 7:38).
Guilt: There is a difference between guilt and conviction. Guilt is a feeling of having committed some crime or offense. When you feel guilty, it brings with it condemnation. Guilt keeps your thoughts held captive and will continually bring to remembrance what you did. Not only that it brings with it the feelings of pain, shame and sometimes fear with fill our hearts. As we continue to remember what we have done.
Romans 8:1 says “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, those who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spirit.” Side note: Walking in the Spirit means we are putting our trust in Jesus Christ continually for our salvation. Even though we may fail, we keep our eyes on Him. We let the Holy Spirit guide us to act in ways that are pleasing to God. Walking in the flesh means you practice that which is contrary to the spirit which includes: Idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, division, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and other sins like these. (Gal 5:19-21)
Now, conviction is the revelation of a sin or a wrong done. Conviction leads a person to repentance and to do good, which in turn changes our life.
2 Corinthians 7:10 “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
Now how can the feelings of guilt take us away from trusting God?
When you have feelings of guilt, you don’t feel the redemption (the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil) that Christ gives. Guilt makes the person feel ashamed and that feeling leads to more feelings of guilt (you start building a wall around yourself). Guilt makes the person think he can never be forgiven, which sometimes may lead us into depression or even suicide. It will have you believe that somehow you are responsible to save yourselves. And you take your focus off Jesus and start to sink into the water like Peter did.
Isa 56:11 “In God I trust, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” A spirit of fearfulness and timidity does not come from God. The devil is called the accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:10). He loves accusing the believer to God. When he has gotten us to feel guilty, we shy away from God. We don’t want to come close to Him. When you feel guilty and shameful for something we did, something that we probably promised God we will never do again, and we did, often times sends us into hiding. We don’t want to face God. But we forget that we cannot escape God. Psalms 139:7-12 “Where can I go to escape Your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there. If I live at the eastern horizon ⌊or⌋ settle at the western limits, even there Your hand will lead me; Your right hand will hold on to me. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me, and the light around me will be night”— even the darkness is not dark to you. The night shines like the day; darkness and light are alike to You.”
We have to remind ourselves that God knows that we are only dust. Psalms 103:13-14 “As the father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He knows what we are made of, remembering that we are dust.”
How can we turn from guilt? Draw near to God in full assurance of faith. Hebrews 10:22 “let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.” The blood of Christ fully satisfies God’s righteousness.
Rejection: A deep feeling of hurt. It’s the act of not accepting, believing, or considering something. To throw away; cast off; despised. We have all experienced rejection, one time or another in our life. We could have been rejected by our parents, friends, family, romantic relationship; or we could have been rejected because of our social status. The list goes on! How we handle rejection, is a window on what we feel about ourselves.
When a person feels rejected by others, especially those of the faith, how does this keep them from trusting God?
When we feel rejected by others, we feel that “surely God is doing the same.” We feel unloved like something is wrong with us.
Can we agree that love is the basic need of all human beings, so is respect, acceptance, and security. When we are walking around with a spirit of rejection, we cannot receive any of these virtues, and this messes up our relationship with others, and with God. We don’t trust what the word says about us, that we are beloved.
Rejection is the master plan of the devil because once you feel rejected you cannot receive the love of God. And if you cannot receive the love of God, you cannot trust God. Not only that, but you’ll also feel unworthy to come as you are. You start to feel uncomfortable when others talk about the love of God because you do not know what that truly means. Side note: (People are the ones that are broken, not God) 1 Peter 2:4-5 says “As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” We can identify with Christ because he was also rejected by His own people (John 1:11). But he didn’t stumble because of it, because He knew he was in His father’s loving arms. He knew that no matter what people did, or said about Him, the Father knew Him and loved Him.
Other things that can be included in this are: our circumstances, our trials and tribulations, the “storms in our life”, and worrying can keep us from trusting God if we do not have a correct perspective of God. Putting your trust in God doesn’t mean that you won’t go through your struggles. It means in your situation, you have chosen to keep your eyes placed on Jesus and trust what His word says. It means that you have full faith and confidence that no matter what you see, no matter what is going on around you. God is in control. Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”
A verse and quote to keep our minds on trusting God and whatever process we are going through.
Psalms 143:8 “Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.”
Trust in His timing, Rely on His promises, Wait for His answers, Believe in His miracles, Rejoice in His goodness, Relax in His presence.