I often hear from people who are going through hard times, and are having trouble trusting the Lord. They want to believe that God has their best interests at heart, and that He’ll lead them to a favorable outcome in their situation, but they struggle with their faith to the degree that they fall into doubt, confusion, and despair. My heart always goes out to these struggling saints, because I, too, have experienced moments of fear and doubt. But, thankfully, I am learning that there are ways we can grow in our trust of the Lord.
David wrote: "Those who know Your name will trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You." (Psalm 9:10 NIV) Here, David reveals that the key to trusting God lies in knowing Him. We’re not talking about a casual acquaintance with God, but a deeply personal and intimate relationship with Him. Think about the apostle Paul. Many of his most encouraging words were written from inside a dark, dank prison cell. How did he have that kind of faith and trust in the Lord in difficult times? He made knowing God His highest priority. "[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly…" (Philippians 3:10 AMP) Paul knew that we grow in faith when we pursue the Lord with passion.
One thing that we have to keep in mind is that there are no shortcuts to getting to know God. It takes time and effort, and it involves putting God at the top of our list each day, and centering our schedules around Him. It also includes a devotion to the Word of God and prayer. Romans 10:17 (NKJV) says: "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Our faith and trust in God will be stunted and stagnant if we lack a working knowledge of the Scriptures. Our faith has the potential to grow every time we read the Word, or hear it preached with power. Even speaking the Word aloud with our own lips can build our faith and bolster our trust in God. Talking to the Lord in prayer can increase our trust in Him, too. We can’t nurture an intimate relationship with God without staying in constant communication with Him. If you don’t know where to begin, read the psalms. All of the psalmists, including David, continually poured their hearts out to the Lord. They shared with Him their fears, doubts, hopes, and dreams. They took God into their confidence, and they trusted Him with their darkest thoughts and emotions. They asked the Lord to change their hearts and their perspectives in ways that would glorify Him, and they sought His supernatural assistance when they were in need. And God responded, often in miraculous ways.
In the second half of David’s verse in Psalm 9:10, he says that the Lord will not forsake those who seek Him. The author of Hebrews says something similar when he writes: "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV) This kind of seeking is not a half-hearted approach to reaching out to God. It’s the kind of seeking that forsakes other interests, and shuns worldly distractions, in order to spend time alone with God, to get quiet and still before Him, and to listen intently for His voice. A sincere seeker like this will be richly rewarded by the Lord, as this verse promises—often in unexpected and extraordinary ways.
The prophet Hosea wrote: "Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know Him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring." (Hosea 6:3 NLT) Pressing on to know the Lord isn’t easy, but as Scripture bears out, it is worth it. As we determine to pursue God with passion, our faith and trust in Him will grow, and we will learn from personal experience that He will never forsake those who seek Him.
Prayer: Lord, fill me with a holy determination to get to know You personally and intimately. Help me to devote myself to prayer and the study of Your Word, and to stay in constant communication with You. Thank You that as I seek You with all of my heart, I will learn to trust in Your goodness, wisdom, and power!
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