If God is not always controlling everything as some divine puppeteer, what does it mean to trust him? Trust him for what?￼ If he doesn’t always “get his way￼” because his creation is both free and broken, what does it even mean to say that he’s worthy of unbending confidence?
These questions might seem reasonable at first, but they quickly disappoint any real interrogation. Why on earth should we demand an all-controlling God before trusting him? In our other relationships, trust and control have little to do with each other.
Rather, for my money, trusting God means these three things for starters:
First, I trust in his CHARACTER because of what he did in Jesus.￼￼￼ The events of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection define the character of God as one endlessly worthy of love, worship and trust. Indeed, it turns out he is love! (1 John 4:8). Enough said.￼￼
Second, I trust in his FINAL VICTORY, because even though things in the present can go badly wrong,￼￼ we are promised over and again that eventually he will return and set all things right.￼ His kingdom arrived in part at his first coming, but not fully until his return.￼ We are still surrounded by brokenness, but we ￼await a final moment of true justice for all. ￼My present struggles are a small matter in a greater drama (Rom 8:18), and I’d best travel through them not by believing that God is perpetuating all such events somehow “for his glory”, but by￼ travelling relationally WITH him￼ through the mud￼, entering the divine partnership which brings healing to the world’s brokenness. This reveals God’s goodness in the world, and f￼or the most part it’s how he gets things done in this age (we are the light of the world, and the hands and feet of Jesus, remember? – Matt 5:14-16).￼￼￼ In￼￼ daily life, this means working and praying towards his best in each situation, while accepting that things won’t always go how I hope. There are other free forces at work for now, both human and unseen, but eventually all their wrongs (and my own!) ￼will be settled￼.￼￼￼
Third, I trust in his WAY. I trust that no matter what it costs me,￼￼￼ following the way of Jesus is always the path to the right and best outcomes￼, even though they’re not guaranteed to be easy for me as an individual. Instead, the Jesus way calls me to focus on the greater good of others and the kingdom of God (the organic growth of his loving rule upon the earth￼)￼.￼ This kind of life, though not the easiest,￼ proves the most soul-satisfying by far￼, mostly because it is TRUE, but also because it’s the only way that brings real flourishing to earth over the long-term.￼￼
Even these few reasons earn superabundant trust, and there are many more.￼ God ￼doesn’t need to pull all the strings to earn our confidence.
Well put. This is a question all of us ask at one point or another. Great answers.