When you come to understand the good news of Jesus Christ and His sacrificial love for you, it gives you incredible freedom to trust in Him. After all, He didn’t wait for you to come to Him. He took the first step, gave the greatest gift and paid the ultimate price. He loves you and desires for you to prosper.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” – Jeremiah 29:11
Here are four ways to help develop your trust in God:
1. Bible Study
The Bible helps us to grow in every area of life. We can turn to the Bible to get wisdom, encouragement and ideas of what to do. Start by reading any one of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) and let God speak to you through His word.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” – Psalm 119:105
Corporate Worship: As we follow Jesus, we learn to appreciate and love His church (the diverse, humble community of believers). A healthy congregation does more than just show up for a sermon. They share one another’s burdens and unite to accomplish what is impossible to do alone.
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:24, 25
Music, a language that touches our emotions, can be used as a weapon against discouragement. A simple act such as singing in a choir has been found to lead to increased function of the immune system.
“I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad.” – Psalm 34:1, 2, NRSV
Personal Worship: We live busy lives. Jesus warned that the cares of this world can choke out trust in God (Matthew 13:22). Those who set aside time in the morning for worship and commitment find their life brightened with hope. Just praying, “God, please order my day,” brings surprising effectiveness.
“My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; In the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up.” – Psalm 5:3
There will be times when no other help is available, and we need to trust God alone. As the saying goes, “God has no grandchildren.” You are God’s child.
“When you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” – Matthew 6:16-18
Fasting is a way of restricting food to a level that would not normally be consumed. Restricting food has been found to increase immune function, weight loss, decrease the rate of aging and increase the average and maximum lifespan. Food restriction reduces cancer formation, kidney disease, and in experimental models of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases it increases resistance of neurons to dysfunction and degeneration. Fasting gives our body a focused, healthy break.
Some people aren’t able to totally fast from food. Sometimes they follow a simpler diet or leave off desserts. Others find that a fast from television or the Internet for a span of time helps to clear the mind for God.
4. Serving Others
Another type of fast is to turn away from the abundance of envy, blame and self-centeredness that surrounds us, and serve others. Trust grows as we ourselves become more involved in God’s restoration project in this world. God’s “chosen fast” is described in Isaiah’s marvelous chapter 58.
“Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh? Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily.” – Isaiah 58:6-8
God truly has your best interests at heart, and with His help you can be empowered to rise above any challenges you may face. You can place your past, present and your future entirely in His hands.