What does the Bible teach about trust in God?

Trusting God is one of the products of a faith that God grants us (Ephesians 2:8–9). When we trust God, we are putting our security in Him, believing His promises, and relying on Him regardless of our circumstances.

Faith is not quite the same as trust, though trust is a natural consequence of faith. Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." It is because of our faith in God that we trust Him.

Usually our active trust in God is a result of those things we have seen about God. For example, we have read His Word (the Bible) and see His character displayed. We learn how He is faithful to fulfill His promises. We've seen God's goodness in our own lives and the lives of others, and since we know His character, we trust that what He does will continue to be for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28–39). Or we've seen God's faithfulness through a hardship and trust that He will be faithful to us in our next hardship (James 1:2–4; Romans 5:3–6). When we trust Him, we also trust the outcomes we experience with Him. Isaiah 26:3–4 says, "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock." Philippians 4:4–9 and Romans 8:28–29 have similar encouragement.

Often when looking for verses about trust to hang our hats on, we turn to Proverbs 3:5–6, but we suggest including verse 7 as well: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil" (Proverbs 3:5–7). When we trust God and His plans, we set aside our trust in ourselves. We know that His ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8–9) and we eagerly follow.

We trust in God and also in His Word (Psalm 93:5; 111:7; Titus 1:9; 2 Timothy 3:16–17) and His nature (Deuteronomy 7:9; Psalm 25:10; 145:13; 146:6). Because we can trust Him, we can trust His plans for us (Isaiah 46:10; Jeremiah 29:11; Romans 8:28–29; Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 1:6).

Our own understanding and experience prohibits our trust in ourselves because we know, more than anyone, that we are not trustworthy. We break promises and our intentions often remain unfulfilled. We identify with Paul when he writes, "For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand" (Romans 7:18–21).

We can see the trust many of the people the Bible talks about exhibited in God. Rahab heard about God, believed what she heard about Him, asked what to do to be saved, and because of God's reputation, she trusted His people (Joshua 2). David trusted in God as he was pursued by Saul and other enemies. He writes about his trust in God multiple times in Psalms.

We know we can trust God because He is trustworthy. "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38–39).

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