Contributor: W. Travis Stewart, LPC, NCC, writer for Addiction Hope
I have a hard time trusting God. I don’t mean that in the larger sense. I believe that God exists. I believe that God is good. I believe that God forgives me through Christ.
That trust didn’t come easily. It was forged over time, through struggle, doubt and tears. How that trust came to be is another story but, suffice it to say, I do believe that one day God will heal all wounds, wipe away every tear and right every wrong.
It’s the here-and-now that causes me great anxiety. Does God care about my finances? Is God actively involved in the lives of my kids? Can I turn to God when I’m confused? Does prayer make a difference?
Difficulty in Trusting God
I don’t think my difficulty trusting God is based in poor theology or doctrine. I understand that Scripture teaches that God is intimately involved in the details of my life. I’m familiar with the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:25-33, part of which says:
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they…Therefore, do not be anxious saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’…your heavenly Father knows that you need them1.
Jesus is teaching that our good, heavenly Father cares about meeting our needs because we are of great value to him. It’s just that trusting this truth on a daily basis is REALLY DIFFICULT.
The Truth Will Set You Free
The guys at TrueFaced Ministries2. have said, “The truth will set you free, but only if you trust it.” In this context trust means moving toward God rather than inward toward self.
Our self-protection means that when facing challenges the direction of our trust is usually inward. We worry, we retreat, we turn to addiction, self-doubt or anger. But God calls us to move outward toward others, toward community, toward Him.
What does this look like? Bill Tell, in his wonderful book, Lay It Down, writes, “Freedom always moves us toward people and into community (Galatians 5:13), and so freedom allows us to love and be loved.” Trusting God and others means allowing ourselves to be vulnerable with them and receiving their care.
What Trust Does for Us
Trust not only moves us toward community but also leads us to think differently. Fear causes us to dwell and obsess about potential disaster. This rumination on how bad things are builds fear and anxiety into the neuropathways of our brain. It contributes to depression, loneliness and isolation.
For me, I’m learning to trust God through meditating on what my life would look life if I really believed what the Bible says about God is true. I’ve begun to take a truth about God, such as his goodness, provision or forgiveness and meditate on what that would mean for my day. Here’s an example of my prayer:
You Are With Me
God, you say in Matthew 6 that you know about my daily needs and that I am valuable. Today, if I trusted that truth I would not anxiously worry about my finances. Instead I would work hard knowing that you are with me.
I would be aware of my fears and desire to retreat and instead, I would move confidently into the world around me. If I trusted that you are with me and that you know the small details of my life, then I would not avoid my responsibilities.
Instead, I would give my best effort and trust you with the results. God, I need you. I tend to move inward in the face of fear. If I truly trusted you today I would move outward toward you and others with courage and hope. Amen.
If you would like to learn to practice this kind of prayer visit www.reflectiveprayer.com.
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
What has been your experience with trusting God in your addiction recovery? What advice do you have to share with others struggling in this area?
About the Author:
Travis Stewart has been mentoring others since 1992 and became a Licensed Professional Counselor in 2005. His counseling approach is relational and creative, helping people understand their story while also building hope for the future.
Travis has experience with a wide variety of issues which might lead people to seek out professional counseling help. This includes special interest in helping those with compulsive and addictive behaviors such as internet and screen addiction, eating disorders, anxiety and perfectionism.
Travis graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1991 with a degree in advertising and immediately began working with the international ministry of The Navigators, mentoring students. After 8 years, his desire to better understand how people change, and through his own experience of receiving help from a professional counselor, Travis decided to return to school.
He earned a Master of Arts in Counseling (2001) and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies (2003), both from Covenant Seminary in St. Louis, MO. Travis is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Missouri.
- TrueFaced Ministries
Addiction Hope is proud to announce the initiation of a special Christian Track of blogs and articles to commemorate the blessing of our sister site, Eating Disorder Hope’s 10th year anniversary. Watch for further content noted as “Christian Track”.
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on August 8th, 2015
Published on AddictionHope.com