Trusting in God can be challenging, especially when life feels uncertain or overwhelming. Yet the Bible offers guidance and reassurance about how to develop faith and reliance on God. By spending time in Scripture, praying, and participating in Christian community, we can grow in trusting God more fully.
Recognize God’s Sovereignty and Goodness
The first step in learning to trust God is recognizing that He is sovereign over all things. God upholds and sustains all of creation by His mighty power (Hebrews 1:3). Nothing takes Him by surprise, because He knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). Though we cannot always see how, God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
Meditating on God’s absolute power and unfailing goodness builds confidence that He has a purpose—even in painful circumstances. As the prophet Jeremiah wrote, “Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you” (Jeremiah 32:17). When we acknowledge God’s complete authority, we can release our tendency to cling tightly to control. Though the path ahead seems unsure, we can trust the One who oversees all things.
Spend Time in God’s Word
In addition to recognizing God’s sovereignty, learning to trust Him requires spending quality time in Scripture. The Bible reveals God’s character and promises, which serve as the foundation for faith. By reading and studying the Word, we encounter a faithful God who is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Even when everything around us seems uncertain, we can lean on God’s unchanging nature.
God’s Word also contains countless examples of individuals who placed their confidence in Him. Their stories inspire us to walk by faith, rather than sight. As the apostle Paul wrote, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4). Through biblical heroes like Abraham, Joseph, David, and Paul, we gain wisdom for trusting God in hardship. Their examples help anchor our faith when we face difficult seasons.
Prayer and trust in God go hand-in-hand. As we bring our cares and petitions to the Lord, we demonstrate dependence on Him rather than ourselves. Prayer aligns our hearts with God’s will, releasing control to His capable hands. The book of 1 Peter instructs, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Rather than obsessing over outcomes, prayer enables us to rest in the assurance that God hears us and will respond according to His perfect timing and purposes.
Persistent prayer also allows us to receive God’s supernatural peace in the midst of turmoil. The apostle Paul wrote, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). As we continually offer our thoughts and needs to the Lord, His Spirit calms our fears with confident assurance of God’s control.
Trust God in Community
The Christian life was never meant to be lived in isolation. God places believers together in the body of Christ so we can encourage one another in faith. During seasons of doubt or difficulty, we need faithful friends who point us back to the truth of God’s Word. Their support and counsel help anchor us when our own trust wavers.
The author of Hebrews emphasizes the importance of Christian community: “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” (Hebrews 3:13). Meeting together provides needed accountability and inspiration to persevere trusting God. It also reminds us that we are not alone. Just as God sustains us, He also provides the family of believers to uplift and exhort us. We grow stronger in trusting God as we walk together.
Recall God’s Past Faithfulness
In the uncertainties of life, it helps tremendously to reflect on God’s proven track record. Just as He provided manna daily for the Israelites in the wilderness (Exodus 16:4-5), God promises to supply our needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). When overcome by doubt or fear, we can remember how God faithfully brought us through prior challenges. The psalmist reflects, “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old” (Psalm 77:11). Rehearsing God’s past acts on our behalf renews courage to trust Him once more.
Moreover, meditating on God’s faithfulness equips us to boldly ask for what we need in the future. After recalling instance after instance of God’s provision for Israel, David prays confidently, “So now, O God of Israel, let your word be confirmed, which you have spoken to your servant David” (2 Samuel 7:25). His history with God’s steadfastness gave him assurance to trust God’s promises for the days ahead. We too can face the future unflinchingly when anchored by God’s proven track record.
Surrender Your Will
At the root, learning to trust God requires surrendering our will to His. Rather than clinging tightly to preferred outcomes, we must release our grip and declare along with Jesus, “Not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). God promises to lead and direct those who acknowledge Him, if we will yield our agendas to follow His way (Proverbs 3:5-6). Often, the greatest barrier to trusting God is a stubborn insistence that things go according to our plans. Yet true faith means resting in God’s infinitely greater wisdom and love, even when His path feels hard or confusing.
As we choose daily to submit to God’s will, our trust in Him is strengthened. Hebrews 5:7 describes how Jesus was perfected through suffering – as He surrendered completely to the Father. We too are matured and refined as we let go of control and embrace God’s good purposes, even when they contradict our own. The more we yield to God, the more confidence we gain in His trustworthy hands.
Take Thoughts Captive
Since our minds naturally tend towards doubt and fear, learning to trust God also requires taking thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). Feelings of mistrust often begin in our thought lives. When we entertain unbiblical beliefs or assumptions, faith in God quickly erodes. However, by monitoring thoughts and redirecting them back to truth, we can break free from destructive thinking patterns.
Rather than listening to voices of fear and uncertainty, we must fill our minds with the reality of God’s love and power. The book of Isaiah describes how God’s people will experience “perfect peace” by keeping their minds fixed on Him, rather than circumstances (Isaiah 26:3-4). As our thoughts align with God’s Word, our emotions and outlook become anchored in confident trust of Him. We can reject anxious thoughts by remembering that nothing is impossible for God (Luke 1:37). He knows exactly what we need and when we need it.
Trust God’s Timing
One of the biggest challenges in trusting God involves His timing. Because our perspective is limited, we tend to demand immediate solutions to problems or relief from difficult situations. Yet God often delays responding for good reasons—perhaps to strengthen our faith or use trials for His glory. That is why Scripture urges us to wait patiently on the Lord, trusting that He knows what He’s doing (Psalm 27:14).
Even when we don’t understand God’s timing, we can rest in the truth that His delays always reflect His faithfulness and love. As the prophet Habakkuk declared after questioning God’s plan, “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior” (Habakkuk 3:17-18). Despite his confusion over God’s timing, the prophet chose to rejoice in His sovereign control. Like Habakkuk, we can wait in hopeful expectation for God’s perfect timing.
Accept Not Knowing God’s Will
What about when God’s will itself seems unclear? We can trust God even when He has not revealed the specifics we desire about His plans. Rather than trying to figure everything out, we must rest in the knowledge that God holds the future. The prophet Isaiah declares, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways…As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). Since we cannot grasp God’s infinite understanding, we simply need to obey what He has shown us now, and trust Him with the rest.
When God’s will is uncertain, we wait on Him, pray for wisdom, and seek godly counsel. But the key is accepting that God’s ways are higher and embracing the mystery of His sovereign plan. As God told Habakkuk, “For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it lingers, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay” (Habakkuk 2:3). We can release anxiety over God’s unclear will by resting in His eventual revelation. For now, we walk in what God has made known one step at a time.
Persevere in Faith
Perhaps one of the greatest ways we learn to trust God is by persevering through trials. James writes, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4). As we endure through hardship while clinging to God, our faith muscles grow stronger. What once seemed impossible to endure becomes a testimony of God’s sustaining grace.
The stories of biblical heroes like Abraham, Joseph, David, and Paul reveal how God developed persevering trust in their lives through difficulty. Their examples both encourage and equip us to stay fixed on God when adversities come our way. We discover that even the worst circumstances cannot separate us from Him, as long as we persevere in faith (Romans 8:38-39). Each time we choose trusting surrender to God’s larger plan, we experience His comfort and strength in profound ways.
Of course, persevering does not mean passively waiting. We actively walk in obedience, pray persistently, and renew our minds with truth. We take one day at a time, asking God for courage and grace to endure. And we surround ourselves with believers who help strengthen and steady our faith. As we persevere, our roots sink deeply into the solid ground of God’s faithfulness.
Walk in Obedience
Finally, trust in God grows as we choose daily obedience to His commands. A life of integrity and surrender reflects our faith in God’s goodness and wisdom. Even when His ways seem confusing, we can echo the psalmist, “Your statutes are my delight, they are my counselors” (Psalm 119:24). Our alignment of thought, word, and deed with God’s truth enables trust to take root and blossom.
Moreover, obedience positions us to witness God’s faithfulness clearly. The author of Deuteronomy writes, “Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take possession of the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, and so that you may live long in the land the Lord swore to your ancestors to give to them and their descendants” (Deuteronomy 11:8-9). By heeding God’s instructions, the people of Israel would experience the fulfillment of His promises. Similarly, walking in obedience opens our eyes to see God’s trustworthiness.
Though we will waver and struggle at times, God continues working patiently to develop persevering trust within us. As the apostle Jude declares, God “is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy” (Jude 1:24). By His grace, we can learn to walk an obedient path reflecting trust in our loving Father each step of the way.