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What Does It Mean to Trust in God?

Biblical Authority Devotional: All-Encompassing Authority, Part 10

by Chuck Mcknight on June 1, 2011
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Chuck McKnight, AiG–U.S., explains what it means to trust in God and why believers must constantly rely on Him for all things.

In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah (Psalm 62:7–8)

Today’s big question: what does it mean to trust in God?

We’re no strangers to the phrase, “In God we trust.” As the official U.S. motto, we find it on bumper stickers and t-shirts, in songs and poems, and even on our currency. It’s not without controversy either. Debates continually rage over whether such a motto is even constitutional, with Christians usually at the forefront of those seeking to preserve it. But in the midst of all this noise, have we forgotten what it really means?

First and foremost, trusting God means placing our faith in Jesus alone for salvation. Nothing we do can earn our salvation. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9).

But is salvation our only reason for trusting God? Certainly not! Scripture tells us, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act” (Psalm 37:5 (ESV)). The words used literally mean, “Hand over your course of life.” We’re further instructed, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established” (Proverbs 16:3 (ESV)). In other words, everything we do—our whole lives and our day-to-day work—must be entrusted to Yahweh.

Furthermore, we must place our confidence in nothing besides God. It’s foolish to trust money, strength, or influence, since these all come from God anyway (1 Chronicles 29:12).

Jesus instructed his disciples to pray, “Give us day by day our daily bread” (Luke 11:3). He does not want us to take assurance in what we have stored up for ourselves, as did the rich man in Luke 12:16–21. Rather, we trust God day after day for our provisions. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t work and properly steward what we are given (2 Thessalonians 3:10), but we must always keep the perspective that everything we have is from God.

This also means we don’t have to worry about anything. In fact, we’re commanded, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).

“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. . . . Your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Luke 12:22–23, 30–31)

Today’s big idea: we must trust in God for everything.

What to pray: ask God to help you rely on Him alone.

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