What Does It Even Mean to Trust God?

Trusting God. It’s that sticky, ambiguous thing that we know is super important. But we don’t often know what it really means, much less how to actually do it. 

It seems we Christians often think trusting God means hoping really hard that things will work out the way we want. But if we’ve lived long enough, or sometimes not long at all, we experience not getting what we really want. We hoped really hard God would do it, and… he didn’t.

I hoped really hard that I would get to stay in my country of service, and then I had to leave.

I hoped really hard for my ministry to flourish, for God’s kingdom to grow here, but it’s not. 

I hoped really hard that I would get to return to my passport country, but I haven’t.  

I hoped really hard that my loved one wouldn’t get sick, and then they did.

I hoped really hard my marriage would heal, and it hasn’t. 

I hoped really hard my support would increase, and it hasn’t. 

I hoped really hard for a husband…

I hoped really hard for a baby…

Our list of broken hopes goes on. 

Often, the thing we really wanted is something we thought God wanted, too. Something we’re convinced would be the best thing. So that naturally causes us to ask, “Why would God not make that happen for me? I believe he’s a loving God, but what kind of loving Father doesn’t do what’s best for his child? And what’s best for the world?” 

That’s a breeding ground for resentment, for doubt, for fear. 

A relationship can’t grow in those conditions. We know that. We’ve seen many instances where these conditions lead to a breaking – where people walk away from God.

But that’s an extreme. In these conditions of resentment, doubt, and fear, other things can occur. Things like:

1. Staying stuck in either resentment, doubt, or fear. (Common)

2. Stuffing it. Don’t think about it. Stay busy. Stay numb. (Very popular) 

3. Growing into a deeper, stronger, and more intimate relationship with God, free from the entrapments of #1 and #2. (This road is narrow)  

How do we grow into #3? The journey of trust, believing that God can transform us. 

This trust can transform everything. True trust is not the cliché platitude of hoping hard for what you want. True trust is one of brokenness, of release, surrender, and utter dependence. It involves lament, grief, and pain. But it leads to peace, joy, and contentment. It means living light and free, in the face of all that this world holds.  

How does this kind of transforming trust grow? Just like trust grows in any relationship, with time together and two-way communication. How incredible that we have a God who is always ready and eager to be with us, who knows what we need, and who communicates to us by the Holy Spirit within us. 

This is the invitation of the Velvet Ashes Unplugged Retreat. Get away. Be with him. Listen to what he has to say to you. Let transforming trust grow. Whether you’re wrestling with trust, or simply wanting to sink deeper into your loving relationship with Jesus, this retreat is for you.  

We’d love for you to join us and experience this retreat, right where you are. We’re unplugging from our devices so we can experience the intimate power of silence and solitude. Simply register, plan a day to retreat (our global community is choosing a day Oct 14-16), and then print out the retreat guide. This guide will lead you through a day for you and God, offering space for God to tend to you as only he can. 

Register at https://grow.velvetashes.com/.


  1. Janice September 22, 2022

    I keep coming back to this. Trust VS disappointment. Trust when God doesn’t do things my way or on my timetable. Thanks for writing it down. I will keep coming back to this reminder to skip over response one and two and go directly to three.

    1. Danielle Wheeler September 23, 2022

      “Trust when God doesn’t do things my way or on my timetable.” That’s a great way of putting it, Janice. It strikes me when I read that, that it’s easy to trust God when things go my way on my timetable. And that’s not a deep trust. If I only trust someone when they do exactly what I want, when I want it, then that’s not a deep, loving relationship. If you view it through the lens of God being our parent, that wouldn’t be good parenting. It would stunt our growth and maturity. It seems that broken expectations and disappointment are often the doorway to deeper, intimate space with God.

      Thanks for coming back and sharing, Janice.

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