When trusting God doesn't come easily

A Christian Science perspective on daily life

A neighbor visited a friend one day and poured out her troubles over a cup of coffee at the kitchen table. The friend listened patiently and yearned to say something that would help her neighbor. Then she said, "Just trust God. Turn to Him and reach out for His help."

The neighbor confessed she wasn't sure she could do that. She was afraid of what God might do. It was hard for her to turn to God when she was uncertain the results would be good.

At that point, her friend spent some time reassuring her neighbor that God is infinite Love and only blesses His children. She quoted the Psalmist, "The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy" (Ps. 145:8).

This simple encouragement coming from someone whom she knew had turned to God many times to solve her own problems put the neighbor's mind at ease and brought immediate relief and anticipation of greater good.

Most of us at times can find it challenging to trust God. After all, no one wants to be let down or disappointed. Believing that God has tendencies of changeability, temperament, and inconsistency doesn't inspire great confidence.

But to see God as infinite Love, perfect Principle, the divine Creator who is all good and who is neither changeable nor variable, can be a great help when it comes time to trust Him.

Knowing God correctly is an essential first step in trusting Him. Blind faith in a God we believe to be mercurial is neither intelligent nor safe. We need to know what we are trusting in. The more we understand God as divine Love, the more we will find ourselves turning to God for help and leaning on His infinite goodness.

When Jesus healed a man possessed by many devils, the man wanted to stay with him. But Jesus told him, "Go home to thy friends and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee" (Mark 5:19).

There's no record in the Bible why Jesus wanted the man to do this, or what the result was, but it's easy to imagine that the people would be greatly encouraged by this proof of God's love. Perhaps the man's friends, and perhaps his family, needed to be awakened to the fact that the God they were worshiping was infinite and all-powerful divine Love. And that God's mandate for them was not a curse, but a blessing.

Mary Baker Eddy connects learning about God correctly with trusting Him. In her sermon "The People's Idea of God" she wrote, "Believing that man is the victim of his Maker, we naturally fear God more than we love Him; whereas 'perfect Love casteth out fear;' but when we learn God aright, we love Him, because He is found altogether lovely. Thus it is that a more spiritual and true ideal of Deity improves the race physically and spiritually" (p. 6).

How can we trust God more? Through silent, heartfelt prayer that asks God for light and understanding, we begin to gain a sense of His love. Why? Because God is Himself infinite Love and only blesses.

Study of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," offers new views of God and His infinite goodness, enabling us to drop human views of God as vengeful or unmerciful.

Learning to take steps in trusting God instead of ourselves, we develop confidence and expectancy in His "great mercy" spoken of in Psalms. We can do this even in the little things that make up everyday life, that eventually add to the larger picture of our world community.

An enlarged understanding of God makes it natural to turn to and trust His love without reservation or fear.

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