It really should be easier to trust God. But we are silly creatures and so trusting the Almighty is difficult. Of course if he only asked us to do tiny things then it wouldn’t be as tough. But God doesn’t make small promises—he makes big promises that blow our minds and require big trust.
Richard Baxter in his Christian Directory gives 15 directions for developing a “quieting and comforting trust in God”. I’ve modernized them a bit to make them more helpful to you:
- Meditate on the greatness of God, and remember that “all things that we can fear are nothing, and can do nothing, but by his command, and motion, or permission”.
- Labor to really know the promises of God. Confident in what He has actually promised and not setting anchor on the things He has not promised.
- Don’t give in to the lies of the tempter who will convince you to cast your eyes on your guilt instead of on the sufficiency of the Savior.
- Remember the grounds of confidence and quietness God has already given you.
- Consider the greatness of the sin of distrust.
- You will place your trust somewhere, if you place it in something/someone other than God beware, for he might say “Let them in whom you’ve trusted help you.”
- Creatures will fail you. God never will.
- Look to his care for something as insignificant as a sparrow. Do you really think you need to “fear his absence, disregard, forgetfulness, or insufficiency”?
- Compare God to your best friend. Now think about how much you trust him/her. How much more boldly should you trust the Almighty who is our best friend?
- It’s normal to be unsettled, to have fear, sorrow, etc. Use these as opportunities to cast all your cares upon the Lord.
- Remember that distrust is a pregnant, multiplying sin, and will carry you into all sorts of other sins.
- Don’t let distrusting thoughts gain a foothold in your mind, but cast them out immediately.
- When commands alone won’t prevail, then rebuke, chide, and preach to your unbelieving heart. Reason it out of such distrust.
- Don’t confuse the words of Satan or your own unbelieving heart with the sayings of God.
- Remember that there is nothing gained by struggling against the will of God, and nothing is lost by a quiet submission to it.
I love how even some 400 years ago, pastors were encouraging their people to preach the gospel to themselves. That is essentially what Baxter is saying here. Meditate on God. Think about yourself as you relate to Him. And then preach the gospel to yourself.