Mentoring Ministry

Providing biblical teaching resources for the next generation.

How Far does your Trust Go?

We will all experience times when we pray in faith, trusting God for what we need. However, our prayers will not always be answered in the way we desire. When this happens, it will challenge our faith. It might even tempt us to question the faithfulness of God. Before you read any further, let me assure you that God is completely faithful. He is absolutely dependable. His faithfulness is beyond question. He is the Creator. We are His creation. His loving care is detailed and specific toward us. According to Psalm 91, He will even send angels, just to keep you from stumbling against a stone. As, Psalm 91:11 says, “He shall give His angels charge over you. In their hands they shall bear you up lest you dash your foot against a stone.”  This simply means that you can trust in Him and all the resources of heaven, without ever questioning His faithfulness. You might be thinking, “What about those times He does not answer my prayer?” That question is the subject of this article.

I asked my good friend, Bishop Daniel Makutsoane from Lesotho (a small nation located inside South Africa), if I could share with you a powerful piece of wisdom he wrote, concerning trust in the Lord. I am honored that he graciously allowed me to do so. He wrote this.

“I am convinced that trusting in God is not enough. We need to go a little further and allow God’s will to be over our trust, meaning that even if He doesn’t do what we trusted Him for… we still trust His wisdom, power and ability to… not only what we ask but what is His will concerning our needs. God knows better, sees better and loves us more that we do for ourselves. Trust and obey.”

As you reflect on Bishop Makusoane’s words, add this to them. It is a definition of faith that I have applied to myself and given to others for many years. It says, “First, believe God. Second, behave according to what you believe. Third, trust Him for the outcomes.”  Notice that there is nothing in this definition that speaks of the outcomes agreeing with, or submitting to what you or I prayed. It simply says, “Trust Him for the outcomes.” My point is that the outcomes are in His absolutely faithful, completely capable hands. I know that as long as God has dominion over the outcomes of our prayers, these outcomes will agree with the perfect will of God. Nothing compares to being in the perfect will of God, even when it does not agree with what you Him asked for.

He is forever God. He is absolute in power for all eternity. Nothing can stand against His will. He is infinite in authority over every created thing. He will exercise His authority by the sound of His voice. His words cannot be stopped because He rules over everything in His creation. He even spoke the worlds into existence. Not even demons dare oppose His authority. His love for you knows no bounds or limits. Romans 8:37-39, in the New King James Version says, Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. {38} For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, {39} nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

When we add the absolute authority of God to the reality of His divine love for us (as His sons and daughters who have been adopted into His kingdom), we know the Scriptures are true. Nothing can separate us from His love, and therefore, from Him. As long as we submit the outcomes of our prayers to His unfailing wisdom and good pleasure, we will enjoy walking close to Him within the safety of His perfect will. Nothing could be more of a blessing. Nothing could bring us more security and comfort. Psalms 36:7 says, “How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore, the children of men put their trust under the shadow of your wings.” This brings us back to Bishop Daniel Makutsoane.

Bishop Daniel’s wise words (allowing God’s will to have priority over what we pray for) caused me to think about how I approach my faith. I invite you to think, for a moment, about your approach to your faith. The bishop’s words should remind us that faith is more than a matter of the outcome being what you want. Faith is about having trust in Him as we submit to the will of God. It is about acknowledging that serving God is no guarantee of having every prayer answered. What serving God does guarantee is that you and I will walk through every issue of life, covered by the shadow of His unfailing presence. Thank you Bishop Daniel. Your wisdom is a blessing.

Consider these two questions. First, has an unanswered prayer, or perhaps one that was answered in ways you did not want, ever caused you to have wrong feelings toward God? Second (and this is a particularly challenging question), how did your disappointment in what appeared to be an unanswered prayer affect your trust in God? I have often said, “What happened in the past is never qualified to determine your future.” If you have allowed your disappointment to weaken your trust in God, you can put that in the past. God will even help you. Ask Him for forgiveness for your attitude. Then pray to Him for an increase in your level of faith. That is a prayer He loves to answer.

As a fitting end to this word of encouragement to you, I will remind you of Jesus’ words in Mark 10:27 (NKJV). He was talking with His disciples, teaching them about the subject of trust. He said this to them, “With man it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.” Now, that is something about which you can spend some quality time thinking and praying.