Trusting God: God and You: Part I
God and Man

Introduction: This five-part series: Trusting God: God and You highlights essential truths necessary for victory in this life and for eternity. A person’s view of God is the single most important factor as he lives in God’s world. His view of God affects his thoughts, desires, and actions as he is faced with God’s providence. The theme Trusting God: God and You was played perfectly and completely by Jesus who called His apostles to trust God and Him (John 14:1-3).

Every person is a truster. God designed man at creation as a truster. Therefore, inherently, trust and trusting have a Godward reference. Scripture teaches that fallen man was born a self-truster which has consequences (Proverbs. 3:5-8; 28:26; Psalm 49:12-13). Trusting in self is part of man’s rebellion. Psalm 49 teaches that self-trusters are like beast. Animals are not inclined to ask nicely, say thank you, or wait their turn. They are getters. They live for self, in the world for themselves.

Esau was concerned was himself by filling his own belly (Genesis 25:29-34; Philippians 3:19). Esau lived according to his senses unchecked by biblical truth. His physical appetite was to be satisfied: by him, for him, and to him. His relationship with God was one of rebellion. He did not trust God. He trusted only self.

Esau’s approach to life was in contrast to Jesus Christ, the ultimate God-truster. He came to do His Father’s will thereby pleasing Him (John 4:31-34). Jesus lived by His senses but the interpretation of the information obtained through them was always guided by biblical truth and the motivation to please God. Such it should be for every believer who has the capacity to rightly interpret facts.

Post-fall, every person remains a self-truster that is manifested in varying degrees and in a variety of ways. This is true for the believer and unbeliever. Salvation brings a radical change in the believer’s heart and with it a change in orientation, bent, inclination, and capacity (John 3:3-8). Trusting God becomes a reality and a duty for the believer, but it is more. Trusting God is now a privilege and blessing (2 Corinthians 5:9, 17; 1 John 5:3-4). Growing as a God-truster requires a change in a person’s view of God and self. The two are mutually linked and inversely related (John 3:30).

Trusting God simplifies life. It is one of the wisest and most profound endeavors the believer engages (Psalms 13:5-6; 20:7-8; 22:9; 37:3-6; 125:1 ; 143:8; Proverbs 22:18-19). Trusting God makes a statement about God’s power and control, His wisdom, and His love. The God-truster makes several declarations as he trusts and acts accordingly:
• God is completely sovereign and His control is good.
• God is infinite in His wisdom and purposes. He wills what is best for Him and Huis people.
• God is good and perfect in His love. He does what is best.

When the believer trusts God he is proclaiming what the Bible teaches: God knows best and wills what is best for Him and His people (Psalm 115:3; 135:6). The believer agrees with the Bible, God’s self-revelation. God does what is best by ordaining the best possible means for Himself and His people. The cross is the ultimate example and proclamation of God’s sovereignty, wisdom, and love. Those facts should motivate you and spur you to trust God. He is trustworthy. That fact is an undeniable, non-negotiable truth.

However, there is a rub, a problem. When you come face to face with God’s providence (life events), you wonder and even ask is God trustworthy. The three-fold declaration of God’s trustworthiness as given above is based on Scripture. In the “heat of life” what is your standard? Is your standard yourself – your experience, logic unrelated to biblical truth or feelings? Or is your standard God’s purposeful, powerful self-expression – the Bible? Trusting God means trusting in and relying on His word and acting accordingly in thought and desire. God gives the believer all he needs for life and godliness which motivates the believer to trust in Him (2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:3-4).

Trusting God requires proper knowledge of who God is, what He has done and will do to you and for you and for His Church. Further, it requires experiencing His goodness (Romans 12:1-2; Psalm 34:8) and confidence in the knowledge that God is trustworthy. The Bible teaches that God has proven trustworthy and a person ignores this fact at a grave risk.

The statement that God is completely trustworthy is an interesting one. God has no obligation to prove Himself. He is God. Yet, Scripture makes clear that the believer’s faithfulness is a testimony to and of God’s faithfulness. He makes and keeps promises (Genesis 3:15). It dates back to the Garden! He is the Promise-maker and Promise-keeper par excellence. It is one aspect of who God is. God says what He means, means what He says. He brings all things to pass for His glory and the good of His people. The cross proves that fact and the resurrection affirms it (Romans 4:25).

Knowledge and confidence of God’s trustworthiness will be gained and grow as you trust and obey. Matthew 7:24-27 spells out this fact. Jesus describes two kinds of people: both were hearers of His word and both were house-builders. However, only one group weathered or rightly responded to the storms of life. This group heard and obeyed. They had built their house on rock. Scripture depicts God and Christ as the Rock (Deuteronomy 32:4, 15, 18, 30-31; 1 Samuel 2:2; 2 Samuel 22:2-3, 32, 47; Romans 9:33; 1 Corinthians 10:4; 1 Peter 2:8). Yet in Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus teaches that doers (obedience) of the word are the wise house-builders who built their homes on the rock. In the passage, Jesus teaches that the rock or firm foundation is hearing and obeying the Triune God. Elsewhere, Scripture teaches that the blessing comes in the doing – obedience: not duty but devotion (John 13:17; James 1:25). Trusting God truly simplifies life!

1. How does the truth that God is trustworthy influence you in pleasant and unpleasant circumstances?
2. How do you know God is trustworthy?
3. What is your response to God who is in control and works all things for His glory and your good?
4. What motivates you to trust God?
5. What motivates you to trust self?

God is Trustworthy; Man is to Trust: Part II

In this portion of the blog: Trusting God: God and you, I emphasize man’s privilege, duty, and blessing: to trust God. Several corollary issues emerge from the fact that man was created a trusting being. They include the:
• Objects of one’s trust – who and what does a person trust? Trust has object. It may be self or it may be something outside of self;
• Motivation and reasons for trusting: it may be to get even using God or it may be to please God;
• Forms that trust takes which may include doing something in order to gain or simply trusting and obeying out of a love of God.

Scripture proclaims that God is trustworthy (see Isaiah 45:7; Lamentations 3:37-38; Genesis 50:19-21; Romans 8:28-29). God’s trustworthiness is based on who He is and is demonstrated by what He does. He has always been the Promise-maker and Promise-keeper initially within the Trinity. Since He is true to Himself, we can expect Him to be true to His people. Trusting God: God and You are related. Scripture and Jesus’ life answer the question that everyone faces: can and will you trust God? Is God trustworthy? Said another way: is God worthy of your trust? God’s answer is a resounding yes! He goes on record declaring that He is worthy. He bids His people to find out that He is worthy and desires their trust. The realization that Trusting God: God and You involves God and the person helps the believer pinpoint the choice and motivates him to trust God.

Man was created a faith-based being as well as a truster. He has an object of his faith and trust which is either self or God. Both of these have a variety of manifestations. Both faith and trust have a subject and content. They are based on facts at least according to the person. Everyone places their faith and trust in someone or something. Adam was created with the capacity and desire to trust God and to rightly interpret God, himself, and circumstances. Post-fall, instinctively, man’s first inclination is to trust self. When he does, he is acting as a fool.

In the book of Proverbs, wisdom is defined as fear of the Lord which is necessary for and necessitates trusting God (Proverbs 1:7; 3:5-8; 9:10; 15:33; 19:23; 28:26). Fear of the Lord is the dominating awareness that this is God’s world; and that every person is a dependent creature responsible to Him and is required to give an account to Him because God has something to say about every thought, desire, and action of every person. Overwhelmingly Scripture testifies that God is trustworthy. Yet many deny that fact either functionally or by action and inaction. Their standard for such a response is not the Bible.

Rather they trust experience, feelings, and or their own reasoning apart from Scripture. Such was the case with Rabbi Kushner in his book: Why Do Bad things Happen to Good People. When faced with a child born with the genetic premature aging condition (progeria), he decided he needed to determine if God was good and impotent or powerful and not good. His reasoning and experience were the foundation for his conclusions and led him to misinterpret the book of Job. God is good BUT. Such it is with so many including believers. They believe they have a right to make conclusions about God that defy the Bible and the cross. The fact is: God is wise, powerful, and good.

Functionally, it may be difficult to trust God. Why is that? Remembering that Trusting God: God and You helps resolve the dilemma. God is the Creator, Owner, and Controller. man is the creature. God’s ways and thoughts are not ours. “Life” is God’s providence. Sometimes “life” is not going the way we would like and think we deserve (Isaiah 55:8-9). We don’t think or desire as God does. We are not God. But sometimes we wish we were. Sometimes we say: “life hurts.” The statement acknowledges that God’s providence may be pleasant or unpleasant. The key is our trusting and who we trust.

We have established that God is trustworthy. God is not the problem. Do you really believe that fact and how do you act upon it? Your acceptance or rejection of the truth of God’s trustworthiness does not change the facts about God. Therefore, since God is not the problem that leaves you – the person. Remember the statement: Trusting God: God and You orients man to think both upward toward God and toward himself. God created man as a faith-based being. Scripture teaches that you can trust God because you are saved by grace though faith, have the mind of Christ, have the indwelling Holy Spirit and you are a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:9, 17; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Corinthians 2;16; Romans 8:9-11). You have the capacity to think God’s thoughts, desire what He desires, and glorify and honor Him by acts of the will. Moreover, you have been gifted with saving faith and enabling grace. God does not give defective gifts or make vain promises. Faith and grace are not the issue. Your use of them is!

Failure to trust God is a result of arrogance and or ignorance. It is a failure to accept the Creator-creature distinction. It is a failure to declare God is God and not you. It is living the lie. The believer rejects or incorrectly understands who God is; who he is in Christ, or rejects God’s way thinking his is better. Trust is more than simple cognition – knowing facts. Although saving faith includes knowledge about Jesus, it is more. Even the demons knew Jesus was the Son of God (James 2:19). Saving faith also involves an act of the will. You receive and accept truth that has been made desirous and understandable by the work of the Holy Spirit in you. Energized by the Holy Spirit, you act upon biblical truth in a way that honors God. Trust and obey are twin pillars of saving faith and enabling grace. Saving faith is informed and intelligent which leads to thoughts, desires, and actions that are God-pleasing. When you do trust, God you are becoming more like Christ, the ultimate God-truster.

1. God is trustworthy; as a believer, you are a God-trusting person. These are non-negotiable truths. What is your response to them?
2. Write out what makes it easy to trust God.
3. Write out what makes it easy to trust self.
4. What do the cross and the resurrection have to do with trusting God (see Rom. 8:31-37)?

Significance of God’s Sovereignty: Part III

In this aspect of the series: Trusting God: God and you, we consider God’s sovereignty. If God’s love is perfect, but His power is limited and His purpose can be thwarted, God is not trustworthy. Therefore, He is not dependable and does not deserve your honor and worship. Moreover, He would not be God. If there was a maverick molecule doing its own thing or a random, wayward event or circumstance God would not be God! You would do as well as worshiping a rock, tree, or some dead object. To be trustworthy (which includes such characteristics as being faithful, loyal, devoted, dependable and unchangeable), God must be completely sovereign, infinite in wisdom, and perfect in love (see Jerry Bridges: Trusting God Even When Life Hurts, page 18).

In His goodness and love God wills what is best for Him and His people. In His wisdom He always knows what is best. In His sovereignty He brings to pass the results of His loving and wise eternal decree. These are powerful statements which are unbelievable to the natural man (1 Corinthians 2:14). But the believer has the mind of Christ and these truth are part of the believer’s new creation (1 Corinthians 2:16; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Trusting God: God and You pictures this dual relationship. Settle the issue regarding God and regarding yourself: God is trustworthy. Are you trusting Him?

Sovereignty of God refers to His absolute power and control. What would be the significance of the fact that a single event in the entire universe including your life could occur outside of God’s control? It would mean that God would be limited in power, control, and effect. He would not be sovereign. Moreover, God would be a liar since God in His word claims to be sovereign and in control, His control, if he had any, would be of limited usefulness.

There is a problem: too often in the heat of God’s providence so often called “life” people jettison these truths for a number of reasons. They fail to honor God in the situation. Sadly they picture the situation without God or the situation bigger than God. This is often a result of patterned wanting and thinking that is pro-self. Confidence in our sovereign God is crucial to trusting Him. God makes claims based on His sovereignty: be strong and courageous (Psalm 50:15; Joshua 1:5, 9; Matthew 14:22-33; Hebrews 13:5-6). God’s Person, presence, and power are guaranteed even when feelings and circumstances indicate otherwise. If one has not experienced God’s goodness in his life and practiced enjoying Him, he will respond to God’s providence based on the I wants and I need (Psalm 34:8; Philippians 3:7-11). God will not be honored and his unpleasantness will only increase.

Consider another creational fact. Not only did God create man a faith-based being and truster, God created man a rational, religious being. He was to know and worship Him as Creator and Controller. Post-fall, God’s people (believers) were re-created to know God not only as Creator and Controller but as Father, Savior, and Deliverer (Roman 8:15-17; Psalm 3:7-8; 50:15; 140:6-8). Salvation and growth in Christ after salvation fall under the awesomeness of God’s sovereignty. His absolute independence to do as He pleases and His absolute control over the actions of all His creatures are comforting truths that motivate the believer to imitate Christ in thoughts, desires, and actions. God saves His people who were His enemies and He is their hope, refuge, strength, and help in time of trouble. Therefore, His people will not fear (Psalm 46:1-2). The Scripture paints God as majestic, excellent, and awesome. Do you agree?

Consider this truth. No plan of God can be thwarted or altered. He does as He pleases and only as He pleases (Job 42:2; Psalms 115:3; 135:6; Isaiah 41:11-14; 45:5-7). No one and nothing can frustrate or hinder His plan and purpose (Isaiah 14:26-27; 43:13; 46:8-13; Acts 2:23-24; 4:27-28). If God’s purposes can be thwarted, another is stronger and nothing is certain. These are mind-boggling and heart-stretching truths accepted and understood only by grace.

What God has decreed comes to pass and no one can hold back His hand or bring have Him account for His actions. He accomplishes His will in/through every event. Therefore, no event, circumstance, or action by another can occur outside the bounds of His sovereign will. If God’s power is not absolute, complete, and comprehensive, He is limited, His control is limited, and He does not have the power to guard and sustain. He does not serve to be trusted.
The fact remains: God is trustworthy. The life, death, and resurrection of Christ affirm God’s trustworthiness. God’s yes is yes in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20-22).

The Bible records the facts and gives a record of the all-trustworthy God running His world His way for His glory AND for the benefit of His people. The evidence is there in the Bible and practically speaking, God has given adequate evidence that He is absolutely sovereign. He guards what He ordains, and what occurs is only what He ordains (Proverbs 16:1, 4, 9, 33; 19:21; 21:1,30-31; Isaiah 45:7; Lamentations 3:37-39; Ephesians 1:4,11-12; James 4:15; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 2 Timothy 1:12).

This picture of God may seem unbelievable and even threatening. When times are unpleasant God does not seem to be working for us. As a result there is angst in the inner person often with charges against God. Jesus knew and experienced God’s complete sovereignty, wisdom, and love (John 14:1). The night before He died He told the apostles to trust. Trust was the antidote for sinful fear and worry. Jesus’ pictured the Triune God as eternal, powerful, and trustworthy. He knew He was in “good hands.” His life was simplified. It is to those who have a view of a small God which has been shaped wrongly and sinfully by the person’s experience, feelings, or logic rather than the God of the circumstances. That person has attempted to create his own god. He will fail miserably.

1. What is your standard for God’s trustworthiness? Do you use the Bible or your feelings, experience, and or logic unrelated to Scripture? Give reasons for your answer.
2. What is your view of Scripture?
3. How do you view of Scripture passages given above? Do you agree or disagree and on what basis?

Do You Trust God? Part IV

In this fourth installment of Trusting God: God and you, I ask the question: do you trust God? Everyone, believer and unbeliever, thinks, desires, and acts out of AND based on faith. As a believer, the key to trusting God is never faith as such. Saving Faith is God’s gift to every believer. There is no salvation apart from it. Trusting God is one activity of believers. It is what believers do as they grow as faithful people. How much faith do you need to trust God? he key is not the amount but its use. Saving faith is a gift and God does not give poor gifts (Ephesians 2:8-9).

The key to trusting God is the proper use of His gift. Two aspects are critical for proper use: the proper content (knowledge) of the gift and the proper object of saving faith. Trusting God means growth in faithfulness. The believer is to grow as a trusting person based on proper knowledge of the Giver – God – and the receiver – himself. In contrast, the unbeliever has faith, but it is non-saving faith. Faith yes but he trusts himself thinking he deserves the best and is to be so worshipped. Often times but silently, the person thinks God owes him. That is all he can and wishes to do (Romans 8:5-8). Consequently he trusts in others and in things in order to get for himself (see Proverbs 3:5-8). Self is on the throne competing with God.

The apostles walked, talked, and witnessed Jesus – His Person and His work. At times they seemed to get “it.” They had an idea of who Christ was and perhaps the significance of that fact. But at other times they seemed clueless. If we are honest with ourselves, we function in the same way. “Clue-less-ness” has been, and will continue to be, the case for all believers in varying degrees throughout the ages until Christ returns.

In Matthew 14:22-33, the apostles are in the midst of the wind and waves (an apt picture of God’s hard providence). Jesus came to them walking on the water. What an amazing sight that must have been. The apostles were fearful – terrified. Jesus knew people and His close friends from the inside-out. He ministered to them by giving reassuring words as a statement of fact and an exhortation. He tells them to take courage – be strong-hearted and not fear. He attaches a strong reason as to why they should obey Him: It is I (see Exodus 3:6; John 8:58). His presence was to carry the day. His presence alone required Peter and the disciples to respond in a God-honoring manner.

Jesus is the ever-present, powerful, Almighty God. Apparently Jesus’ statement of the very character of God did not satisfy Peter (and I assume the other disciples). Peter asked for a sign. Graciously, Jesus gave him one. He uttered the simple invitation: come to me. Peter excitedly and perhaps fearlessly stepped out of the boat onto the water and moved in stepwise fashion toward Jesus. What an amazing experience. Initially his physical eyes (and his spiritual eyes which is his heart) were fixed upon Christ (see Colossians 3:1-3; 1 John 3:1-3). As a whole person (thoughts, desires, and actions) he was properly oriented. Seemingly Christ was his focus.  He walked on water!

However a change occurred. It is when he perceived his surroundings bigger than him and therefore Christ that he began to sink. Yet he quickly “regained focus” and called out to Jesus. Jesus drew drowning Peter to himself while reminding Peter of his un-faithfulness – O you little faith. How little was Peter’s faith? How much faith did Peter need to walk on water? How much faith did he need to continue his walk toward Jesus? On his own, Peter did not get to Christ. He did not prove faithful and trusting. Yet Jesus did not abandon him. He got Peter! Peter was learning. How patient and merciful our God is.

Trusting God for the believer is seemingly so simple and wise; yet functionally it is so difficult. As we have discussed trust is more than simple cognition – knowing facts – although saving faith includes knowledge. Remember God created man as a faith-based being. Faith also involves an act of the will: receiving and accepting truth and acting upon that truth in a way that honors God. Saving faith is informed and intelligent which leads to God-pleasing in thought, desire, and action.

Everyone, believer and unbeliever, thinks, desires, and acts out of AND based on faith. The key to trusting God, then, is never faith. Rather, the keys are the object of that faith and the use (faithfulness) of faith. The unbeliever has faith in and trusts himself. Consequently he trusts in others and things (see Proverbs 3:5-8).

Jesus is the ever-present, powerful, Almighty God. Apparently that statement spoken by Jesus did not satisfy Peter (and I assume any of the disciples). Peter asked for a sign. Jesus gave him one. He uttered the simple invitation: come to me. Peter stepped out of the boat onto the water and moved in stepwise fashion to Jesus. Initially his eyes (and heart – his whole person) were fixed upon Christ (see Colossians 3:1-3; 1 John 3:1-3). And he walked on water! It is when he perceived the storm bigger than him and Christ that he began to sink. He quickly “regained focus” and called out to Jesus. Jesus drew him to Himself while reminding him of his un-faithfulness. Peter did not “get it” but was learning. How patience and merciful our God is.

In Matthew 16:13-20, Jesus engages His apostles: “Who am I” from the perspective of others (“who others say I am”) and the apostles (“Who do you say I am?”). Peter got it this time. He did not ask for a sign. He said: You are the Christ the Son of the living God.” Basically Jesus told him “he got it.” Yet in the following verses (16:21-23), after Jesus had proclaimed the fulfillment of His Messianic mission – crucifixion and resurrection – Peter, denying the necessity of the cross, rebuked Jesus. Jesus gave him a stinging rebuke: Peter, your thinking and desires are satanic in origin and purpose. Peter had failed to perceive and act upon the fact that salvation is of the Lord through the cross. It was an essential ingredient of God’s plan to glorify Himself by saving undeserving people. Yet Christ never left His apostles even though they deserted Him in thought (here) and in deed (Matthew 26:55).


  1. As a believer you have saving faith. (Ephesians. 2:8-9) You are now properly faith-based. How then do you prove faithful and trustworthy?
  2. Matthew 14:22-33: How are you like Peter? How are you like Peter?
  3. Review 1 Samuel 17: compare and contrast Peter and David. What do you learn?
  4. Get busy applying the truths that you have learned daily. Prove faithful in so-called “little things” so you can look forward to being faithful in “big things.”
  5. Enjoy your trustworthy God!

Conclusions and Practical Suggestions: Part V

In the conclusion of the series: Trusting God: God and you, I accent non-negotiable truths.  Scripture is God’s personal, powerful, purposeful self-expression. It cries out that God is trustworthy. Believers are new creatures in Christ (regeneration: John 3:3-8; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Therefore, they have the capacity to trust God. However, believers learn to choose to trust God in every situation. Therefore, you don’t need to respond in and to any situation with wrong thinking about God, self, and the circumstance. Wrong thinking and wanting often result in discouragement, sinful anger, worry, and or sinful fear. God is dishonored and there is more misery. Rather, God is in heaven, and all is right with the world: (Ecclesiastes 5:1-3).

Believers often function as unbelievers. There are two basic responses to God and His control: reject it, either outright or via grumbling and complaining or embrace it. Consider several reasons for a sinful response to God’s control. The person may deny God’s sovereignty thinking that “pockets of life” are off limits to God. The goodness of God’s sovereignty may not be apparent (Hebrews 2:8-9). A person, based on his feelings and belief about God, may conclude that “it doesn’t seem as if God is in control.”

The person may act on the belief that “it doesn’t seem that God’s control is good.” Such is often the case when hard times are frequent in a person’s life. The person does not like or want the way that God has ordained “all things” for them (Romans 8:28-29). A more sinister and God-dishonoring mindset that leads to disparaging and or rejecting God’s control is the belief that God owes the person a “good” explanation and or a better life. Such was the case with Job as his situation continued. As discovered, God had right where He wanted him (Job 40 and 42).

All of these responses as well as others are based on judging God and His control subjectively and without biblical input and truth. Rather, as I have said, when the triad of the person’s feelings, experience, and reasoning divorced from biblical truth are the person’s interpretative grid of “life,” sinful responses to God and the situation result. Grumblers and complainers are “unhappy campers.” Control is the issue and more specifically, their lack of it. They compete with God and often express themselves by worry, sinful fear, sinful anger, and depression. Bad feelings run rampant, and too often, one’s proper vertical reference is suppressed. God is in the picture but wrongly. The problem is not God, things, circumstances, and other people, but the person and his response to God.

As a believer you have saving faith. You are now properly faith-based. You are a God-trusting person. How then do you prove faithful and trusting? How are you growing as a God-truster? The question assumes several things that:
• you are a concerned and serious believer;
• you are eager to grow in that area of your life;
• you agree that God deserves your trust;
• you will be blessed in the doing.

Consider these several means to grow your faithfulness. First, remind yourself daily that God is good, powerful, and purposeful. This is not simply a mindless mantra. It is acknowledging these facts about God that seem so easy to suppress and even to jettison (see Psalms 105-106). God is in control for His glory and for your good.

Second, recognize that there is a need for you and your faith to be pruned and for you to grow in faithfulness (Romans 5:1-5; James 1:2-4, 12; 1 Peter 1:6-7). God deserves the best. Unless you adopt this perspective you will be tempted to resist God’s providence as His tool for you to use for your growth in Christlikeness. You will be tempted to ask for a sign (like Peter in Matthew 14:22-33 or Gideon who asked for two sign: Judges 6:36-40). You will be tempted to grumble and complain (Philippians 2:14-17).

Third, exercise your faith thereby proving yourself faithful and trustworthy. You do this by daily applying biblical principles as a whole person (thoughts, desires, and actions) 24/7 especially at those times when it is easy to doubt God’s goodness. Growing in faithfulness is growing in Christlikeness. God deserves to have His family to be like His Son the only person He was truly well-pleased (Matthew 3:17; 17:5). This picture of Christlikeness is a foretaste of heaven.

Fourth, growth in Christ is not simply duty but a blessing and privilege. In terms of thoughts and desires, read, recite, and meditate upon God’s truth (Psalm 119:9-11, 18). Carry on throughout the day as you verbalize, memorize, and internalize that truth. Complete the exercise as you actualize. Act upon those truths by putting on God-pleasing as a habituated manner of life. Put it into practice specifically and daily the non-negotiable truths regarding who God is and His promises and who you are as His child. Your view of God and His control, of self, and of others will change as a result. When that happens, you will not be self-focused. You will be joyful to call God your God! You will focus on pleasing your God in His world for His glory (Psalm 46:10).

Fifth, remember that you are whole person – thoughts, desires, and actions. In every unpleasant or potential unpleasant situation (really God’s providence) you bring thoughts, desires, and actions to it. Growth in Christ means that each of those (your thoughts, your desires, your actions) will be brought in line with God’s truth that is appropriate for you at the moment. In every unpleasant or potential unpleasant situation (really God’s providence) you bring thoughts, desires, and actions to it.

Sixth, determine how God wants you to think and desire in your situation. How are you to relate to the other person, yourself, and God? Compare your thoughts with the appropriate biblical truth. Are you in line with the truth that God is trustworthy and works all things for his glory and the good of his people (Romans 8:28-29)? How are you responding in and to the situation and ultimately to God? How are you functioning as a Christian oyster (2 Corinthians 5:9)? How are you using irritations to make the pearl of Christlikeness?

Lastly, get busy in applying these principles daily and rejoice in God and His grace. Consider this an example. Your best friend has abandoned you for whatever reason. The situation is the context and not the cause of your whole-person response. Awareness of this truth is very important as you respond (and you will respond). Will you trust a good God? How will that rust look and why?

In regard example given above:
1. In terms of thinking: how does God want you to think about this situation, the other person, yourself, and Him?
2. In regard to desires: what do you really want? Is it in line with what God desires for Himself and for you as His child?
3. In regard to action: How should I act – in word and deed – as a 2 Corinthians 5:9 person?
4. Compare your answers to each question with appropriate biblical passages.
5. Keep track of how you proved faithful and trustworthy in big and little things and record your motivation and how you did.
6. Answer the questions: what made it easy and what made it hard to trust God? 63. What truth about God has been most beneficial in growing as a God-truster?