5 Truths from the Psalms About Trusting God

When you struggle to trust, Scripture offers timely encouragement

When I was a child, the classic hymn “Trust and Obey” was one of my favorites.

I didn’t understand most of the words, but I liked the tune and the simple refrain that I memorized and belted out in church.

Over the years, this hymn made regular appearances as a Sunday School lesson, children’s choir piece, and sermon illustration. And the more I understood the words in those well-known verses, the less I felt I understood the concept of trust.

Can trusting God really get rid of my doubts and fears? I wondered. Will trusting God really give me the courage to go anywhere and do anything for him—without a second thought? What is trust, anyway?

Over time, I began to realize that there’s a good reason the words “trust” and “obey” go together in that hymn.

The Bible’s definition of trusting God is not separated from the doubts, fears, traumas, or losses we experience. In fact, God often calls us to trust him during life’s most difficult and heartbreaking moments. Trust is believing that God is the faithful, reliable, promise-keeping God his Word describes. But trust is not simply a feeling or a passive, abstract concept. Instead, Scripture shows us that our trust in God must be active. When we are trusting God, we are also obeying his commandments, seeking comfort and wisdom in his Word and through prayer, and walking in his love.

This idea of trusting and obeying God is challenging, especially when we’re facing fear, discouragement, or sorrow. But we can find comfort in the sure support of Jesus Christ, who experienced the same painful realities of a broken world as we do, even though he did not sin. He sympathizes with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15) and prays for us constantly (Romans 8:34).

Our heavenly Father shows us the same compassion when we put our trust in him and faithfully obey his commandments. In fact, he promises to bless us:

“I will bless the person
who puts his trust in me.
He is like a tree growing near a stream
and sending out roots to the water.
It is not afraid when hot weather comes,
because its leaves stay green;
it has no worries when there is no rain;
it keeps on bearing fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8 (GNT)

As you seek to follow the old hymn’s advice to “trust and obey,” you can find encouragement in these five truths from the Psalms.

God will not abandon you.

Those who know you, LORD, will trust you;
you do not abandon anyone who comes to you.

Psalm 9:10 (GNT)

God will help you in every circumstance.

Give yourself to the LORD;
trust in him, and he will help you;
he will make your righteousness shine like the noonday sun.

Psalm 37:5-6 (GNT)

God will defend you.

The LORD protects and defends me;
I trust in him.
He gives me help and makes me glad;
I praise him with joyful songs.

Psalm 28:7 (GNT)

God will give you strength to battle fear.

When I am afraid, O LORD Almighty,
I put my trust in you.
I trust in God and am not afraid;
I praise him for what he has promised.
What can a mere human being do to me?

Psalm 56:3-4 (GNT)

God will be your refuge.

Whoever goes to the LORD for safety,
whoever remains under the protection of the Almighty,
can say to him,
“You are my defender and protector.
You are my God; in you I trust.”
He will keep you safe from all hidden dangers
and from all deadly diseases.
He will cover you with his wings;
you will be safe in his care;
his faithfulness will protect and defend you.

Psalm 91:1-4 (GNT)

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Elisabeth Trefsgar
Elisabeth Trefsgar

Elisabeth Trefsgar is a content specialist for American Bible Society. She has made a home in New Jersey and Sofia, Bulgaria, and is always on the lookout for the next adventure. She is passionate about seeing communities around the world flourish through the power of God's Word and the efforts of the local church. When she isn't writing, you can find her reading good stories, photographing local sights, and spending time with friends.

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