Written by JEANNENE S. for Who’s Teaching the Babies?®

“Just as Abraham ‘believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,’…Those who believe are blessed with Abraham who believed.” Galatians 3:6,9 NRSV

How do we in the midst of undesirable circumstances maintain our trust in God? Maybe we’ve learned to persevere in challenging circumstances in our own lives, but what about challenging circumstances that involve our kids? How we handle these types of circumstances not only contribute to their duration, but it also teaches us (as well as our children) how to handle them in the future.

Recently, we discovered that our son was having difficulty dealing with situations that were either undesirable to him, or were unfair. While the topic of “fairness” is a whole other discussion, we realized the root or belief that was causing these recent frustrations had to do with trust. We get the amazing opportunity throughout our lifetime to learn how to trust God with every part of our lives. Those pivotal moments where God shows us it’s time for an increase in trust, in order to receive and experience His peace in that area, are not always… desirable. However, they are beneficial and life changing, and each one adds to our growth—preparing us for what is ahead.

So, instead of talking our son out of his frustrations that seemed to be growing and growing, or instead of shutting down those frustrations, we began to take a look at what he expected to gain from them, and what he had expected to happen that didn’t happen. We found that at the root was a set of expectations he had for people, his circumstances, and the outcomes. When those expectations weren’t met in the way and timing he wanted, he took matters into his own hands through his frustration. We as adults can do that, too. Whether it looks like the balling of fists of a child, or the altering of circumstances of an adult, when our actions are led by expectations as opposed to God’s leadership, the results are not God’s best for us. They will lack the favor, blessing, and opportunities that God would have for us.

Following God’s leadership in the midst of less desirable circumstances requires trust. Whether He is telling us to do something (like Moses sending out the 12 spies in Numbers 13), or He is telling us to wait and see (like the death and raising of Lazarus in John 11), we are following God’s leadership. This requires trust. This requires believing God for who He is, and that He keeps His Word, and always has. This requires us believing that we are valuable to Him, no matter the circumstance or people involved.

So, how do we know when we’re losing trust, or that God is calling us to grow in our trust in Him? When our expectations become the force that drives our decisions, and we find ourselves stepping into roles that we were never made to fulfill, we know that we are in need of a trust upgrade. In our son’s case, he was trying to fulfill the role of the authority figure and heart changer. He has not been given either role by heavenly or earthly leadership. This led to frustration that grew and grew. It’s easy to understand how he got to the conclusion it was his responsibility to fulfill those roles—seeing a void in that area and feeling hurt through his expectations. However, it only added to the duration, negative outcomes, and frustration he was experiencing. We then took a look at what God’s Word said about his expectations, “I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:13-14 NRSV.

He realized that when we believe in the goodness of the Lord and our hearts are led by Him, we can trust Him to take care of us. We don’t have to take on roles that are not ours to take, only making things worse. Instead, we get to submit our circumstances to God (and to our Godly leadership) for help and direction. He will then lead us into His blessing, favor, and promises; one step at a time.

We, like Abraham, may not see what good He is building in us and around us in our circumstances, and it may not be as quick as we would like, but we can trust that He will bring it to completion as we trust in and believe on Him. We can go back to being His child, even when we have a child of our own, and quit striving against Him to do what He has promised.

We’ve discussed how to build trust in God in the midst of undesirable circumstances, when we realize we are in need of growth in that area. However, we can also build trust in God in our everyday lives that will better prepare us for those moments. Check out our Trust Flash Cards as well as our Free Resources in our Resource Center for fun ideas and Identity Statements that will help to build trust with God through knowing His Identity and then, ours.


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