What do these words have in common: portfolio, friends, title, power, possessions, celebrities, armies, weapons, the judicial system, and politics? They are all places where people put their trust. In nearly 30 years of ministry we have seen individuals and couples place their faith and confidence in varying degrees in these areas.
As a couple, when things get hard in your marriage or life, where do you turn for advice? Where do you get your strength and confidence? Where do you place your trust?
In the Old Testament there’s a story about King Hezekiah who was the ruler in Judah. The king of Assyria had surrounded Jerusalem and laid siege to it. The enemy commander sent a message asking, “On what are you trusting?” But Hezekiah had already gathered around him all of his officers and encourage them with these words:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” The people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah king of Judah. (2 Chronicles 32:7-8) Even though they were surrounded and outnumbered, Hezekiah was distinctly aware that he could trust God and God’s deliverance even when everything looked desperate.
As a couple, on what are you trusting? Here are seven ways you can trust God before placing confidence in anything else. If you start here, everything else will fall into it’s proper perspective.
1. Trust God’s Presence.
Psalm 23 is a beautiful reminder that no matter how tough things may get, God has not left us alone. King David wrote, “I will fear no evil for you are with me….”
2. Trust God’s Strength.
While held in a Roman prison, the apostle Paul continued to be a giver of hope. He wrote these words of truth that you and your spouse can hang onto as a promise from God: “I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.”
3. Trust God’s Word.
Before turning to others for direction and counsel, start with the Bible. As a Christ-follower this trumps any counsel anyone else may give. The psalmist wrote, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105). Start with what God has to say and use this as the filter for all other advice you are given.
4. Trust Godly Counsel.
We have seen far too many people make poor choices because they sought no counsel or ungodly counsel. It is wise to ask a few trusted Christ-followers for their input about big decisions. When it comes to advice about your marriage, talk to people who will fight for your marriage. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.”
5. Trust God’s Timing.
When we are going through a challenge in life or marriage, patience is not something we are prone to exhibit. We want relief and we want it right away. But in God’s timing he may be doing things far greater than we can imagine. Or he may be developing in us a stronger character and faith. Remember what Peter wrote, “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (2 Peter 3:8).
6. Trust God’s Provision.
After God provided Abraham with a ram as a sacrifice, Abraham named the place, “The Lord will provide” (Genesis 22:14). Even in the impossible, God will provide for your needs as you follow him. We have seen that to be true in our own lives many times. God is good.
7. Trust God’s Rulership
As a couple you have committed yourselves to following Jesus. That means you trust him to guide you as HE chooses. God tells us, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
As a couple, regularly remind each other of these truths. You can build your faith and in turn build your marriage!