“How can a Christian learn to trust in God in the face of challenges?”
Answer: We cannot trust someone we don’t know, and that is the secret of learning to trust God. When someone says, “Trust me,” we have one of two reactions. Either we can say, “Yes, I’ll trust you,” or we can say, “Why should I?” In God’s case, trusting Him naturally follows when we understand why we should.
The main reason we should trust God is that He is worthy of our trust. Unlike men, He never lies and never fails to fulfill His promises. “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19; Psalm 89:34). Unlike men, He has the power to bring to pass what He plans and purposes to do. Isaiah 14:24 tells us, “The LORD Almighty has sworn, ‘Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand.’” Furthermore, His plans are perfect, holy, and righteous, and He works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His holy purpose (Romans 8:28). If we endeavor to know God through His Word, we will see that He is worthy of our trust, and our trust in Him will grow daily. To know Him is to trust Him.
We can learn to trust God as we see how He has proven Himself to be trustworthy in our lives and the lives of others. In 1 Kings 8:56 we read, “Praise be to the LORD, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses.” The record of God’s promises is there in His Word for all to see, as is the record of their fulfillment. Historical documents verify those events and speak of God’s faithfulness to His people. Every Christian can give personal testimony to God’s trustworthiness as we see His work in our lives, fulfilling His promises to save our souls and use us for His purposes (Ephesians 2:8-10) and comfort us with the peace that passes all understanding as we run the race He has planned out for us (Philippians 4:6-7; Hebrews 12:1). The more we experience His grace, faithfulness, and goodness, the more we trust Him (Psalm 100:5; Isaiah 25:1).
A third reason to trust God is that we really have no sensible alternative. Should we trust in ourselves or in others who are sinful, unpredictable, unreliable, have limited wisdom, and who frequently make bad choices and decisions swayed by emotion? Or do we trust in the all-wise, all-knowing, all-powerful, gracious, merciful, loving God who has good intentions for us?
The choice should be obvious, but we fail to trust God because we don’t know Him.
As already stated, we cannot hope to trust in someone who is essentially a stranger to us, but that is easily remedied. God has not made Himself difficult to find or know.
All we need to know about God, He has graciously made available to us in the Bible, His holy Word to His people. To know God is to trust Him.