Trust During Difficulty

By Kim Bruce

As people of faith, we are called to trust in God no matter life’s circumstances. This is not always easy. When difficult times come upon us, says St. Faustina, we need to trust that our “hope will not be deceived,” persevering in prayer most especially during times of trial (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 69 and 860).

God gave a simple revelation one day to St. Faustina that perfectly illustrates His profound, loving care for His children. While praying, Faustina saw a tiny insect on the ground. She wondered how it could be surviving there in the middle of winter. Our Lord disclosed to her soul: “You see, I am thinking of it and sustaining it, and what is it compared to you?” Faustina instantly recognized that our Lord wants us to be like children, leaving all cares to Him, submitting “blindly to His holy will” (Diary, 922). She says that “a soul innocent and filled with childlike trust ... is closely bound to Him” (Diary, 1750).

At times, we are like that tiny insect, caught in the wintry “storms of life,” be they natural disasters, betrayals, acts of violence, loss, grief, sickness, or other sufferings. What gets us through? Hope. Hope for improvement of our circumstances and the final hope of eternal life with God are our greatest motivators for resilience and steadfastness in faith. Prayer recognizes this hope by placing our trust in God even when we do not see, in the natural order, how a resolution to our troubles may occur. It is important to remember in such trying times how God has answered our prayers in the past and brought resolutions. We can benefit from reading the lives of the saints and remembering loved ones who, through their sufferings, gave us godly examples of perseverance. Scripture reassures us with ample passages of wisdom and encouragement for trying times. Present-day stories abound, as well, of forgiveness, healing, and triumphs that can instill strength, hope, and renewed confidence in our God to effect positive change.

In fact, the entirety of Scripture affirms hope in God by teaching us to entrust the present and future to Him. Faustina confirms, “He will not allow those who have placed all their trust in Him to be put to shame” (Diary, 358). Even if the ground were to give way under her own feet, says Faustina, she would not cease to trust in Him (Diary, 1192). When we don’t understand why things happen as they do, God has a plan. Amidst such trials, we are exhorted not to “lose heart or give in to despondency” (Diary, 1487). Rather, Christ enjoins us to disclose our wounds to Him, saying they will become the very sources of our sanctification (see Diary, 1487).

Another aspect of our trust in God is His plan of salvation for others through us. Our Lord reveals, “When a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself, but radiates them to other souls” (Diary, 1074). We manifest faith, hope, and the love of God to our neighbor just by exemplifying our trust in Him through life’s ups and downs in our own lives. God wills this evangelization of others, saying, “I expect from you, My child, a great number of souls who will glorify My mercy for all eternity” (Diary, 1489). We are to be “our brother’s keeper” in the economy of salvation, trusting God to aid us as we walk our paths in life and lead others to faith.

Trust is so important to our Lord that He requires the words “Jesus, I trust in You” be placed at the bottom of His Divine Mercy Image. Every time we gaze upon Him, we are to be reminded of the resplendent graces that pour into souls who trust. Lack of trust hurts Him the most. “How painfully distrust of My goodness wounds Me! ... I am making Myself dependent upon your trust: if your trust is great, then My generosity will be without limit” (Diary, 1076 and 548).

As Faustina states, “With Him, everything; without Him, nothing” (Diary, 358). Standing united with Jesus “in trust and boldness as children,” we will obtain all that we ask of Him in prayer, in accord with His holy will (CCC, 2741). The more we trust, the more we access His tender Heart — the gateway to our most fruitful life on earth and our ultimate hope of the attainment of the Beatific Vision for all eternity.

Photo by Dave Lowe on Unsplash

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