Learning to trust again again is difficult, isn’t it? But, in God’s strength, you can trust someone who has cut you deeply.
In this practical article, you’ll learn three main things:
- Losing trust in someone is hard.
- Learning to trust again is possible!
- Developing a mindset to trust is essential.
But there’s a caveat: In certain circumstances, it would not be wise to trust a person who has hurt you. One example is trusting a physically abusive husband and another is trusting a child abuser unless God has done a transforming work in their heart and they have proven themselves as trustworthy over time. This change comes through true repentance. Have you known someone who has truly changed?
Losing Trust Feels Like Death
Doesn’t losing trust in someone feel like death? Maybe your spouse committed adultery. Perhaps a coworker disparaged your good name. Maybe a neighbor molested your child. Or perhaps your pastor fell like into sexual sin like so many others, creating pain and disorder in the church as a whole.
Deep hurt leading to lost trust is beyond sad. It’s tragic and wrong, and you hurt. Indeed, you trusted these people, right? Then they did something you never thought they’d do. And chances are you feel angry. Anger is a normal emotional response to hurt.
Among the many counselees who’ve shared their painful stories with me, two stand out:
- Debbie (not her real name) is married to a pastor who spent after-hours time with a young lady in the congregation. Well, you know how it goes. He felt desired and important and sexy when he was with her. They crossed emotional and sexual boundaries. The church fired the wayward pastor. And Debbie seethed. He broke trust. How could he do this to our family? How could he do this to me and the kids? she asked, pain etched on her face. I don’t know if I can ever trust him again.
- Mara (not her real name) was 5 when a “grandfatherly” neighbor took notice of her, inviting her to come over and play. Well-respected by her parents, he began touching her. At first, it was just a quick hug, but over the years it progressed to oral sex. When Mara came to counseling in her early 30’s, she wasn’t sure if she could ever trust a man again, even God. Learning to trust again seemed impossible.
But God healed their hurts. And He can heal yours.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Psalm 23:4a (ESV)
Yes, You Can Trust Again!
Trusting again is a warm spring day. Purple crocuses push through winter’s dreariness. A robin sings cheerful melodies. You look up and sense good change coming.
In their world of hurt, my counselees are often making sense of God’s goodness. Good questions zip through the mind:
- Why did God allow this to happen?
- So is He punishing me?
- And where did I go wrong?
- Does God even care?
An encouraging truth I tell people is this: Faith is believing the Word of God and and acting upon it no matter how you feel, knowing God promises a good result.
Truly it’s a moment-by-moment choice. Yes, it is active faith. As you choose faith, as you peek your head up from under the blanket, guess what happens?
You begin to trust again. Learning to trust again after a hurt is absolutely not easy. In fact, you may feel scared and exhausted. But remember, faith is not based on your feelings— whether fear or anger or shame. Rather, its object is God himself.
The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Exodus 34:6 (ESV)
Are you willing to step out in faith and learn to trust again? Will you take God’s hand and follow His lead? So what does this faith look like?
A Mindset for Learning to Trust Again
Learning to trust again is not so much a plan as it is a mindset to submit to Christ’s rule in your heart. Practically, what might this look like? It may look like:
- Tearful prayers of lament and many crumpled tissues
- Preaching to your heart what you know in your head
- Journaling truth-filled thoughts to replace lies
- Reading Scripture over and over
- Memorizing verses
Here are a few verses for learning to trust again after a hurt. As you believe the Word of God and apply it to your life, your faith will grow and you’ll continue to become more like Christ.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
How precious also are your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with you. Psalm 139:17–18 (ESV)
Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence. 2 Peter 1:3 (ESV)
As you learn to trust again after a hurt, I pray you’ll choose an active faith and preach God’s truth to your heart. The more you align your thoughts with God’s thoughts, the more you’ll have peace and contentment. More importantly, God receives glory.
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