Trusting When You Don’t Understand


“Some things are not neat. Sometimes God does not confirm our steps of faith in the ways we expect. I wish it could be nailed down and tucked in, but we live with unanswered questions—with unfinishedness.”[i] —Ruth Graham


Today’s Verse: “Jesus said to him, Because you have seen Me, Thomas, do you now believe (trust, have faith)? Blessed and happy and to be envied are those who have never seen Me and yet have believed and adhered to and trusted and relied on Me.” (John 20:29 AMP)


Many people criticize Thomas, yet Thomas is a lot like us. We need proof. We need to see before we believe.

Even when things don’t “feel” right, we need to trust God completely. Even when our circumstances, emotions, and thoughts are screaming at us for attention, we need to know that He’s in total and complete control.

Jesus deals with Thomas. He says to him, “Blessed are those who believe without seeing me” (NLT). Jesus is encouraging him to trust and have faith. He’s encouraging Thomas to press in and be comfortable not knowing, yet believing.

If you’re in the middle of all the emotions and circumstances that come with loss, keep believing. Keep pressing through. Jesus promises that you will be blessed. It’s one thing to say you believe and it’s quite another thing to have your faith severely tested and come through it still believing God.

Jesus is not just telling Thomas to trust; He’s also telling him that His ways are well beyond him, for God is a mystery. We can’t in our human minds always understand Him. He’s eternal with a completely eternal viewpoint; we’re temporal with a self-driven viewpoint. There are things of God we’ll never be able to figure out. We need to trust and be at peace with not knowing.

“Not knowing” means we may never know why. The fact is God doesn’t want us being preoccupied with the why; He wants to hear, “God, I trust you!” He has compassion and understanding, but He does not need to give us His plan. We want total control and comfort; God wants us to let go, trust, and have peace.

Thomas requested of Jesus what we all want to request: “Show me.” Jesus indulges Thomas by showing him the nail prints in his hands and the hole in his side. But in the end, he simply tells him to stop doubting and believe. We are blessed when we don’t see and yet trust God and keep believing.

INSIGHT: We must get to a point where we can accept not knowing more than God has revealed. Even if it doesn’t feel right, we trust Him and know that He is in control.

PRAYER: Ask God for His comfort during times of questioning and “not knowing.” Seek Him and His patient, loving character in boldness. Feel free to tell Him your struggles and then let go. Ask Him to carry you instead of showing you. Thank Him because He is so trustworthy and loving.


  • Study Job 9:5–10 and John 20:26–29. Why do we always think we have to have the answers? Why is it important to Jesus that we believe before we see? What stands in the way of your own belief before seeing? What steps can you take to remove doubt and replace it with more belief?
  • Understand that if we always have to know why things are the way they are, we’ll never have contentment or satisfaction. We’ll always be spending our time trying to figure things out instead of knowing and resting in God’s perfect plan and love.
  • Discover that trust always requires that we have unanswered questions in our life. Find, by spending time in God’s Word, in prayer, and in God’s presence, that you don’t have to know more to be happy. Discover that God is your joy, not the “seeing.”

This excerpt is from my latest book, The Way Back From Loss. It is available from Amazon (hardback and Kindle editions) and other fine sellers of books.

[i] Ruth Graham, Fear Not Tomorrow, God is Already There: Trusting Him in Uncertain Times, (New York, Howard Publishing, a Division of Simon & Schuster, 2009) 23.


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Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope.

Brennan Manning

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