Chapter 13, “Choosing to Trust God” pp. 209-221
Bridges makes a very apt observation in this chapter. Many times we might expect the Christian life to be a life of trust in God, and it is. But at times we find we are not naturally trusting God. Like the Psalmist we need to choose to place our trust in God (Ps. 42:11, etc.). We may doubt, but as we choose again and again to live in trust the Lord will work in us.
This is not an easy thing to do. We must be willing to believe that God will work in us as we trust him. How can we do this? Only by trusting. So we seem to have a loop of mistrust. It is broken as we realize that God is trustworthy, that he wants us to trust him, and that he gives faith as a gift of the Holy Spirit.
Bridges uses John Newton’s experience of trust during his wife’s illness and right after her death as an example. I fear he does not emphasize enough that Newton’s peace may have been very unusual. During times of trauma we should expect some disturbance. It is not always a sign of lack of faith.
Finally, bridges discusses a time when it is very hard to trust God - the time when all is well. We may be tempted to trust ourselves or our possessions or to work out small problems on our own. Yet that is a failure to trust God. In good times and bad, it is right to choose to trust God and his loving care of all our circumstances.