2019
How Can I Fully Trust God When Blessings Don’t Seem to Be Coming?
November 2019


How Can I Fully Trust God When Blessings Don’t Seem to Be Coming?

A certain general conference talk showed me how.

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Young adult woman looking up at lights

As conference began, I listened from my comfy spot on the couch. I had a list of several questions I’d been praying about and with notebook and pen in hand, I was ready to receive revelation. I did get answers to some of my questions quickly, but as all the sessions slid by, there were still answers I was waiting for.

I wasn’t upset about this—on the contrary, I didn’t expect all of my questions to get answered. But that thought got me thinking: Should I have expected them to all be answered?

That was actually one of the worries I’d been facing for a while: where is the line between having faith that a blessing will be fulfilled, and trusting in the Lord’s timing knowing that it might not be? Was I showing a lack of faith in not expecting every question to be answered?

I guess my doubts sounded something like this: When I’m praying for a miracle, aren’t the odds of me not receiving it greater than actually receiving it? And not because the Lord can’t or won’t provide a miracle, but just because it might not be in His plan. There are people who pray to be healed, and they are—but there are many more who pray, yet aren’t healed. There are some who pray to get married, and some get married almost immediately and credit it to their faith and the Lord’s help. And then there are some who are just as faithful, yet don’t get married for years—or ever.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had faith that the Lord would deliver them from the fiery furnace—but if not, they would still trust in Him (see Daniel 3:17–18). They wouldn’t lose their faith even if they weren’t saved.

And it’s not that I think I would lose my faith if I received a but if not answer. But when I get discouraged while waiting for blessings that haven’t come yet, I wonder if letting the anticipation of getting “no” for an answer is making me a little faithless to begin with. I’m afraid I’ve started to expect a lot of but if nots more than miracles.

This question of how to keep faith while still trusting the Lord’s timing was one of the questions I had written down and hoped to have answered during conference. Particularly, “How can I pray with faith when there’s the caveat that it might just not be in the Lord’s plan?”

As I skimmed through my conference notes, I noticed one of the phrases I wrote down during President Dallin H. Oaks’s talk. It said, “There is so much we do not know that our only sure reliance is to trust in the Lord and His love for His children.”1

As I pondered that sentence, I felt my answer: you don’t need to place your trust in receiving a miracle—you need to trust in God’s love.

I still haven’t gotten all my questions answered—yet. Trusting in God’s love includes recognizing that part of His motive is my eternal happiness. I can show that trust by praying for blessings with faith and not giving up hope if they don’t immediately come. I can remind myself that “some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come.”2 And I can do my best to look toward the future with faith in God’s love for me instead of fear. I don’t need to be afraid or disappointed. I’m still studying to find the rest of my answers, and I’m working on building greater faith that they will come—but if not, I trust that the Lord has something far greater to teach me.

Notes

  1. Dallin H. Oaks, “Trust in the Lord,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2019, 28–29.

  2. Jeffrey R. Holland, “An High Priest of Good Things to Come,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 38; Liahona, Jan. 2000, 45.