Two aspects of trusting God illustrated by Nehemiah

Two Aspects of Trusting God

Has God placed something in your heart for you to do? It could be correcting sinful behavior in your own life. It could be serving someone else. It could be speaking up in a situation where a voice with biblical principles needs to be heard.

Whatever it is involves two aspects of trusting God. (1) You must trust him as you step forward and do your part. And, (2) you must trust him to do his part in the areas over which you have no control. Those two aspects of trusting God are necessary to act on what God has placed in your heart to do.

Esther’s story in the Old Testament book of Esther provides a beautiful illustration of this for us.

The seed is planted in the heart.

In Esther 4:1-9, Mordecai gave Esther some not-so-good news. All the Jews would be killed in 11 months. Her life would not likely be spared. Then, he challenged her (Esther 4:12-14) with the message that she was in the God-chosen place to do something about the peril facing herself, her family, and her people. God placed this on her heart (Esther 4:15-16).

Esther prayed about this for 3 days, calling other Jews to pray with her. She needed God’s guidance about what to do next. Before she approached the king of Persia about this, Esther needed God to be with her as she did her part (which was to speak to the king). And, she needed God to do his part in directing the heart and mind of the king to receive her. Those are the two aspects of trusting God.

Learning to live dependently on our God is not a matter of doing whatever you ethically and honorably can while trusting the rest to God. No. When God places something in your heart to do, especially when it involves someone else and situations over which you have no control, you must trust God to lead you in what you choose to do. You want to do your part his way, not your own way or the world’s way.

The time had come to act.

After that time of prayer, Esther knew the time had come to act. Trusting God, she did her part by approaching the king the right way, making sure he could see her, and waiting for his response (Esther 5:1-4). She didn’t force herself into the king’s presence, demanding his attention. No, she did her part the way God would want her to show respect for her husband, the king. God took care of his part by directing the king’s heart and mind to be favorable to Esther’s presence and her request. He invited her into the chamber and asked what she wanted from him. Esther’s part was to invite the king and Haman to a banquet (Esther 5:5-8). God worked through the king to grant Esther’s request and accept her invitation. Those are the two aspects of trusting God.

Opposition tested Esther’s trust.

But, completely trusting God and doing things God’s way doesn’t stop the opposition. Esther’s invitation included Haman. The enemy, the one who initiated the attack on the Jews. That didn’t discourage Esther from doing what God had placed in her heart to do. She knew she would be in the presence of someone who hated her people and would have hated her if he knew she was Jewish. His pleading with her during the second banquet in such a familiar manner (Esther 7:5-8) threatened her position with her husband, the king. God didn’t make it easy for Esther to do what he called her to do. Yet, she did her part God’s way while trusting that God would do his part in making the king’s heart respond favorably to her request to save her people (Esther 8:5-8).

Learning to live dependently on our God does not guarantee that he will stop the opposition against you. Yes, he places that desire in your heart. He wants you to be obedient in carrying it out. But, he doesn’t necessarily make it easy. Why is that? After all, you could get the task or service done more quickly without the delays and derision. Why doesn’t God stop the opposition? Paul learned this lesson from God and wrote about it in 2 Corinthians 1:9.

But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. (2 Corinthians 1:9)

That is truth for us as well. Whatever happens (suffering, hardship, opposition) does so for a purpose—that we will learn to rely on God more than on ourselves. We are not to sit back and do nothing while waiting for God to do everything. Although, sometimes we need to pray and wait for the right moment to act as Esther did. That is still trusting him while we are doing our part (waiting and praying), knowing that he is working on his part (whatever that situation requires). The two aspects of trusting God.

The two aspects of trusting God

What has God placed on your heart to do for others?

  • Is it raising children to know and love him and choose to follow him as adults? Trust him while you follow godly child-rearing principles and actions while trusting him to work in the hearts of your children.
  • Is it managing people or a project at work? Trust God to lead you to act with honesty and integrity among your fellow employees and managers while trusting him to work in the hearts of those around you.
  • Is it serving in a local ministry with teens or special needs or homeless people? Whatever it is, trust God to lead you to speak and act with compassion while trusting him to work to meet the needs of those you are serving.

God did not make it easy for Esther to stand up for her people. Likewise, you will find yourself in situations that seem beyond your ability to handle or control. Perhaps you have an enemy (or your husband or closest friend may have one). God may not choose to rescue you from that opposition.

But, in all situations that induce fear in your life, you can count on these 4 truths…

  • God loves you.
  • He knows what is going on in your life.
  • He can do something about it, and
  • You can trust His goodness in whatever He chooses to do!

Trust God while you do your part his way and trust him to do his part alongside what you are doing. Those are the two aspects of trusting God.

Read or listen to “Esther • Trusting God to Work in the Background” and “Jeremiah 29:1-14 • The Two Aspects of Trusting God.”

Other Resources:

Everyday Women, Ever-Faithful God Study of Old Testament Women (read online)

Everyday Women, Ever-Faithful God Study of Old Testament Women (download pdf)

Melanie Newton is the founder of Joyful Walk Ministries, an online ministry that helps women learn to study the Bible for themselves and grow their Bible-teaching skills to lead others on a joyful walk with Jesus. Melanie has written many Bible study guides (available on and her website) and presented insightful messages to large groups of women. All of her BIble Studies are available as books on Melanie is wife to Ron Newton (“Integrity at Work” ministry), loves to be outside in her garden, and enjoys her yearly fix of boiled crawfish.

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