"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery" (Gal 5:1).
A slave to what? A slave to sin.
“A free will is not the liberty to do whatever one likes, but the power of doing whatever one sees ought to be done, even in the very face of otherwise overwhelming impulse. There lies freedom indeed”
— George MacDonald
Why should we trust God?
Because he cannot help us as much as he wants to while we refuse to trust him. (He wants to fill our hearts with the joy that comes from knowing love. Love Makes Everything Lovely)
Why is he worthy of our trust?
Because he paid the ultimate price just to prove to us how much he loves us; just to prove that he knows our struggles and that he cares. He became a man and died for us just so that we would trust and enjoy him.
But what if you don't believe that? How will you trust him then?
Perhaps the following illustration will help.
Imagine you've been sick for many months and no doctor has been able to help you. No one has been able to even identify the problem. You give up on doctors; but one day you're feeling so awful you decide to go and see another doctor. This doctor says, "I know exactly what you have. Take one of these tablets every morning and night for a week, and within two weeks you'll have regained your strength and you'll feel as good as you did before." But you're sceptical. You think the doctor is wrong. But because you're feeling awful, and you've got nothing to lose, you decide to take the doctor at his word and do what he says. You've decided to trust him even though you don't believe him. After a week of taking the tablets you're still feeling a bit weak, but you're feeling a lot better. By the end of the second week you've regained your strength, and you feel just as good as you did before the illness.
Do you think it will be hard to trust this doctor in the future? No, because now you have begun to believe in him. Jesus said, "The work of God is this, to believe in the one he has sent." If you take Jesus at his word you will worry less and less about yourself. If you dare to do what he says, you will come to believe in him. And the more you trust him the more you will believe in him. He is the only one who is worthy of our complete trust. Trust Jesus and you will come to know him; then his love will flow into you and out from you.
It is not hard to trust God--though it can be frightening. He tells us not to worry because he loves us. When we worry we take matters into our own hands, and that's when we make a mess of things. God has our best interests at heart. Nothing can separate us from the one who is love. Nothing can separate us from the one who is life.
...neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (The Bible)
The King of this world is worthy of our trust because only he knows us perfectly, and only he loves us perfectly.
We cannot make ourselves love God but we can choose to trust him. And if we trust him, we will come to love him. Trusting God is the greatest compliment we can give him.
“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.” - George MacDonald
Love is greater than faith and hope; but it is faith (trust) in God that leads to love. (The more love, the more meaning. It is love that makes everything lovely.)
Trusting God is not always easy and is often inconvenient. For example, not doing any cooking, cleaning, or any kind of work on the sabbath can be very inconvenient; but if you take the time to have a full day of rest, you’ll be glad you did.
It is also true that God asks us to do many things which seem dull and boring. There's often no intimacy with people in being responsible, in working hard or in doing a good job; but it's those kinds of things that make intimacy possible. The more trustworthy we are the more we will be trusted. The more we trust Jesus the more others will trust us. (And though there is often no intimacy with people in doing the things God asks us to do, intimacy with God is developed when we trust him.)
But here I must mention a difficulty that we will run into if we are serious about trying to do what Jesus says.
The more we try to do what Jesus says, the more we will discover that we cannot treat people the way he said we should. We are unable to treat people the way we should because we don’t love them enough. But this does not mean we should give up. It simply means we are unable to do what Jesus says on our own. We need to ask him for help.
"The impossibility of doing what we would as we would, drives us to look for help." - George MacDonald
With God's help we can begin to treat people the way we should.
The Apostle Paul knew this.* He wrote, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).
"But what if I have to go against my conscience to do what Jesus asks of me?"
We do not have to go against our conscience to trust him. If we read the Bible and listen closely, we will usually know what to do. What do I mean by listen closely? In the poem Willie's Question a father explains to his son how to listen and hear God's voice. (That is how to love God with one's mind.)
“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (Jesus, from the Gospel of John).
"Taste and see that the Lord is good" (King David, from Pslam 34).
* The Paul of Romans 8, not the old man he described in Romans 7. The new man was living according to the Spirit. See (Rom 8:4.)