"Things in my life are really hard right now and I don't know what to do. Sometimes I feel like I hear God telling me this or that, but I just don't know if that's Him or me. When I do know, it's usually something challenging and I don't know how to give up my control to trust that God will see me through. What can I do?"First of all, let me say that trusting God is no easy task. It's natural - human even - to distrust God and do things our own way. God created us with free will and we choose to exercise it, against His best advice (see Genesis 3). So not only is trusting God difficult, it's impossible apart from Him. Huh? Let me explain. (Image Source)
Trusting God is a matter of truth: knowing who He is as He has revealed Himself to be, and knowing who I am in relation to Him. First (and only first - we must always start with God, not ourselves), I need to know God. Who is He? What is He like? How does He work? These questions can be answered by looking at the history of the world through God's eyes (we call this book the Bible) and listening for God's voice. He tells us (Psalm 136:1-9) over (Jeremiah 31:9) and over (Isaiah 45:5) and over (Habakkuk 1:13) and over (Romans 5:8) again who He is, but are we listening? Think of your friends - how do you know you can trust them? Because you know them - what they're like, how they respond in tough situations, and who they really are. The same goes for God.
If God is on His rightful throne, then where does that leave me? Not on it! It means He was, is, and will always be greater than me. This is not a shameful thing but a truth that brings humility (Galatians 5:16-24) and freedom (John 8:32). King David of the Bible was no wimp on the battlefield, but he also realized his limitations when it came to his relation to God (see Psalm 131:1-3). This truth reflects accurately, according to God's perspective, who He is and who I am. If He is Lord and I have a sin problem that impairs my ability to do good, then I need Him - I utterly depend on Him. (Image Source)
The more I let go of my own reality, my own perspective and worldview, and my own agenda, the more I allow myself to become open to trusting God. Yet letting go is not trusting. Acknowledging that God is able to do what I cannot and giving my troubles to Him knowing He is able develops faith - trust that He will be faithful. James says to consider this process "pure joy" because the outcome is proof of God's faithfulness (James 1:2-8).