Trust God!

January 22 2024 | by

Dear Mr. Pfister, my husband and I are happily married with four children. We realize what a blessing having children has been in our lives, but now that we’re considering the very real possibility of our family continuing to grow, we’re finding ourselves overwhelmed at the prospect of having more children. We’re on an emotional rollercoaster that moves between being wholeheartedly trusting of God and doubtful that we can handle the stress and responsibility. We’ve discussed this concern with our parish priest, and he counseled us to trust in God and seek His will for our family. How do we do this in the moments we’re struggling to trust? What does it look like to have trust in God when we feel fearful and overwhelmed?


For us to have trust and confidence in God, we must both possess and actively foster hope. Hope, Saint Thomas Aquinas tells us, is both an emotion and a theological virtue. And while these two different forms of the same word are truly distinct from one another, both the emotion and the virtue contain within themselves the movement towards a desired good, be that something created (emotion) or the Creator Himself (virtue). Hope, both as an emotion and a virtue, inclines us toward what is seen as good and places within us the belief – or hope – that we can obtain it. Your hope is that you and your husband can handle the responsibility of more children aided by God’s providence and grace.

But what happens when we begin to lose hope or when we for some reason doubt that we can obtain the good thing we desire, such as being able to handle the responsibility of more children? We begin to feel despair, which is a lack of belief that the good we desire can be obtained. We don’t believe we can have more children and do everything that is necessary to provide for them and raise them well. And as the despair progresses, not only do we begin to doubt that we can do what is necessary, but we even begin to doubt that God can or will aid us in a way that would allow us to be successful.

You and your husband are moving between periods of hope and periods of despair as you contemplate the blessing of one or more children. In order to lessen the periods of despair and increase, and even strengthen, the periods of hope, there are two important things for both of you to be doing. The first is praying for an increase in the theological virtue of hope, while the second is making acts of hope or trust in God.

Psychologically, making these acts of hope will strengthen your resolve and belief in your abilities by God’s grace. It truly becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: if I tell myself He or I can’t, I’ll find that I can’t; but if I tell myself that I can aided by Him with hope and confidence, I’ll find that I can. What I choose to believe determines what I believe.  

In Isiah 30:15 we read that in hope fortitude, or courage, will be found. It is precisely in our placing of hope in God that we will find the courage necessary to do what we should. In abandoning ourselves to His will we will find unknown and unprecedented strength in ourselves. It is in this hope that you and your husband will find the strength to trust in God’s will for your family.

“But hope that is seen, is not hope. For what a man seeth, why doth he hope for?” (Romans 8:24).


Updated on January 23 2024