Question: I have no problem trusting that Hashem runs the world with hashgacha pratis and everything is ordained by Him. However, when it comes to believing He will give me extra because I trust that He will, I run into a struggle. Do I really trust that He will? What is a practical process to attain this trust in Hashem?
Answer: In truth, merely refocusing on the truths that you mentioned that you do know; that Hashem runs the world with hashgacha pratis and everything is preordained by Him, will already improve your lot in life immensely. The Chovos HaLevavos says: When one who places his trust in something other than Him, Hashem removes his Divine providence, so to speak, from upon him, placing him under that which he has placed his trust in. (Introduction to Shar HaBitachon)
The Chovos HaLevavos is explaining to us that, first of all, let’s focus ourselves and realize that our hishtadlus is not truly accomplishing our goals. If, until now, we have not been careful to constantly remind ourselves of this, then we have very good news, for now we know that what we have attained until today has been without the extra level of Hashem’s hashgacha upon us. Let’s continue conducting our business similar to how we have until today, just with the added clarity that all our hishtadlus is merely an obligation we must fulfill in order that we not be considered grossly negligent thereby forfeiting what we deserve. Before we do something let us think: “Am I truly doing this to prevent myself from being negligent, or am I thinking that this action itself can actually improve my lot.” If we feel the former, then we’ll achieve success, however, if it’s the latter, then not only will it not improve our lot but it will greatly worsen it by removing Hashem’s special hashgacha from upon us. By just doing the above we will “stop the bleeding” for we will have ceased removing Hashem’s special hashgacha from upon us. We can now expect our fortune to turn as our lives run based on the overwhelming love of a Father who is all powerful and loves us so, but whom we have simply not allowed to run our lives until now in the best possible way.
As we focus more and more on our actions and what truly brings us success, as opposed to an obligation we perform merely to prevent falling under the category of posheiah- gross negligence, we will slowly but surely ascend the ladder of ever higher levels of bitachon whereby we will “…take pleasure in Hashem and He will fulfill all of your hearts desires!” (Tehillim 37:4)
Other parts to this series: Inspiration in Bitachon