Trust is a hard one to put your mind around. It is not an easy thing to quantify. Earthbound trust is a delicate thing. It is a hard fought place to get to but can be easily lost with a single word or action. Many times, it can never be regained. Many people think of trust as a black and white position of deeds done well or poorly. And the world in which we live, where grace and forgiveness are lost arts, we often here the words “I will never trust anyone again.”
Feelings of vulnerability and betrayal are emotions that are uncomfortable to us all. So from there, we can too easily devolve into a world of skepticism and even cynicism. That is not the way I want to live my life. If I must choose between vulnerability with the potential of being hurt and possibly betrayed, or in a blighted, cynical world, never trusting anyone, I will choose trust every time.
There are those who see trust as being naive or unsophisticated. But to me, the epitome of naivety is thinking that we can get through this tangled up world on our own never trusting anyone else to help us through it. For many people their ability to trust or not is based on experiences they have had in the past. Something that someone said or did caused them to feel abandoned, so they have forsaken trust in order for it to never happen again. Such lack of trust can darken the soul to the place of loneliness and even hopelessness and despair.
But there is a trust that is not based on human frailty or on someone’s lack of dependability, but is defined in the light of scripture.
“They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”
This kind of trust is not based on a flighty or frivolous foundation. Spiritual trust is based on the fact that God is sovereign, gracious, loving and just. It is initiated by the word of God and His promises, and perpetuated by His history of faithfulness in our lives.
The author of Hebrews put it this way:
“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)” Hebrews 10:23
If we truly trust in God, it must be a persistent, pervasive, relentless confidence in who He is, and in His love and faithfulness towards us. God must be the source and object of our trust. In order for this to happen, we must believe certain things.
He is His own council. He made all things and is above all things and works all things according to His will.
God is providential
He is concerned with, and involved in, the lives of His creation. He is not a “man upstairs” , or a “somebody up there” figure. He is a caring God who is aware of your situation.
God is faithful
He is faithful in all things at all times. His promises are true and sure. He is unchanging.
God is loving
He loves us with an unconditional, unfailing love, and ALWAYS has our best interest in mind.
God has a plan
Our lives are not a bag of circumstances, accidents or co-incidences. God is never caught off guard. He has determined the days of our lives and works all things to good to those who love and serve Him.
Trust abolishes fear. When we fully trust God, all the things that make us fearful fall by the way. At a point, we trust that a loving, providential, faithful God, will work His purposes on our behalf. It may not always be what you would choose or enjoy, but we know that God is in control and will work what is ultimately good for us. Trust gives God the room to work the big picture in our lives.
Ps. 56:4 “In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?”
Prov. 29:25 “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”
When we trust, the outcome is not the primary concern, because it is in God’s hands. Trust allows God to control both the narrative, and the results. Trust moves us past doubt and fear into a place of calm assurance.
To the three Hebrew children, faith said, “our God, whom we serve, is able to deliver us”, but trust said “even if He doesn’t, we will serve Him.”
This “even if He doesn’t” thing is a hard one to swallow sometimes. After all, much of the modern teaching on faith involves us being healed every time, being delivered every time, being restored every time. There seems to be no place for “but even if He doesn’t.”
We must not confuse trust with complacency or diffidence. We often feel that if we are not worried or anxious about our situation, something must be wrong with us. After all, “I’ve got a reason to worry.” Worry, fretting and fear are the exception, not the rule to those who trust God. Sometimes trust changes, moving forward. Sometimes it waits, holds back. But the common factor is that we are always moving in God’s rhythm because we trust His purpose.
Hope lends itself to faith, while faith is the foundation of trust. Trust then excites, impassions and enlarges our hope. The cycle continues. I see trust as an expression of our faith, an expression of our love, an expression of our worship.