Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Trust: The Key To Everything [Part 1 of 3]

The other day a friend of mine made the comment that trusting God seems to be the hardest thing for us to do, even as followers of Jesus who should find it easy...or at least fundamental to our daily practice.

Several thoughts splinter outward from the impact of this statement. First, I wonder why it is that we find it so hard to trust God. Second, I wonder if this isn't the central key to everything.

There are several possible reasons for this. One being that we may have a problem with trust in general. Meaning, all of us have been manipulated by the media, society, politicians, teachers, lovers, parents, etc. all of our lives. After a while we simply lose the ability to completely trust anyone or anything 100%.

There is no logical reason not to trust God. After all, if you could name only one being in the entire known Universe whom you should be able to trust with absolute certainty, it is God.

Author Jan David Hettinga suggests that the issue of trust is a big part of what God was doing on the cross in the first place. Even though God had all power and all authority at His disposal, including the ability to force us to do whatever He wanted us to do, God instead chose to lay it all down (see Philipians 2) and embrace a posture of servanthood and humility.

When Jesus laid down his life on the cross he was demonstrating that his intentions for us were good, that he only considered what was best for us, and that therefore we can trust him completely.

Not only did God not abuse his power over us, he allowed us to have the power of abuse over him! He took the punishment and refused to lash out. He forgave us for the nails and excused our ignorance.

When we look at Jesus, God in the flesh, hanging upon the cross, enduring the shame meant for us, we look into the eyes of a God who says, "Look at me. I will not trick you. I will not manipulate you. I will not lie to you. I love you."

If we cannot trust Jesus, we have no hope of ever trusting anyone, or anything, ever.

The author of Hebrews reminds us that "Without faith it is impossible to please God" (see Hebrews 11:6) and the more I meditate on this concept of trusting God the more I realize that "Faith", "Belief", "Trust" and "Obedience" are practically synonyms.

If we believe God, we will obey His commands. Jesus says that if we love him we will obey his teachings. To trust someone is to believe them. To have faith in someone is to believe, and to trust them.

I now also realize that our joy in Christ, our ability to enjoy peace, or contentment in this life, is tied directly to our ability to trust God.

If we can trust God, completely, with everything in our life, we can experience peace because we know He is in control. If we really believe that God loves us then we can trust that He knows what is best for us.

The question then becomes, if we can't fully trust God with our everyday life, why not? What is it that prevents us from trusting God? Why is it so hard? What can we do that will make us more capable of trusting God with everything?


1 comment:

Ross Rohde said...

Hi Keith,

You stated..."the more I meditate on this concept of trusting God the more I realize that "Faith", "Belief", "Trust" and "Obedience" are practically synonyms."

That is a tremendous insight. I've thought a lot about faith and trust being synonyms, but you are right, they are also related to belief and trust and the obvious response to such a trustworthy God is obdeience. There is much more to meditate on here.

Keep up the good writing.