Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Trust: The Key To Everything [Part 2 of 3]

"I believe in God, but it's so hard to trust Him sometimes."

This is a phrase I've heard more than once from my friends as we've shared together. Heck, I'm sure at one time or the other I've said the same thing myself, but as I analyze this statement I realize that we don't really understand the meaning of the phrase "I believe in God."

In fact, if I could outlaw one word in the Christianese language it would be "Believe" because so many of us really have no idea what the word really means in the context of faith in God.

Biblically, the concepts of belief, trust, and faith are one and the same. So, for us to say, "I believe in God but I don't trust Him" is like saying, "I trust in God, but I really don't trust Him."

A "Believer" is by default also a "Truster" of God. The concept of trusting in God is imbedded in the definition of "Believer". Why then is trusting God, in our minds, a separate concept from believing in Him?

I think it is partly due to our misunderstanding, and therefore our misuse, of the term "Believe." I think most of us use the term belief to refer to an idea we think is true. So, when we say, "I believe in God" we're saying, "I think God is real" but we don't necessarily mean, "I trust in God."

It's also fascinating to me that people who identify themselves as follower of God, or as Believers, find trusting God difficult. Imagine the headline: "Study shows that 90% of Christians don't trust God" or "People of Faith Find Trusting God Difficult." I mean, shouldn't it be the other way around? It would make sense to me to read that the majority of unbelievers find trusting God difficult, that would explain why they remain in their unbelief. But, for Christians to find trusting God to be a problem seems more than strange- it seems wrong.

In the amazing New Testament book of James this concept is explored in full, which means that our modern misunderstanding of the term "Believe" is nothing new. In his book, James demonstrates the uselessness of leaning on belief in God, as opposed to really trusting, or having faith, in God, when he says, "You believe in God? Good! Even the demons believe and they shudder." (see James 2:19)

James, in this passage, wants to illustrate to us the impotency of belief alone. If we think that believing God is real means anything at all, let us consider the demons who don't just believe God is real- they know it! Not only do the demons know it, they quake in fear. But does this knowledge of God's realness save the demons? Of course not. What the demons lack is trust in God. They know God is real, they even shake in fear of Him, but they refuse to trust in God. They refuse to have faith in God.

My question is, are we more like the demons than we are like disciples? Do we believe that God exists but refuse to trust in Him? Do we resist putting the words of Jesus into practice? Do we refuse to surrender our will, our plans, our ideas, our dreams to God and crown Him as the King of our lives? If so, we are more like demons who believe in God but have not yet trusted Him with our lives.

Here are some possible barriers we might face when it comes to fully trusting God:

*We don't really know God
*We have a fear of letting go.
*We think we know what's really best
*We don't want God's intervention in our lives


1 comment:

Ross P Rohde said...

think the problem here is the supplanting of the idea of belief by the Enlightenment. Belief in the New Testament is always connected with the heart. We believe in our heart, and therefore it affects what we do and who we are. The Enlightenment has belief in the head. It is an agreement with the correctness of an idea, not something that affects our behavior. Therefore someone can say something as incongruous as I believe in God, but I don’t trust him. You are saying, in this blog, belief/trust/faith is really a heart issue, something that affects what we do and who we are. This is as it should be. We need to get belief out of our heads and back into our heart.