Trust is defined as the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. It seems that we take trust for granted until we wonder if something or someone is trustworthy like when we cross a swinging bridge or choose a doctor. In a couples’ counseling session trust may have minimal significance until either the husband or wife utters the piercing words, “I do not trust you!” Sadly it seems most people live with little concern for the impact of their choices that result in the lack of trust or the inability to trust. Only when trust is required do we realize its importance, and only when trust is lost do we appreciate its value. Yet have we considered the issue of how we posture ourselves in trust and its ramifications on our relationship with God? How does trust factor into our interaction with God?
Trust in the Lord
Solomon moves his son to consider the issue of trust in the well-known passage of Proverbs 3:5 – 8.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,Prov. 3:5–8 ESV
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.
Believe God’s truth
Trust is actually the result of making the choice to believe in God’s truth. Given the meaning of the Hebrew word batah the emphasis here is to be moved to hope by force of belief that has previously been solidified in faith. Thus the process of sanctification can be observed in its linear flow: truth is introduced by revelation leading to enlightenment, belief is embraced, faith is experienced, as hope now becomes the essence of the new normal.
David presents in poetic fashion an understanding of walking with God in trust leading to the expected outcome of peace.
Trust in the LORD and do good;Psalm 37:3 – 8 NASB
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the LORD;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light
And your judgment as the noonday.
Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him.
Have you considered what actually influences our willingness to trust? Spiritual death resulted from the choices Adam and Eve made. Their sin broke humanity’s relationship with God, and the devastating consequences trouble us daily. As a result of the Garden encounter:
- Humanity disconnected from truth and connected with perversion.
- Humanity developed a distorted view of God’s image.
- Humanity created a delusional view of themselves.
Belief and what we believe in are the bases for that which we choose to trust. The real question is do we believe in the truth or do we believe in a lie? Truth is not of a human origin and can be found only with God. “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6 ESV).
Truth is comprised of principles, precepts, and promises of God that empower life with the strength of God. Although God’s law is written in our hearts, we must make the choice to believe God’s truth by accepting His reality as fact. Yet just knowing God’s truth as fact will not change our lives until we believe by faith and appropriate God’s truth in the course of our living. It is not until truth shapes our choices and molds our behavior, sculpting us into the image of Jesus, that we may say we believe. Do we really believe what we say we believe about God so that it permeates our lives and defines our actions?
We may have a vast knowledge of the Bible, but if this knowledge has never changed us it is because we do not believe what we know to be true. When we believe, we act on what we know is certain. “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see” (Heb. 11:1 NLT). It does not require complete comprehension. Absolute understanding is not a necessity. What is essential is that we trust and follow in God’s way. “You will hear a word spoken behind you, saying, ‘This is the correct way, walk in it,’ whether you are heading to the right or the left” (Isa. 30:21 NLT).
I can trust God because…
(excerpts included from Desperate Dependency by J. Kirk & Melanie D. Lewis)