Trust. A word we tend not to use in a positive manner these days. More often than not, we are speaking of NOT trusting a person, a news article, a promise on a commercial, or even the weather. We have been on the receiving end of so much spin, manipulation, lies, and broken promises that we find it hard to trust anything anymore.
When it comes to faith, however, we need to trust. William Sloane Coffin once wrote that “Faith is not believing without proof but trusting without reservation.” The New Testament book of Hebrews puts it this way: “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
They come at the issue of faith and trust in different ways, but both of these quotes remind us that faith is built on trust. We trust that God is present at all times. We trust that God loves us unconditionally. We trust that God’s promises of abundant life now and eternal life later will be granted. We trust that God is working for our good.
We trust that Jesus died for our sins. We trust that Jesus taught us what is really important for living with him and with one another. We trust that his teachings are accurately shared in scripture. We trust that living as Jesus taught will change the world. We trust that Jesus’ promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit has happened and that the Spirit is guiding us every day into an understanding of all that Jesus taught and into courage to live it.
Or do we? Some people equate faith with believing God exists. That’s certainly part of it, but there is so much more. Faith is about living what we believe and we can only do that by trusting God. For instance, if we believe God exists but feel that God cannot forgive us our particular sinful acts we aren’t trusting in the promise of forgiveness. If we believe God exists but feel that God doesn’t care about our daily lives and just exists somewhere “out there” instead of in our hearts, then we aren’t trusting that God is speaking to us each and every moment of our days.
On the other hand, if we do build that trust with God, we find that our spirits are lighter. It doesn’t make the lies, manipulations, spin, or broken promises go away but it helps us to let them go, dig for the truth we need, and stop ourselves from adding to the problems that come from such actions. If we do build trust with God, we find our problems are less burdensome and have the energy to actively work to bring change and transformation to our families, communities, nation, and world.
Do you only believe, or do you trust as well?