Trust is an intrinsic part of the human psyche, though it’s resolve can sometimes seem almost irrational. It was trust in God that brought Columbus to discover the New World. The same could be said about the many pioneers who ventured out in wagons to cross the great prairies in the 19th century.
In that case there were families who often pooled their resources and assisted one another when in need and when establishing themselves at their new home in the West. Most were people of faith, reliant upon their bibles for their religious, moral and ethical values.
Trust is also elusive. We experience it when we are young, but we tend to grow out of it, becoming more cynical as we grow out of childhood.
The absence of trust is the most corrosive environment in society, because it erodes and eventually destroys every relationship. Nothing has the ability to cause greater damage, yet we now live in a mature distrustful society. We experience this in our broken families and in our societal and political divisions.
By definition Trust is a noun, an adjective and a verb. To grow and flourish it has to be given away, usually to someone else whom we believe in. How then is it possible, within this secular society to develop trust in God?
Jesus gave us the answer in John 21:27-29. Thomas did not believe that Jesus had risen after the crucifixion. “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?” “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” In John 14:8–9: Philip wants to know how he can see the Father. Most of us identify with Thomas and Philip, which signifies a lack of confidence, but if we are prepared to dig deeper, to learn to expose truth which enables us to trust in Jesus to such a degree that we will be able to see, touch and converse with Him.
We live upon a tiny blue ball in a minute solar system, on the outskirts of a galaxy we call the Milky Way. This planet we call the World and home is a universal exception perfectly adapted to host humanity as we know it – for a short time. Scientific examination reveals an extraordinary consequence of events, an impossible gamble of razor thin results that indicate design, refute accidents and propose an author.
When we dwell upon the nature of our existence we realize how we take for granted constants like day, night, tides and seasons in which we place our trust. These events are dependent upon one another and essential for human welfare. Yet humanity is but a blink in the span of time. The world is 4.5 billion years old, in a universe that is 13.8 billion years old. Man has existed 200,000 years and written history is about 4,000 years.
So what does it mean when we find in scripture that Jesus was born “In the fullness of time?”- the exact moment when God chose to become Man. What does it mean when I recall that in my own lifespan the world has evolved into a finite planet? Where are we in the arc of our existence and how do we reconcile these thoughts in the span of events? And why is it that a common feature in nature is birth, growth and inevitably death, except for one notable exception – we are to live – forever.
Where does such a notion come from? There is concrete evidence of the existence of a spiritual world long before written history. Though often primitively defined all societies had religions, not as centers of power, but for the welfare of all. The divine right of Kings did not come from self imposed grandeur, but the realization that their accumulation of power was greater than themselves, whether good or bad.
Throughout history there have been mystics, those in touch with the supernatural. Judaism has a long list of prophets, men recognized as being appointed by God. Several religions have saints and Catholicism has a process of recognition for exemplary selfless lives and proven divine intervention, which we call miracles.
All of this pales in the certainty of the life of Christ, the undisputed account of a man who claimed to be the Son of God. His life and sayings are the most recorded literature in history. His influence and application of a way to live is undisputed, more complete and pervasive than any other the world has known.
His death by cruel crucifixion the consequence of envy, hate and mistrust are recorded history. The divine reason of Love is explained in four gospels. His resurrection, prophesied and witnessed, validated his life and divinity and forecast our own destiny – to live forever.
One would imagine that if this preponderance of evidence was valid we would all be saints, but the ugly and unshakeable truth is our original sin, that singular blemish that could tarnish all of creation, making the whole an exercise in abject futility. Man was created to be a Child of God, imbued with a soul, to be filled with His Spirit of Love, in His image and likeness – not a servant – not a pet, but an heir for His Glory.
We are also created with an intellect so we may grow in knowledge – to learn and know and choose. This privilege is given so that we may freely choose whom to love, ourselves or our God. The counter-force is so strong and attractive that we would rather expend our intellect and energies in building an enormous edifice of lies – that we are supreme – that we are Gods – that we created ourselves!
The smallest reflection upon God, would reveal the idiocy of such thought. Herein lies the difference between Wisdom, which is of God and knowledge, which is of Man.
The Old Testament often reads like a stuck record about the Jews waxing and waning in Faith, but never adopting a way of life that completely complied with the wishes of God. It was Jesus who, in the fullness of time, specifically brought us the method, The Way, to change all men into Children of God. Following Christ is the most natural self fulfilling life. We know it is, so we just have to learn to stop following those distractions that continually absorb our selfish instincts.
Becoming a Child of God is not some lofty, exceptional goal that only saints achieve. It is what is expected of us, for our own good and for the good of mankind.
To become a Child of God does not mean that one has to exclude themselves from life, but to embrace all of life, enjoying all the bounty and beauty that God has provided for our individual physical and spiritual selves – for His Glory. The alternative is a selfish hollow short lived existence of physical and intellectual short lived gratification that ends in despair, self deprecation and failure.
God provides us with the means to love Him. His Holy Spirit is a free gift of Himself given to enlighten us so that we may achieve our full potential as Children of God, not as slaves to evil.
A Child of God lives in the Trust of God, during every circumstance, because they fully embrace the gifts of the Holy Spirit and view everything through a lens of Love, while living on a plane of Peace. This is the experience of anyone who spends time, using Christ’s love, for the benefit for others.
The universal observation is that they receive more than they give. Jesus showed us not once but twice that the grace of God, given away, will turn a few loaves and fish into food for thousands.
The counterpoint of this reality is the story of Peter walking on water. Keep your eye on God and you will be safe – remove that trust and you will sink.
Our world is ruled by the devil with fear and doubt as the tools of his trade. His temptation is ever more severe the more devoted the saint. His most favorite taunt is that God does not even exist. He knows that God exists and he knows that we know that God exists, but to cause us to trip he will taunt us with every conceivable toy and if we fail the test … he will grind in our guilt so that living in shame, we will not even seek the forgiveness of an ever forgiving God.
Being a Child of God is literally that – placing our total trust, like a child, in Him. God is there every time we are pulled to safety, every time we are healed, every time we do good, every time we serve one another in love – every sunrise of Hope and every sunset of Peace.
Job Proclaimed 13:15 “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” Love and Trust are inextricably bound together – as long as the love is true. Consider for a moment the workings of love and trust in a relationship.
When two people meet, an immediate subconscious assessment ensues. There may or may not be an attraction, which we call magnetism, which draws us from one to the other. The relationship may develop into one of giving or one of taking. A giving relationship creates a love that attracts trust, but a taking relationship forecasts nothing that can last.
Trust enters into a relationship only when one party places their heart into the hands of the other. It is in this environment that true love grows. These elements of love and trust when woven together become a bond that is unbreakable, even when facing death. Martyrs do not give their lives for the sake of duty, but in joy out of love.
Relationships that are not built on trust are always on the brink of failure and are unable to experience the full potential and benefits of that union. When people say they no longer love one another, it is long after one has lost trust in the other.
It is the loss of trust that drives a divorce. The reason why divorce is so damaging to children is because they are unwilling receptors of a broken trust, that union which provided the security in which the child could flourish. That bond once broken leaves the child forever damaged, carriers of incomplete loving relationships.
Two people in absolute trust with one another truly act as one, always doing for one another, always complementing the efforts of the other, creating a self fulfilling environment of achievement and joy.
Our relationship with God is the same. We know that God loves us – the evidence is all around us. We can learn to love God through scripture, which explains in many different ways the ultimate depth of his love. But it is only when we cast off ourselves and put our total trust in Him that our lives begin to change. Falling in Trust is the most fulfilling act that any person can accomplish with their lives.
Oswald Chambers said it best: “God ventured His all in Jesus Christ to save us, and now He wants us to venture our all with total abandoned confidence in Him.” “If we take this view, life will become one great romance – a glorious opportunity of seeing wonderful things all the time.