I love a good deal. I actually get a little bit of an adrenaline rush when I find something worth much more than I have to pay. This Scripture seems like a good deal. I just have to give my trust and I receive complete joy and peace plus the added bonus of overflowing hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
I am inclined to believe, however, that the trust I need to give Him in order to receive all those wonderful things has to be absolute and complete. It has to be with my whole heart, all my mind, and from the depths of my soul.
To me trust is a choice. When someone is deemed worthy of my trust I can give it to them. But often, at least in my earthly relationships, I give trust in varying degrees. I can trust a friend’s recipe for meatloaf but perhaps not that she will keep a secret. I can trust a man with my time but perhaps not my heart. In fact, when I think about it I struggle to find anyone I trust unabashedly.
Trusting another completely necessarily requires a leap of faith that can feel impossible for several reasons. Foremost to me, trust leaves me vulnerable. Years of time on earth has left me hurt countless times, sometimes to my core. A self-defense mechanism built in from experience is to reserve some trust just in case that person fails me. It is almost as if I can use it for a cushion to catch me when I fall.
Trusting another also requires relinquishing control. Once we gift someone with our trust we cannot control what they will do with that so there is much wisdom in determining who is worthy. We gain wisdom by being in a relationship with that person. It comes over time and realizing through observation that the person is reliable and trustworthy. It would be foolish to trust someone you have only just met with your checkbook, we should not with our hearts which are so much more valuable.
Often one does not trust completely because of a lie that was spoken into one’s life that now is believed as truth. Were you told you were too quiet or too loud? Were you made to feel unlovable or somehow inadequate? Were you abandoned? Was a parent overly critical? Did your spouse make you feel ugly? Was he unfaithful?
The wonderful news is that God does none of those things. He is flat out crazy about you. If you are quiet or loud He wants you to use that for His Glory. He will never leave or forsake you. He thinks you’re the most beautiful person He has ever created. He is faithful.
When I feel my trust in Him waver, I remember that I know, I really know who He was, who He is, and who He will be. I remember that “God has and He will”. He has comforted me in times of trouble and He will. He has provided all my needs and He will. He has redeemed my situation and He will. He has worked all things for good and He will. I choose to believe and trust He is who He says He is and who I have seen Him to be. He does not change and He does not fail.
I can look to the Bible or my own life to know the character of God because I spend time with Him. What would my relationship with my children look like if I only spent a few minutes with them a day? What if I only talked to them when I needed something? What if I never put my phone down long enough to listen to them? How is God any different?
One of my favorite conversations from the Bible is in Mark 9. A father is pleading with Jesus to help his son after the disciples were not able.
The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”
“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
I find so much solace that this man who is actually talking to Jesus has unbelief. Naturally, I imagine his disappointment with the disciples inability to help left room for doubt in Jesus. Was he judging the power of God to be lacking because of the failure of man?
How often do I ask God to help me with those three words that can change the entire request…if you can? The difference between, “God, give me strength” versus “God, give me strength if you can” is the difference between knowing God is able and wondering if God is able. I see it, I am sure He does as well.
Is it possible to believe in God but not trust Him? I think it is. Believe is defined as “accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of” whereas trust is “firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.” To me, trusting is so much more than believing.
When I really read that definition I realize that no one is more worthy of my complete trust than God. He is reliable, truthful, able, and strong. In fact, He is the only one.
I encourage you and myself to cry out as the father in Mark 9 does and replace the word believe with trust. Make this a heartfelt prayer.
“I do trust, but help me overcome my lack of trust!”
Then, and only then can God fill us completely with joy and peace, overflowing with confident hope. Then, the power of the Holy Spirit can be revealed in and through us. Now that, my friends, is a pretty good deal.