Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3; 5,6From Martin Hayward:
Every time I turn on my computer to do some on-line banking or manage my bills, I get swamped with warnings about scams. It appears you can’t trust anyone these days. And yet, as the author Os Guinness says at the start of his book about “Doubt”: From a baby with its mother, to friendships of children, to neighbours in community, to agreements among nations, life depends on trust… the highest reaches of love and life depend on trust. Are there any questions more important to us than ‘Whom do I trust? How can I be sure?’ And, (this is me talking!) most important of all, how do we know we can trust God? How can we be sure?
The simple answer is that we have to test Him out. If we never trust anyone we will never know if they can be trusted and our relationship with them will never grow. At least if we try them out and are let down by them we know where we stand! And it’s the same with God: if we don’t take the risk of trusting Him we’ll never find out just how trustworthy he is.
To take an extreme example, that must have been how Abraham felt when he heard God say “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice Him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” In spite of all the odds and the extremity of the test, Abraham trusted God enough to obey and was rewarded when he found that God had a plan to save the boy at the last moment. Abraham trusted and obeyed and proved just how trustworthy God is.
Or look at Peter. When Jesus beckoned across the water, the disciple got out of the boat and started to walk across the water. It was only when he doubted his own judgement about whether Jesus could be trusted that he started to sink. Peter trusted – he got out of the boat – but then doubted and started to sink. But even in that moment of doubt, Jesus took his hand and saved him from drowning. From that moment on Peter’s faith grew and grew. The irony of faith is that God understands our doubts and “wobbles” but will help us through them if only we’ll trust Him to do so. When we dare to live out our faith, we find that God increases our faith and also gives us ever more grounds to trust Him.
The Christian life is neither scam nor make believe; it’s a personal relationship with the God whom we can trust in every one of the real circumstance of our lives.