Freedom To Trust Part 3

I have faith in God – I know I’m saved! But my history shows that I have not trusted God enough. I have trusted myself and other things more.

trust 3

Here’s one of the worst things I’ve ever done – When I was in high school, I was on a summer mission trip to Utah. We went to help a small Baptist church survey the town it was in, start bible studies, and do some door to door evangelism. It was really hard, since, you know, Mormons.

One day a few of us were walking along a dusty side road. It was so hot we almost couldn’t stand it. In the distance, we saw two people walking toward us – black slacks, white shirts, ties. Mormon missionaries! As we approached each other, we saw them pointing at us so we stopped and started a conversation.

They asked us what we were doing, and we explained the nature of our mission trip. I remember saying these words – “We are just out telling the good news about Jesus.” One of them laughed and asked why we would want to do that. We tried to explain who Jesus is to us, but they mocked us and told us we were destined to fail. Which made me mad. So, I took matters into my own hands.

I started mocking them – I asked how hard their job was, being in Mormon-land and all. I expressed my belief that they must be the worst missionaries of all time because instead of being sent to a place that really needed them, they stayed where all the Mormons already were. I ventured a guess that it was either that or their parents were wealthy and paid off a church official so they could stay close to home.

All the while, I was stepping a few steps forward, a few steps to the side, positioning them right where I wanted them to be – in a giant mound of fire ants. When they were both standing right in the fire ants, I said, “well, gotta go!” And my friends and I ran off. About 100 yards down the road, we turned back toward them – they were jumping all around, swatting at their legs, kicking their shoes off and yelling and screaming – and my friends and I were laughing at what we did to them!

Why is this one of the worst thing I’ve ever done? Because, I didn’t think “this is someone God loves,” I thought “this is someone that needs to be taught a lesson.” I didn’t think “this is God’s creation with a future and a purpose.” I thought “this person is making fun of my religion.” I didn’t think that they were as important to God as I was so I took matters into my own hands – because I didn’t trust God to be who he is and to be able to do what he says he can do.

How incredibly prideful and arrogant is that? And that is the root of distrust – pride and arrogance. Thinking that my motives are pure, that I am innocent, that I am above blame and reproach and that God is not!

Next time we will see how Job reacted to God while being tormented by Satan. We’ll investigate whether he was able to keep it all together, or whether he became prideful and arrogant – whether he was able to trust God in the mist of his trials, or whether he lost trust in God and started blaming him for everything.

In the meantime – think of a time in your life when you have had struggles – how did you react? Did you think God was punishing you? Or did you trust him to see you through?


Freedom To Trust Part 2


Most of the time we use these words interchangeably, but there is a difference between faith and trust. What follows is my random thoughts on the topic. I created this list over a period of about 3 months. Please feel free to add your thoughts as well in the comment section –

Faith is assurance of hope and conviction of the unseen – faith makes us certain of realities we cannot see.

Heb 11:1 – Faith is being sure of what we hope for. It is being certain of what we do not see.

Faith is believing. Trust is acting on belief, regardless of if there’s sufficient evidence to support a belief – trust is acting on belief in spite of evidence.

2 cor 5:7 – We live by believing, not by seeing.

The common denominator in faith and trust is God. In faith, we have assurance of what we believe, in trust we hold to our beliefs regardless of what the world, the flesh, or the enemy throws at us.

2 cor 4:8-9, 18 – We are pushed hard from all sides. But we are not beaten down. We are bewildered. But that doesn’t make us lose hope. Others make us suffer. But God does not desert us. We are knocked down. But we are not knocked out. So we don’t spend all our time looking at what we can see. Instead, we look at what we can’t see. What can be seen lasts only a short time. But what can’t be seen will last forever.

Faith is a noun – it is a thing – something we possess. It is often belief without proof or evidence. It is confidence. Faith is internal. Trust is a verb – it’s something we do. It is the manifestation of faith. It is relational. It says I will act on my beliefs. Trust is commitment based on evidence or experience. Trust is external.

James 2:24 – we please God not just by what we believe but by what we do!

Faith assumes there’s no physical evidence and exists all the same. Trust is based on evidence – which is why it is so fragile.

Jn 20:27-29 – Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here. See my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen me but still have believed.”

Faith is thinking someone is trustworthy – Trust is the ability to act as if people will do what they said or be who they said.

Faith is something that happens in our spirit, while trust is something that happens in our soul. Faith is spiritual, trust is relational.

There is always risk involved in trust.

Faith is saying this chair will hold all my weight. Trust is jumping up in it and shouting O captain! my captain! Our fearful trip is done!

Imagine a snow cone – faith is the ice, trust is the flavoring poured on top. They belong together – one without the other just doesn’t work.

You can have faith in God and be saved – and no matter what you will always be saved. Even then you can still be bound by negativity, strongholds, fear and rejection. Or you can move into a deep relationship full of blessing, joy and rest by trust – by actively following God’s direction and by surrendering your will to him. Trust gives life to faith.  Trust is what sees you through this (often crappy) thing called life – without trust everything falls apart.

Faith is believing God is able to change an impossible situation. Trust is knowing he will!

Faith is knowing how awesome God is. Trust walks in the power of his presence. Trust advances the kingdom. Trust changes the world. Why? Because trust enables us to live out our faith in the midst of everything the enemy throws our way.

James 1:2-4 – My brothers and sisters, you will face all kinds of trouble. When you do, think of it as pure joy. Your faith will be put to the test. You know that when that happens it will produce in you the strength to continue. The strength to keep going must be allowed to finish its work. Then you will be all you should be. You will have everything you need.

Trusting people with bits and pieces of your soul is scary if you have been hurt. Trusting God when you are suffering is hard. Your belief tells you one thing, your experience tells you another. But, trust that is born of faith will help you move forward, regardless of what you are currently experiencing.


Freedom To Trust


But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.”

freedom to trust

I want to start by saying this – my pain is not unique to me. I understand that. I know that there are countless others who have been through more and have endured it with more grace than I have. I know that there are those who have dealt with more than just feeling left out in the cold by God – there are those who have faced, are facing, pain and suffering and even death, who still continue to place their trust in God, and not just for healing but for joy, peace and rest in their day to day lives.

What I have been through in life has been hard for me. What you are going through may or may not be as hard or harder for you, and you may or may not be struggling with trusting God to give you the strength to endure.

The fact is, what I have faced in life, I did not face the right way. I took the burden of these things upon myself, and because I (and we) am (are) not equipped to handle these things, I reacted badly at every turn. I blamed God. I thought he turned his back on me, so I turned my back on him. I cursed him, I cursed myself, I cursed my calling. I hated him for what I thought he did to me.

I was not the first to feel this way and to react this way, and I won’t be the last.

Maybe that’s where you are. Maybe you’re just hanging on, right at the tipping point. Maybe you are about to turn your back on the one who can give your life back to you – and he will redeem everything, if you will just take his hand and trust him.

Maybe you have already fallen and don’t know who to trust anymore. Maybe you have no idea how to move past where you are – living moment to moment, day to day, just waiting for something good to happen that will take the pain away.

I lost trust in God. I saw my circumstance as bigger than God and it enveloped me, consumed me and almost killed me, because I let it – because I thought I was a lost cause and because I believed that God himself had given up on me.

What changed? Well, I actually said these words out loud, “God, you have brought me here to die!” And within days, I was reminded (in a sermon at a church I visited for the first time that day – that I almost didn’t go to because I wanted to sleep!) that the Israelites said the same thing, not very long after they had been rescued from Pharaoh’s hand.

They were wandering in the desert, never more than a few miles from the land God had promised, but because they didn’t trust God, their entry was delayed 40 years.  The generation of people that left Egypt were not the ones to inhabit the land – they actually did die in the desert, but God didn’t bring them there to die. They chose that for themselves.

They were supposed to walk from Egypt to a land flowing with milk and honey and take possession of it, but they didn’t trust God to provide for them. God answered their whining and complaining – by providing for their needs. And when they arrived at their destination, God told them to go in and take the land, but they didn’t trust him – all they saw was people who would crush them.

God’s plan was not for them to have to fight to take possession of the land – all they had to do was trust him, and go in and claim it. But because they couldn’t trust him, that generation lost out on the promise, and the next generation had to fight tooth and nail to have it.

I don’t want to be like them. I don’t want to have to wait 40 years and then still have to fight for everything. I want to trust God now – I want to be able to walk into his promise, settle into it like it’s a big squishy bean bag, and watch him do all the heavy lifting. But I’m still not there yet. I’m still struggling with trust issues. But I’m almost through it now – I can feel it! The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!

I’m still learning that God is worthy of my trust and has no intention of letting me down – and what follows are some of the things I’ve learned along the way.

Stay tuned – next time I will post some differences between faith and trust – thanks!



Trust And Obey

When we walk with the Lord, in the light of His Word, what a glory He sheds on our way!

I am bigger

I have never been good at obedience. Just ask my parents. Or teachers. Or bosses. Or friends…or anyone really. I have always chosen to go my own way. As a result, I have lived life going from one painful event to the next. But, oh the things I have learned! I know what doesn’t work more than most, that’s for sure.

Also as a result, I have never really learned to trust. Trust is earned and can also be lost. I never obeyed my parents, as a result they never trusted me to do the right thing, because I would not, and as a result, I never trusted them to allow me the freedoms that other kids my age had, so I just did whatever I wanted. Which earned me the reputation as a rebel. And I was in trouble all the time growing up.

I never did what my teachers asked, which resulted in grades much lower than I was capable of producing. I never did what my bosses asked, which resulted in me feeling like I was in dead end jobs. I could go on and on.

I am 48 years old, and just learning what children already know – obedience produces fruit. That fruit is trust. Between people, it is a mutual trust. When I am doing what I am expected to do, the person I am responsible to learns I can be trusted, and I learn they can be trusted as well – because I am given more responsibility, more authority, increased wages, etc.

Obedience where God is concerned is a little different. He knows who I am, through and through. He knows I am rebellious at heart. He knows I question everything. He knows the questions are deep and can’t be answered with pat answers – “This is the way things are; this is the way we have always done things; just do it this way.” None of those answers will prevent me from continuing to question everything. Not much will – not even a well reasoned, expertly delivered answer. I will peel back the layers and expose the weakness in your argument and expect more. And then even more.

With God, the answers are simple. Trust and obey. I am the way, the truth and the life. You are salt and light. Be a fisherman. Do the work of an evangelist. Love me and love others.

Hard to argue with any of that. But I have found ways. And it has produced a fruit in me that is rotten.

I do not trust God, because I have been disobedient. The fruit of disobedience is anxiety, feelings of worthlessness, not knowing who you are and where you fit or what your purpose in life is.

Obedience to God produces trust. And when we trust God, we will go anywhere, do anything He asks because we know that regardless of the circumstances, whether we live or die, He will be glorified, He will bless, He will give peace and joy. He will sustain us and we will finish the race.

So what now – what do I do different moving forward? I know the consequences of not learning to do things differently – I’m living those consequences. The path to trust is obedience, so that is what I will do. That is who I must become. I used to want all that life had to offer – great job, great family, awesome stuff…Now I just want the favor of God in my life. God knows me – He is not intimidated by my questions – because He has real answers. He knows me – and I want to know Him. So I will seek Him, I will obey Him. And I will trust Him.