Tuesday, January 12, 2010

To Trust or Not To Trust?

This is an except from a book I'm reading....

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Most of our lessons in trust have been incredibly painful. Haven't we all been disappointed by people we thought would treat us fairly or compassionately? Perhaps you've experienced the betrayal of people you considered close friends simply because you no longer served their needs or desires.

Through the course of life we learn to keep a wary eye on people, knowing how few trustworthy people there really are. That may sound jaded, but Jesus lived that way, too. He didn't entrust Himself to anyone because He knew what was inside people (John 2:24). So of course our attempts to trust others will often be frustrated, but that's because He never wanted us to trust others. He wanted us to love others but to trust Him alone.

But learning to trust Him can also be a struggle. In my spiritual journey I've often been disillusioned by trusting God. It seems so easy when all our circumstances are pleasant, but when painful and desperate circumstances come crashing down on us, He sometimes seems to ignore our most ardent prayers. Who hasn't trusted God to do something, then watched Him seemingly fail? How do those moments help us learn to trust?

Interestingly enough, they do! I used to think that being disillusioned with God was sinful, but I have since learned it is a valuable part of the process. Being disillusioned with God means I have illusions about Him that need to be "dissed." The fact is He has never failed to love me completely, despite how it may have appeared. He didn't do what I expected, not because He loved me less, as I feared, but because His way of resolving my need exceeded my own. "immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, " is how Paul phrased it (Eph 3:20).

Looking back, I thought I could trust God to make my life easy, to provide what I wanted and steer me clear of any painful experiences. That wasn't God's agenda for me at all. He wanted to imprint His glory into my life, to make me a man who would bear His image to a fallen world. So He rarely dealt with circumstances the way I wanted, and by not accepting the way in which He was loving me, my confidence was eroded. As long as our trust in Him is based on circumstances (and our misinterpretation of them), it will shift as often as the winds.

Through the cross God provided a way for us to trust Him that would transcend our own preferences and intellect, a way that is able to take us through the darkest circumstances, not doubting His love, but resting in it.
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He Loves Me, by Wayne Jacobsen

1 comment:

Sun-Kissed Scholars said...

Well, I think overall we have positive expectations about what other people will do. There's a basic confidence and security about how the world works. We count on other people. We allow ourselves to depend on other people... often even strangers. To a far greater extent than we normally realize, trust is necessary in our daily lives. We have to trust people to a certain degree, or we wouldn't be able to operate at all.
That said, I know exactly what you mean. And I'm learning that trust is not a black-and-white thing. It comes in degrees, just as respect does.
I might trust one friend with repaying a loan, but not necessarily another, if I know she has problems in that area. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Hit on a weakness, and the trustworthiness might scale down.
Trusting God-- yeah. It took me years to realize that sometimes the answer is just No. And sometimes there is no answer that I can see. But God still gets us through, and always better on the other side.

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