Mention the word “trust” today and you may very well launch a lengthy and heated discussion on why we don’t trust (politicians, church leaders, spouses, God) or what trust does look like when it’s put to the test. This is an especially lively topic when its target is “the God we cannot see.” Intrinsic to all trust is the surrendering of something of ourselves to another. The depth of the surrender is in direct proportion to what’s at risk…only a small surrender is required for me to trust that my hairstylist will cut my hair in just the way I (and, more importantly, my wife) likes it. Loving a God I cannot see and trusting Him with my life, from here to eternity? Now that is surrender of a kind that requires some heavy-duty consideration. How can I trust someone who is not physically present? It seems a bit like letting go of the trapeze with no one on the other one to catch us.
If we are thoughtful for a moment, we realize that we do this all the time. Knowing anyone and most anything involves a measure of uncertainty and faith. Our lives are filled with moments of surrender to faceless voices on the phone and dis-embodied entities on the internet. Our best friend is still more unknown than known to us. The same applies to knowing and trusting God.
We met the word “surrender” over and over again in our study of “Loving the God we have not seen!” Surrender is at the heart of trust and is the key ingredient to loving God with all that we are. And trust begins with faith. These three: love, faith and trust, are inseparably bound together in our relationship with God. See if this video helps to illustrate the point!
I really like the discovery one young woman made regarding our English word “believe.” Philip Yancey records this incident in his book “Reaching for the Invisible God”. This woman, struggling with the decision to accept the claims of Christ, learned that the word “believe” comes from the Old English and has at its root the sense of “giving my heart to.” Check out the case of the rich young ruler in Mark 10. He had already “given his heart to” his wealth. When invited to love God wholeheartedly in trust – to surrender – his unbelief, self-preservation and the need for control locked him up. He went away, still physically rich but spiritually lost because of fear.
In our classes, we’ve discussed the means that God has provided so we can know him: the Word of God, the Holy Spirit and the gift of faith. Using those means, we can entrust our hearts to Him. We can surrender to His loving embrace; learning how to love Him with all our being more each day. But if we have given our hearts away, either little pieces here and there or in big chunks, we will never truly trust Him. And our passion for Him will be a bittersweet memory.
May the love of God for us become the love of God in us, and grow into the love for God out of us.