Now this series was birthed out of heart for those who are going through difficult situations or circumstances. I’ve realized that there are many of us who are going through difficult times and are screaming out to Jesus saying, “Jesus I’m trying to trust you, I think I trust you, I hope I trust you, I want to trust you!” And it’s not that Jesus has done anything to break their trust, but because of our own lives and upbringing we haven’t seen or experienced trust as it really is. There have been situations in our past that have caused us to set up signs that say, “Don’t trust” or, “Watch out for people who want you to trust them”! Based on the book Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning and scriptural backing, I have condensened some valuable points about trust into this document.
One: "Trust is the result of the wedding of faith and hope." -Manning. Faith arises from the personal experience of Jesus as Lord. Hope is reliance on the promises of Jesus, accompanied by the expectation of fulfillment. Faith in God comes from experiencing God and as we experience Him we trust Him! Faith, born of this indispensable experience, infuses the felt knowledge of “the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom (God has) sent.” Our trust in Jesus grows as we shift from making self-conscious efforts to be good to allowing ourselves to be loved as we are, not as we should be. The Holy Spirit moves us from the head to the heart, from the intellectual cognition to experiential awareness. In the midst of tragic events that leave us void of understanding, trust does not demand explanations but turns to the One who promised, “I will not leave you orphans” (John 14:18). In the face of a pressing need for answers and solutions to life’s problems- answers that are not quickly forthcoming- trust in the Wisdom and Power who is Jesus Christ knows how to wait. It reminds me of the great story of a missionary family home on furlough, staying at the lake house of a friend. On the day in question, Dad was puttering in the boathouse. Mom was in the kitchen, and the three children, ages four, seven, and twelve, were on the lawn. Four-year-old Billy escaped his oldest sister’s watchful eye and wandered down to the wooden dock. When the twelve-year-old screamed, Dad came running out. Realizing what had happened, he dove into the murky depths. Frantically he felt for his son but twice, out of breath, he had to return to the surface. Filling his lungs once more, he dove down and found Billy clinging to a wooden pier several feet under. Prying the boy’s fingers loose, he bolted to the surface with Billy in his arms. Safely ashore, his father asked, “Billy, what were you doing down there?” The little one replied, “Just waitin’ on you, Dad, just waitin’ on you.” I believe this is a good depiction of how are relationship with God should be! Young as he was, the boy no doubt had a history with his father- a history of felling safe, protected, accepted, and loved. He knew from experience that his father delighted in him. Naturally the boy had a healthy, positive self-image. He had come to know that he was loved, and he had felt knowledge of his father’s faithfulness.
Two: Trust cannot be self-generated. I am asked to pay attention to Jesus throughout my journey, remembering his kindness. (Ps. 103:2). Screenwriter Woody Allen remarked that, “Ninety percent of life is just showing up. To trust someone is a gut feeling that he will show up in fair weather and foul, in good times and bad, in the yaw and pitch of the human struggle.” Trust cannot be self-generated, it comes through paying attention to Jesus, and throughout our journey we will remember his trustworthiness. Trusting someone does not imply that we have tested that person out thoroughly; proved infallibly that she is trustworthy. Our trust is based not on proof but on an intuitive sense, an instinct, a feeling.
Three: Brennan Manning says, “Trust comes from some experience of the other person, an experience not reducible to proof.” Most often, it grows up in a relationship of mutual love, one in which we have loved, and been loved by, the other. Trust, grounded in faith and hope, reaches an unprecedented level in the experience of infinite love. Do doubts and worries signal a rejection of God’s Kingdom? Not necessarily. There can be no faith without doubt, no hope without anxiety, and no trust without worry. As long as we withhold internal consent to these varied faces of fear, they are no cause for alarm, because they are not voluntary. When they threaten to consume us, we can overpower them with a simple and deliberate act of trust. After the initial experience, perseverance in the life long quest for greater intimacy with Jesus, no matter how often we stumble and fall, is not only the antidote to hopelessness and despair, it is the sure path to divine certitude that overcomes all doubts, anxieties, and worries. But sometimes we formulate plans to fulfill what we perceive to be the purpose of our lives, limited as they are, and when the locomotive of our longings get derailed we deem ourselves failures. Our disappointments arise from presuming to know the outcome of a particular endeavor. Here’s my point, God’s will first and foremost, is that we have a relationship with Him through His son, Jesus Christ. That’s why we learn in Luke to not worry about tomorrow. Be in the moment of today. Lose yourself in God, and as you release the presumptions of what ought to be, and live in the present, you experience God in the now. In these moments of being out of your daily time with the Lord, as you observe His presence and blessings in your life, you in turn experience the Lord, and out of experiencing God comes strengthened trust.
Human experience has taught me that there is no effective way to fight self-pity. We can spiritualize heartbreak and camouflage our emotions but such denial of our humanity isn’t effective. We are not spiritual robots but sensitive persons. So ruthless trust is performing hidden, secret acts of kindness that no one will ever know about, confident that “your father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you”; it’s hanging on during your darkest nights when it seems there is an absence of God; it is the courageous confidence that despite suffering and evil, terrorism and domestic conflict, God’s plan in Jesus Christ cannot fail; it’s not self-initiated or self-supplied, but there is one abundant source of trust to which we must return to again and again. And that is Jesus; it’s an unerring sense, way deep down, that beneath the surface of agitation, boredom, and insecurity of life, it’s going to be all right. You will trust him to the degree that you know you are loved by him. Ruthless trust ultimately comes down to this: faith in the person of Jesus and hope in his promise. It’s starting each morning, on your knees saying, “Lord Jesus, I trust you; help my lack of trust.” Avoid setting the Lord’s work as a priority over the Lord’s presence. Know that only the total love for God can empower you to love rightly yourself and your neighbor. It’s easy to trust those that you are close with!
1 Timothy 2: 3-4