The Criticality of Trust
Trust is an interesting word. This word can take on a number of different connotations. I wish to explore the word in the sense that Abraham portrayed it. Not in the more casual sense that a child might say to friend right before telling him/her a secret “I trust you not to tell anyone”, but rather in the sense that one puts their whole confidence in God. Confidence is defined as full belief in the power and reliability of the person that trust is placed in. Referring to our previous example, one child placing full belief in the power and reliability of another child seems somewhat comical. The idea that a child can be powerful or reliable (although I think to some extent reliability is exemplified in the children here at Cedar Park) is really a stretch as to what is possible for that child. This is so because the child has not acquired power over even their personal affairs, nor have they developed a character that produces consistent reliability.
Lack of confidence is why those who have children relinquish gradual power to a child to control their own affairs. As a child demonstrates reliability in meeting the gap between expectations and execution, we as parents become confident in them.
Thinking back to Abraham we see a man who demonstrated a great deal of confidence in another. Scripture describes the confidence Abraham had in God. Scripture tells us that it was through his faith that Abraham obeyed, and this faith was accounted to him for righteousness (Genesis 15:6). This obedience “So Abram went as the Lord had told him…” (Gen 12:4) demonstrated precisely the confidence I am describing. Abraham was asked to leave his country, and go to a new one. Abraham had the word of God to base his confidence on in making this dramatic change in his life (Gen 12:2-3, Hebrews 11:8). Abraham’s confidence was based in both the power and reliability of God. Jeremiah describes God’s power as having no limits (Jer 32:17), and that through this power were made the heavens and the earth! This means all that we see and know was made by this power. Powers in our universe such as gravity that we place immutable confidence in are made by Him! Surely we can place confidence in God’s power since he made and controls all we see.
Second to this idea of confidence is the notion that God is reliable. Certainly Abraham found this quality in God, but let us consider the reminder Solomon gives the people at the dedication of the temple. “Blessed be the Lord, that has given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.” (1 Kings 8:56) The very fulfillment of the temple in Jerusalem had its start more than 1000 years earlier in a promise to Abraham. These people had their very identity wrapped up in the promise to Abraham, and this Temple dedication scene is a continuation in fulfillment of that promise. God had demonstrated the immutable reliability of his ability to execute to commitments through more than 1000 years. Not one word failed! For the Jews on that day, I suspect God’s power and reliability were an ever present reality as God’s glory filled the temple that day. I am particularly moved by Solomon’s subsequent words (1 Kings 8:57-61).
He briefly says the following things:
1. May the Lord be with us as he was also with our ancestors
2. May our hearts be turned towards the Lord in obedience
3. May the Lord be ever close in attentiveness to uphold the cause of his servants to make Him known in all the earth
4. May our hearts be fully committed to live according to what he has commanded
I humbly submit to you my brethren that as Christians that have the benefit of a full revelation of the mystery, we must stand fast in our confidence in God. He has given us a savior who cannot fail to save us. Christianity is not a mere religion some people prefer to practice over some other way, it is a confident way of living based on what God has done in Christ. If our confidence is fully resting in God, we will not find difficulty in obedience in any form, and certainly Solomon’s prayer would become our own.