Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Trust in vs. Trust that

It is arduous to trust God. I see more than ever how little I really trust Him. Then I wonder, “If I find it so hard now, how much less I must have trusted Him as a young Christian?” Is this true? When I think back to my early days as a beginner in the faith, did I trust less? It seems not. In a way, I trusted more. I was unfettered by the cynicism that so often plagues me now. I believed that God could do anything and saw Him work wonders with great frequency.

What is the difference now? Have I regressed somehow? No. I am learning a new kind of trust. In the honeymoon of my relationship with Christ, I learned to trust that God would provide, that He would protect, that He would deliver, that He would grant wisdom, that He would use me. But all these discoveries involved a particular expectation of God to “come through for me.” I trusted Him to act in a certain way – a way that I could predict and understand. I trusted that God would ____________ (fill in the blank).

Now I am learning to trust in God. In any given situation, I am yearning to release my expectations and simply trust that whatever God does will be deeply and profoundly good. I can’t predict or comprehend His ways or plans, but I can trust Him. As Mr. Beaver says of Aslan, “Of course he isn’t safe, but he’s good.” So much of my anxiety and fear is grounded in a concern that something bad might happen to me or my family. What if God doesn’t come through? What if we don’t have enough money? What if my child doesn’t get better? What if ____________?

In Psalm 26:3, David writes, “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.” The peace I long for comes when I trust in God, and not in anything that I want or need him to do.


Anonymous abe said...

i can relate to this, and it occurs to me that the shift you describe sounds a lot like submission. in your christian journey, maturity is marked by an increasing willingness to forgo your own desires and rejoice in God's.

on a somewhat related note, where do we get the idea that as we are sanctified, our desires will begin to align with God's?

9:33 AM  
Blogger chris said...

That's a good question, Abe. I think it's something we infer from certain passages of Scripture, like Ps. 37:4. Perhaps the idea of being "conformed to the image of His Son" contains this idea. As we become like God, our desires become like His. It makes sense to me -- the Christ-life is not a life of eternal struggle -- the goal is that our desires would change, that we would no longer desire sin. I think Jesus' desires were aligned with the Father's. We still have to account for Gethsemane . . .

9:48 AM  
Blogger wiploc said...

I'm told that Luther argued against indulgences by claiming that as the people in Purgatory were tormented, their wills would align with god's, and that therefore they would be opposed to being bought out of Purgatory. If god wanted them in purgatory, that's where (after they'd been there long enough to want what god wanted) they wanted to be.


9:07 AM  
Blogger chris said...

That's interesting, Charlie. I wouldn't put it past Luther to say something like that. I suppose that's why I don't think there is such a place as purgatory.

10:47 PM  

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