Read Jeremiah 17:7- 8
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FAITH AND TRUST
“Trust me with your heart.” – By Dena Johnson
Those words whispered to my heart continue to haunt me, and with each passing day I reach a deeper and more complete understanding of what God meant. I feel as if life is spiraling out of control. God’s promise vanished from my grip in a moment. My children are being forced to spend a large part of this summer away from me. I am scared and lonely. My heart is being ripped to shreds. I do not understand what God is doing. But, God continues to tell me that life is out of my control—but it certainly isn’t out of his control. He continues to remind me that his ways are higher than my ways, his thoughts are higher than my thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). He continues to remind me that when I can’t see his hand, I can still trust his heart. He keeps reminding me to focus my eyes on him, to be still and know that he is God (Psalm 46:10).
Despite the fear, pain, and loneliness, I am reminded that God always has a purpose in the pain. No trial is wasted, and if we cooperate with God, trials always produce fruit. I have been begging God to show me the purpose of this pain, to open my eyes to what he wants in this time. And, I am beginning to get a sense of anticipation for what he is doing.
I am beginning to see that this momentary trial—as difficult and painful as it may be right now—is actually a set up. God is setting the stage to step in and show himself mighty in my life. He is preparing the way to do things that only he can do, things that will point others directly back to him. He is working in my heart to develop not only faith—but also a trust in him even when life simply doesn’t make sense. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
God has spent the last four years building my faith. The journey has been unbelievable! In the last two years especially, I have been stretched beyond what I ever imagined possible. He has brought me to a place where I truly believe he is able to do above and beyond all I could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20-21). He has taught me to hear his voice and believe what he has to say. I am at a place where I hear the whispers of God, I recognize his voice immediately, and I then walk in obedience. And, I have an anticipation of seeing God show up.
But now, God is moving from teaching me faith to teaching me trust.
I had never considered the difference between faith and trust, but I am beginning to understand. Faith is a strong belief in someone or something without logical proof. Trust is a firm reliance on the character or integrity of another. I’ve developed a faith in God—a belief that he is able. Now, he is trying to teach me to totally and completely rely on him.
In recent weeks, my world was rocked when a promise I’ve been clinging to for two years seemed to vanish, walked away, became completely impossible—humanly impossible. I believed God was able when it looked as if it could be a reality, when I thought I could make it happen on my own. But now, I can’t do anything to make this promise become a reality. I must fully and completely rely on God to do the work.
I’m beginning to realize that I’ve been leaning on my own understanding. To fully trust God with all my heart, I have to be willing to lean into him when life no longer makes sense. I have to be willing to trust him when life is spiraling out of control, when everything of value has been stripped away. I have to learn to trust that God is still able when I am not. I have to trust that every single pain and trial becomes a holy hammer to mold me into his image.
As I walk daily through the fire, I see how much work God still has to do in my life—how much growth I have left in the areas of faith and trust. I truly want to be fully devoted to him, to live my life in a way that takes full advantage of all the goodness he offers to us as Christians. Even though I know better, I want to have the blissfully happy life that we tend to imagine.
But I am learning that the abundant life can be ours even when circumstances are against us. I am learning to trust that God is sovereign and has a purpose in every pain. I am learning that if I seek his face in every situation, he will show me what he has for me. I am learning to be content in any and all circumstances. I am learning to trust him even when it seems dangerous.
What is God doing? I really don’t know. But I know that he sees the entire picture—from start to finish. He has ordained all my days even before I took my first breath (Psalm 139:16). I am a masterpiece created by him to do good works that he has already prepared for me to do (Ephesians 2:10). I am learning that he can do anything and no plan of his can be thwarted (Job 42:2). I am learning to wait for Yahweh and put my hope in his work (Psalm 130:5).
Even though I can’t fully understand his ways, even though I can’t grasp what he is doing behind the scenes, I know that he is taking everything and weaving into a beautiful mosaic for my good (Romans 8:28). He is my all-seeing, all-knowing Father who loves me so much; therefore, I can trust him.
As difficult as it can sometimes be, isn’t it better to trust our lives to the One who can see the finished picture? Isn’t it better to trust the One who has the full perspective from beginning to end? Isn’t it better to let him fight our battles, to let him figure out how he is going to finish the work he has begun?
I’m tired of fighting. Today, I choose to trust.
PRAYER: Father, forgive me for all the times I did not trust you. I now have a better understanding of what trust means.