What’s in a Word? – Faith/Trust

Trust. Faith. Such vital aspects of our spiritual walk, and yet for many Christians they’re overlooked. It’s entirely possible to serve God out of fealty, devotion, or fear—but still not necessarily trust him. And in those relationships, there is a deeper sense of something missing.

The reason trust in God is so important is because if we do not trust Him—really trust Him to lead us, guide us and speak to us, to care for our needs and be our provision and sufficiency—then we can’t have an actual grounded relationship with Him.

I used to think having love and devotion was enough to keep any relationship—like a marriage, for example—sailing steady. But it’s not. I’ve loved my husband every day since we started dating, but it was only when I really began to trust him that I started to feel secure and open in our relationship; that I began to show him the sides of me that weren’t just happy, bubbly, and nice. Because I trusted him, I let down my walls and let the harder, harsher, and hurt pieces show through—and he was able to help me start healing those things.

So it is with God. All the warm, fuzzy feelings in the world amount to nothing if we don’t have a solid rock of trust to shore it up. In order for God to work in us, with us, to heal us and help us grow, we must trust Him deeply enough to open up our hearts and lives. Even the ugly parts.

It’s written deep within the human heart to desire wholeness and relationship, to be understood and loved. And to reach that depth in relationship with God, we must build up an unshakeable trust in Him.

Luckily, He makes it so easy to do with the countless ways He shows himself faithful.

What is Faith/Trust?

There is actually an important distinction between these two things!

The word “faith” in the Bible often refers to how we relate to God Himself. We are told to have faith in Him, in His promises, etc. “Faith” in these contexts is translated from the Latin fides which replaced the Greek pistis—actually more accurately translated “trust”—when the Bible was translated into the Latin language. So, in many places where we are told to “have faith” in something, God is actually asking us to have trust. That’s an important difference!

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “faith” as “firm belief in something for which there is no proof,” whereas it labels “trust” as “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.” So it must be understood that God isn’t asking us to believe in things for which there isn’t proof; He’s asking us to trust Himbased on His reliable character.

What Does the Bible Say About Faith/Trust?

Romans 3:28 – For we maintain it is by trust that a person is declared righteous, apart from works of law.

Ephesians 2:8 – For by grace you have been saved through trust, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.

Galatians 3:26 – For you are all sons of God through trust in Christ Jesus.

How Can I Become More Trusting? 

This is the crux of why the distinction between faith/trust is so important. If we rely on the common definition of faith, the only way to have “more faith” is to throw yourself more completely onto the unproven belief that there is something out there that will catch you. But then our faith is utterly dependent on our ability to hope for a favorable outcome, and for most people, this only goes so far before it simply becomes impossible.

Trust, however, is something we can always grow in as we gain a deeper understanding of God’s reliability, because He provides us a foundation on which to plant and grow our trust. There is not a time in Scripture where God did not keep His word. He always works for the good of those who believe in Him. He is working out his plans and purposes for the ages, a family into which He called us. He has proved Himself loving, generous, kind, just, and wise.

How do we gain greater trust in God? By not just reading His Word, but taking necessary steps to apply and understand it; and by being in relationship with Him wherein His faithfulness proves itself not only by records from the past, but by our present reality with Him and our future together. 

Take Action!

Think of a time in your life where God’s actions, either through His Word or in relationship with you, increased your trust in Him. Meditate on that time. Let the memory of His reliability build up the place where your trust may have weakened since.

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