This week in our Gathering service we are going to continue our theme of “The Way To God” by looking at trust. I picked the theme of trust out of the direction of the discussion this past week about graciousness, realizing that within being gracious we must have trust. Without one, you cannot have the other.
Think about it this way, How would you ever be able to accept God’s grace if you did not trust that God would be there on the other side? The truth of the matter is that we cannot even begin our journey to faithfulness, unless we learn trust. However, what trust is may be different to everybody, so in my search for a good basic definition I came across this one in the Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms it defines trust as:
Confidence in something or someone, often used as a primary description of Faith. Trust is to be placed in God (Ps 4:5) who Justifies (Rom 4:5) and is ultimately trustworthy (2 Tim 1:12).
This made me think of the trust that a child has towards a parent. Without question, the young child will have an expectation that their parent is someone to be trusted. This relationship of trust between a child and parent will last until the moment the child learns of their parents' humanity, and the child begins to second-guess the parent, oddly this seems to coincide with puberty, but that is another week! Nevertheless, the pure trust of the child toward the parent that we can observe is the same level of trust that God requires us to give.
With the constraints of our human condition, trusting others, especially God is difficult. It is especially difficult in a society like ours where the concept of “Rugged Individualism” teaches us to dawn a “winner takes all” attitude or to do whatever it takes to get ahead. This often teaches us to trust others, but only with conditions. The problem that we have is that when we do not allow trust into our lives, we begin to only listen to like-minded people, or even worse, believe that we are the ultimate authority, foregoing input or understandings that might not conform to our own perspective.
So as we prepare for this Sunday to think about how we trust, and possibly do not trust, others. Take that perspective and meditate on how you trust or do not trust God. Lastly, ask how can we create change in our own lives and in our culture to create one of trust.
Rev. Dr. Bryan James Franzen