The hearts of those who have learned to rely on the Lord for everything are free from anxiety.
HYMN: WHEN WE WALK WITH THE LORD
The dictionary defines trust as “a firm belief in the reliability, honesty, veracity, justice and strength of a person or thing”. Essentially then, trust is confidence that we have about a person or thing. There is a tendency to think that trust is a spiritual quality which pertains strictly to our relationship with the Lord, but it is an essential posture of life that is called upon for day to day living. It would be very difficult to successfully go through a single day without exercising an element of trust. Relationships between people in corporate, family, and social worlds are governed by trust. When trust is lacking, suspicion takes the center stage and the relationship falls apart. Our relationship with the Lord depends largely on our ability to trust Him and His word. Trust in the Lord must be implicit, complete and total.
This is the most important kind of trust and it exceeds the trust that governs human relationships. When we trust Him, then we are able to exercise faith to believe Him in all situations.
Trust is commonly betrayed in the corporate world and in relationships. These betrayals, which are the outcome of the fall of man, tend to cloud our trust in God and fellow beings. Many times, we make rash decisions never to trust fellow humans because of betrayals that we have experienced from the hands of others including some Christians. The Lord Jesus was betrayed by one from among his 12 disciples, yet he never vowed not to have anything to do with man. If He did, none of us will be saved today. One of the most unsung virtues of our late Archbishop Idahosa, which those who worked closely with him know, is trust in fellow believers. It is this trust, which was betrayed many times, that allowed many new talents and potentials to come to the limelight, thereby positively impacting the body of believers. We can all imitate this virtue.
The objectives of this study are:
- To know the meaning of trust
- To know where and how to direct our trust
- To know that trust in fellow humans must be predicated on our trust in the Lord
- To know how not to betray trust
- To know how to respond when our trust is betrayed
- To know the blessings of living a life of trust in God
Q1. WHAT IS TRUST?
Trust has to do with confidence, dependence, hope, reliance in a person or thing. To some extent, it is inherent in every being. We exercise trust quite frequently without being conscious of it. Many times, in a single day we sit on various number of chairs under different circumstances without thoroughly questioning the ability of these chairs to uphold us.
Trusting in the Lord is having confidence in Him and in the integrity of His word. In the same way that we childishly sit on those chairs without asking who their designers are or checking to see that all their legs are in place, so we need to childishly have confidence in the Lord. No wonder the Lord Jesus said, “And said, Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven”. (Matt. 18:3). When we say we have trust in God, it means that we have unreservedly entrusted our lives, aspirations, and life’s pursuits into His hands. In other words, we acknowledge that God has the final say as far as our destiny is concerned. Contrarily, trust as it applies between men is the confidence that enables a good working relationship to be established between them, without the thought of self-abandonment by the one on the other for success and relief in times of trouble.
Q2. WHERE AND ON WHOM SHOULD OUR TRUST BE DIRECTED?
Because most humans depend more on their five natural senses of touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight, it is usually not too difficult to elicit trust when conditions are conducive to these five senses. To trust an individual who has a 10-digit bank account in US Dollars for financial sustenance will be quite natural. It is this kind of trust that most persons tend to exercise. The 10-digit account in US Dollars can literally disappear overnight, and bring with its untold disillusionment, but those who put their trust in the Lord are never put to shame nor confounded (1 Peter 2:6).
Ps. 118:8-9 says, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes”. The reality of this passage may not have dawned on us, but it will invariable someday. All those in power or who have had a taste of wealth should all take careful heed to the wise counsel from the Psalmist. The arm of flesh is bound to fail. Wisdom demands, therefore, that every Christian should feebly hold on to power, position, and possessions, but tenaciously to the Lord. Christians who adopt this disposition have an experiential knowledge of the peace that passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7).
Q3. DOES IT MEAN WE SHOULD NOT TRUST OUR FELLOW HUMANS?
One key ingredient for the success of any relationship is trust. In fact, as earlier alluded, trust is crucial in our relationship with the Lord. The same applies to marital relationships, partnerships in the corporate world, relations with neighbors, relations with friends etc. In 1 Cor 13:7, the scriptures tell us that “love always trusts”. Husband and wife must have confidence in each other for the marital relationship to be successful. Without such confidence and trust, suspicion will mushroom and eventually cause the relationship to collapse. Christian business partners must develop trust for each other, otherwise each will begin to look over the other’s shoulders to see how he is being cheated by his partner. When that is the case, it does not fare well for the business. No wonder the Lord Jesus taught us, “Simply let your Yes be Yes and your No, no anything beyond this point comes from the evil one” (Matt. 5:37). What this implies is that in an atmosphere of trust, there has to be truthfulness. Christian business people should be taken for their words. Their words, concise and pointed, should reflect their integrity. Within the local church, there is the need for trust among the members and between the members and the Pastors. That is crucial for a healthy church. That trust is centered on the fact that we have been saved and washed from our sins by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, and commissioned in the power of the Holy Spirit for service to the community. With a commitment to this overall goal, the members of the local church should walk in love, trusting each other in spite of human frailties that may come in the way from time to time.
Q4. DOES THE LORD TRUST BELIEVERS?
In Job 1:8, we observe “Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil””. What we see here is a case of the Lord boasting about Job because He had confidence in him. The Lord does trust His children. It is because He trusts us that He has infused His divine power and personality in us. Paul tells the Corinthian church, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2 Cor 4:7). Although, the Lord knows very well human weaknesses and frailties, He continues to deposit resources in the form of gifts and endowments, into the lives of the believers who yearn to serve Him. Interestingly, many of us have woefully disappointed Him, yet the Lord does not give up on us.
Q5. HOW CAN WE AVOID BETRAYING TRUST?
Betrayal of trust is quite common in many relationships. It usually arises when the goal of the relationship is derailed primarily because of self-interests. When any party in a relationship begins to pursue his own personal interests at the expense of those of others, is bound to be betrayed. This is essentially what overtook Judas who was one of the twelve disciples of our Lord. “Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” Going at once to the Lord Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi! And kissed him”. (Matt. 26:48-49). Underlying Judas’ betrayal was personal gain and self-interests. If we are to avoid betraying trust we must walk in love. “Love is not self-seeking” (1 Cor 13:5). Rather, love seeks the interests and good of others in the relationship. It is seeking self-interests that is at the root of most betrayal of trust in marital relationships. The same can be said of many other relationships. It is common occurrence to see Christian business partners doing well tell the first check of a large amount comes in, and the once beautiful relationship collapses because of greed and pursuit of self-interests. It should not be so. Love is the key to maintaining trust.
Q6. HOW SHOULD WE RESPOND WHEN TRUST IS BETRAYED?
It can be quite devastating when trust is betrayed, especially among believers. When our trust is betrayed by an unbeliever, we should learn not to take it too hard; it should be expected because they are governed and controlled by the prince of this world the devil. We should in such a situation pray for them, trusting the Lord to save them.
How should we handle it when it comes from fellow believers? We will take the common case of an issue discussed with a believer in confidence bring made a public one. That no doubt hurts. The key to handling such a situation is again the love of God. The love of God makes it possible to forgive and overcome the negative emotional feelings that may accompany such betrayal. Love is powerful! Bitterness, which usually accompanies such feelings does more harm to the individual that is betrayed. It is for that reason that we are admonished: “See to it that no-one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many” (Heb. 12:15).
Q7. WHAT ARE THE BLESSINGS OF A LIFE OF TRUST?
(Psalm 37:1-11, 115:11, 118:8, Isaiah 2:22, 26:1-3, 50:10).
There is a life of peace and serenity that accompanies the life of those who have learned to put their trust in the Lord. It is a commanding and compelling peace; one that comes from knowing that the Lord “is my refuge and my fortress” (Ps. 91:2). Those who trust in the Lord do not get moved by circumstances; they know that their lives are deeply rooted in the Lord who holds the universe in His palms (see Jer. 17:7,8).
Those who put their trust in the Lord shall not be brought to shame (1 Peter 2:6). Putting trust in the Lord is the surest way to be on top of situations. The Lord never lets down those who trust in Him.
Trusting in the Lord continually guarantees our eternal salvation. It assures an individual that the basis of inheriting the kingdom of God remains the finished redemptive work of Christ at Calvary.
DAILY LIVING APPLICATION
This prayer should be the yearning from the heart of every believer: Father, I see that trust is an essential thread that runs through the whole spectrum of living. Teach me the art of trusting, for an art it is. Hep me to relax and maintain complete confidence in you- hour by hour and day by day- Amen.
Life can be quite frustrating when our confidence is not on the Lord. Betrayals of trust that may come from time to time to us will only make matters worse. However, when we have learned to trust in the Lord, we get on top of life and the trying situations that come our way. It is great to know that the Lord has confidence in those who trust in Him. He can depend on them to carry our His divine assignments. We hope the Lord can depend on us today.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths”.
DAILY DEVOTIONAL GUIDE
Monday: Trust in the Lord
Tuesday: Trust not in princes
Wednesday: Trust betrayed is overcome by love
Thursday: A chief cornerstone to anchor one’s life
1 Peter 2:1-8
Friday: Forget not these teachings
Saturday: The blessing of trusting in the Lord