God – 2

We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love be with us, LORD,
even as we put our hope in you.
Psalm 33:20-22

Our language of ‘trust’ varies according to the situation. For instance, I have found that many managers, when asked if they trust their team, reply in terms of reliability: their trust being linked to a team member’s ability to ‘deliver’ on their key accountability areas. Many team members, however, when asked the same question regarding their boss, reply in terms of openness: their trust dependent on the willingness of their manager to ‘level’ with them, not hiding anything.

God also has a language of trust, as Psalm 33 makes clear. Trusting God is essentially trusting in and not trusting for: we trust in God’s word (v. 4), his unfailing love (v. 5), his power (v. 10), his timing (v. 20) and his name/character (v. 21), rather than trusting for a specific outcome. Specifying exactly how we expect God to act often blinds us to what he is actually doing. And it is because we cannot always ‘see’ what God is doing that we are tempted to rely on our army, horses and strength (vs. 16-17) – our resources or our abilities. Most of us have been encouraged to be self-reliant, and in situations that feel beyond our capacity to ‘sort’ we often feel insecure. And insecurity is a false security exposed!

Trust is faith in action. Each of us has been given a measure of faith (Romans 12:3) and God expects that measure to increase (2 Corinthians 10:15). How, then, do we grow in faith? Through practice!

Hudson Taylor faced this question as he prepared for being a missionary overseas. He wrote: ‘When I get out to China I shall have no claim on anyone for anything. My only claim will be on God. How important to learn, before leaving England, to move man through God by prayer alone.’ He realised that for growth to happen exercise was needed, and exercise of faith was impossible apart from trials. So he welcomed trials as a means of increasing and strengthening his trust in God alone.

Bev Shepherd – LICC 2012

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