I was pleased at the response from the last posting about trusting in the Lord, and acknowledging God in all our ways, in every situation. Proverbs 3:5-6.
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.
As we do, the Spirit then will direct our steps as we seek, trust, and listen. Guidance comes from constantly welcoming the Lord to be present and in control in our daily walk with Him. We don’t have to understand everything. God does. Rest in His ability to know and guide us in what is best.
Now, let me expand on an idea I suggested in explaining that proverbial passage. I offered that there is a subtle difference between the word “faith” and the word “trust.” First, this is what they have in common.
>> Both terms are responses to the truths we find in the Bible.
>> Both terms are essential components in a personal relationship with God.
>> Both terms are components of “believing” what God has revealed in Scripture.
There is something to be gained by considering the nuances in the meaning of these terms. You are welcome to disagree with me, but you might chew on this idea and see what you might learn from it.
Faith embraces “God’s Will.” We believe the truth revealed in the Bible that gives us direction for Christ-like character, godly relationships, and ministry competence. Faith acts on God’s directives as to how we live our lives as His children. Obedience to the directives of the Word is the “stuff” of faith.
Trust rests in “God’s Character.” The Bible is God’s Self-disclosure. Much of what we absorb as we spend time in the Word informs our spiritual man of what God is like, Who He Is, what we can count on Him to be and do. Resting in the revelation of Who God is provides the “stuff” of trust.
Faith asks, “Lord, what would you have me do?” There are commands and directives in Scripture which are to be observed, applied, obeyed, and pursued. Christ gives instructions on how we should pray, witness, love, commune, treat friends and foes, walk in Spirit, live in grace and peace, and many more insights into godly living.
Trust asks, “Lord, who are You?” Almighty God reveals Himself to us as loving, holy, eternal, above time and space, spiritual, just, kind, all-wise, eternal, all-seeing, compassionate, omni-present, patient, powerful, omni-competent, abounding is grace, understanding, protective, provider, healer, faithful, etc.
Here is the application of this discussion: The more we study the word of God, the more we are filled with truth that defines our lives, responses, and ministry to others. When we have a problem, we can go to God in prayer, and be guided by the Spirit to His unchanging Word to find answers.
But there are times when we have no answers, no direct Bible verse to apply to our present matter. We ask for help, yet find that God is letting us wait. We have a choice. Wait and fret. Or wait and trust. We can trust in the Lord with our whole heart even when we don’t understand the answer. Yet. When we don’t have answers, we honor God by trusting His character. He is in charge. He is enough.
So, be encouraged. God’s promises are backed by His character. Active faith flows into a resting trust.