Recently I heard it said that “When Christians speak of ‘A saving relationship with Jesus,’ they’re really just talking about a feel-good empty religion.” I can understand why someone would say that, and in some cases it might be true. But just because some use the phrase without serious content, does not mean that it is necessarily so.
In fact, scripture gives more than a little guidance in this. We are told that the “just shall live by faith.” The problem is that the word faith has become overused and diluted. Faith has many meanings. But here is the pertinent one:
I submit to you that the just live by trusting in God. And I am not alone in thinking so:
Faith is absolute trust in God–
trust that could never imagine
that He would forsake us.
Faith is trusting God–
believing that He loves us
and knows best
what is for our good.
This fits in with the larger Bible narrative. The Serpent tempted Eve to distrust God, to doubt that He had been truthful. That seed of lies, deceit, and doubt has poisoned all relationships since that time.
Anyone who thinks that “trust” is empty or easy has no knowledge or experience with real relationships. We all have difficulty with trust. I am certainly no exception.
People are imperfect. They let us down even when they wish to be loyal. Of course, God will not let us down. We can believe that we trust God completely, even though we don’t trust others. But John warns us that may not be true:
If someone says
“I [trust] God,
and [distrusts] his brother,
he is a liar,
for the one who does not trust his brother
whom he has seen
cannot [trust] God
whom he has not seen.
1 John 4:20
Apparently, if we’re going to learn to trust God, we’ll at least have to try to trust other human beings. Now, that’s a challenge.
I wrote some time ago of first principles. Well, trust fits into that category. Things which promote and encourage trust are positive, and things which discourage trust and encourage suspicion are negative. That sounds simple, and it is. But like all first principles, it has implications and consequences that may surprise us.
Trust is indeed the currency of all relationships. Even with God.