One Size Does Not Fit All
Just trust me. Don’t you trust me? Or, you can trust me! I have heard those
words from managers, girlfriends, “friends” in need, and beggars on
the street. And they almost never pull through. Is it any wonder that when
religious leaders say the same words they get a big fat no! Trust is earned on
this planet. It’s not safe to do otherwise. When someone asks me to trust them,
I always ask them, trust you to do what? Trust is no one-size-fits-all
proposition. I trust the folks at Big O to properly change my oil and filters
on my truck; I trust the cashier at Walmart to give me back the correct change,
but I trust my back surgeon with my life. We say we trust people, but what do
we trust them to do?
Trust is Faith
We have this same problem with God. The Bible says, “without faith, it
is impossible to please Him.” The word faith means the same thing as
trust, and though it’s translated both ways, the Greek word is the same in all
cases. God wants us to trust Him, and the question is the same with God, trust
Him to do what?
Most people are willing to trust God enough “save” them in the
end, that they will make it to heaven and eventually live on the Earth made
new. They trust Him enough to know that when He says they are forgiven and
their sins have been cast to the bottom of the sea, metaphorically, that it is
true, God forgives them.
But most people stop at this point. Their trust has limits, although they
don’t like to admit it. Most don’t continue to trust Him to do what is right
for them in all aspects of their lives. They don’t trust Him to fight their
battles, defend their families, preserve their livelihood, and protect their
reputations. Their trust in Him is shallow because their knowledge and
experience with Him are shallow, and most of us have been fed a lie or two that
makes trusting Him deeper impossible.
We have sucked-down lies that say, all you need to do is believe,
and they define believe as intellectual assent to some set facts, such as, be
part of the right church, just be baptized and take communion once-in-a-while;
and don’t lie, cheat, or steal. Those are good things, to be sure, but they
only help in the overall process. The second big lie is, God is out to get you!
If you sin and have not asked Jesus for forgiveness, God will have to kill you
or burn you in hell. How can you snuggle up to a god that wants to kill or
torture you, your friends, and your family? There is no way a person can
genuinely trust or have faith in someone holding that type of punishment over
People who reject our loving God’s offer of healing will experience a
horrible ending, but it’s not an imposed punishment; it’s the natural
consequences of living a life of selfishness, a life typified as survival of
the fittest, a life without love.
What God wants is for us to know Him so well that we fall in love with Him
and trust Him because He has proven His trustworthiness. God does not ask us to trust Him as a stranger. That’s why the Bible is so long, and that is why
Jesus’ death is so important. It showed the universe that the natural
consequence of sin is death. When Jesus died the sinner’s death, he did so with
no one pulling a trigger, not even God. God was not killing His son, but he
died anyway. The story ends with God crying, How can I give you up; how can I
let you go? (Hosea 11:8)
God really can be trusted!