Monday, 14 October 2013

What does it mean to trust God?


What does it mean to say you trust God? I suppose a lot depends on your concept of God. Earlier today I read The God in whom I do not believe. It's a post well-worth reading.

That got me thinking about the God in whom I do not trust.

The God in whom I do not trust is the one who:


  • provides me with a car parking place exactly where and when I want it, although I am able to walk a good distance;
  • arranges things entirely for my convenience so I can have an easy life while others struggle just to survive;
  • holds off the rain when I have an outdoor activity planned, even when the local farmers are desperate for rain;
  • ensures I never experience failure, disappointment, pain or grief.

I could go on but I hope you get the picture.

Why am I thinking about trust and particularly trust in God?


I've just signed up for a 40 day prayer journey about trusting God. This is part of the 'Prayer Works' project at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. The project aims to encourage creative ways of praying in and for organisations and workplaces. Today is Day 1 of the 'trust' journey. The prompt in my email inbox today is these words from Romans 15: 13:
‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope'.

How does trust grow?


The people and the organisations that I trust are those I know through personal experience or recommendation.  I don't think it's possible for trust in God to grow without growing in relationship with God at a heart as well as a head level. I need to be rooted in God for that trust to grow and that, as Jesus knew, only comes through praying

What does it mean to trust God?


Have I answered the question? No, I don't think I have. Over to you. What does it mean to you to 'trust God'?




4 comments:

  1. All the best with your 40 day trust journey. I would agree that prayer is ONE way we grow to trust God, there are others too. However, dialectically speaking, it can also be a way that some folks lose their trust in God due to what they consider unanswered prayer.

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    1. Thanks 'Eclecticity' - on day 2 now which is 'trusting God's covenant'. It was a bit of a short cut for me to say that prayer is the only way to grow to trust God. I actually agree that it is one of the ways, though not a way that can be left out, even if the prayer is by others rather than the particular individual. From a human perspective I think that prayer (in its widest sense) is the only way to maintain a relationship with God, although whether we pray or not I don't believe God's love towards us changes. I could have added more about a need to understand something of the nature of God as revealed in Scripture and supremely in Jesus Christ. Jesus of Nazareth prayed, but since he was Jewish we can assume that his prayer was deeply rooted in the Hebrew scriptures and that would have used this in prayer e.g. the Psalms. I could also have added something about the need for trust to be exercised in how we live - but I try to keep my posts here short. I do agree that apparently unanswered prayer often leads some people to lose trust in God which is very understandable, especially in the face of appalling senseless tragedies.

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  2. Thanks for your further remarks, which I do agree with too. The other ways for me personally that I have come to grow in trusting God have been through what we Lutherans call "the means of grace," i.e. word and sacraments, and I'd add through kiononia-community, the meaningful communication with others-especially through what Jesus describes as the deeds of loving-kindness in e.g., texts such as Matthew 25.

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    1. Yes, those would be on my list too as well as life experiences of difficulty, hurt, disappointment through which at least with hindsight I discovered that God hadn't let go of me.

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