Fear is a result of many life experiences. Generally, we are not born with a spirit of distrust. Fear, in many respects, is yet another symbol or symptom of being part of the fallen world. We learn fear. We learn the distrust that precedes it. If perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18), then where does that leave us? We have to build up a spirit and habit of trust.
While it isn’t ideal, nor the goal, such people should be given a lot of grace regarding trust (and they need to give it to themselves). While it will be a long and hard road for them (long for some, shorter for others), it is worth it.
When we trust, we rebuild our spiritual and emotional foundation. By doing so, we remove fear and keep fear from getting deeper roots in us, and even not getting rooted in the first place. Imagine not having a place in your emotional and spiritual domain that has no fear! It sounds pretty amazing. If we’re honest with ourselves, it can also sound impossible.
One of the most profound (and disturbing) examples of trust is Jesus’ trust in God the Father. Many view this as a cheat, as Jesus is God. Yet, this is why keeping in mind and heart that Jesus was a man, too, is so important. Jesus trusted God. Jesus the man may have even fully understood the plan. That didn’t spare Jesus the pain. Perhaps some of the hardest words during the crucifixion were the words of the religious leaders, who scorned Jesus’ trust in God. The implication of these words is that these leaders no longer did trust God. Perhaps they had been so broken by the world that they only trust power and riches, leaving God outside their banquets.
1) What prevents you from trusting? How does this tie into fear, do you think?
2) If someone violates your trust, how do you rebuild your trust in them (or have them rebuild your trust of them)? How might that apply to increasing your trust in God?
3) Do you think there are differences between spiritual and emotional trust and distrust? Why or why not?
Action: Find small (emphasis on small) concrete things you will trust God with.