I’ve been thinking about the word trust, and how is it we come to have trust in someone or something.

Trust is an interesting concept. The definition of the kind of trust I’m thinking of is found in the Oxford dictionary…”firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.”

So trust is not something we give lightly. Trust almost always has to be earned. We build trust in someone or something by repeated incidents whereby the result of our trust is verified without fail. Something always works in exactly the way we expect. We trust the light switch will turn on the light. We trust the turn of the faucet will result in a flow of water. We trust when there’s a flame, its hot. Things happen in a reliable and predictable fashion, and so we trust that’s how it will be each and every time. Like the laws of physics, they are absolute. They happen each and every time. “An object at rest remains at rest, or if in motion, remains in motion a a constant velocity unless acted on by an external force.” There’s no getting around it. Its a fact. Its truth. Its real. Its proveable. The reason its all of those things is because it has been observed again and again infinitum.

All of that is fine for immutable laws as in physics, but what about when it comes to people? In this crazy period in our time, we have politicians making all sorts of statements. Some are about themselves, some are about their opponents. The advertisements stretch, and bend, and torque facts and figures to fit the message each politician is trying to convey. Can we trust that? Is their truth really true? Are their facts trustworthy? Can we depend on what they say and promise? Those are things we each have to judge for ourselves.

I recently watched a documentary on Bernie Madoff and the financial debacle he’s associated with. He ran the largest Ponzi scheme to date, swindling some $65 billion in a securities fraud scam. It was amazing the amount of trust his victims placed in him. As I watched the series though, I came to realize it wasn’t so much trust as it was greed that overcame them. Madoff promised and seemingly delivered outsized incredible returns they couldn’t get anywhere else. No matter that it was only on paper, and for those who withdrew money, he used other investors funds to payout. It all caught up with him and so many lives were utterly destroyed because of misplaced trust.

In Proverbs 3:5 we read, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” What does that even mean? It seems we are being called upon to trust deeply in God and what God can and will do, and not on our own abilities or knowledge.

That’s asking a lot of us in a way. To trust in God, even above what we may think we know. What we know from the biblical testimony is, God’s promises and assurances are always trustworthy. God does what God says God wil do. The psalmist says in Psalm 9:10, “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” I’ve found this to be so very true. God has never forsaken me. I may be up or I may be down, I may be joyous or I may be in the depths of despair, but when I place my trust in God, God is always with me. God assures me there is nothing too difficult for God and myself to handle. It might seem as if it is overwhelming, but somehow God and I make it through everytime. The psalmist further states in Psalm 20:7, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”

Trust is a hard thing to ask someone to have. We could be taken advantage of, lied to, swindled, conned, scammed, and generally taken for a fool by those we place our trust in. Whether they are politicians or financiers, the possibility exists our trust can be misplaced. But with God, that possibility does not exist. Like the laws of physics, our trust in God will be borne out over, and over, and over again.

Loving God,

We place our trust in you because we know you are steadfast and true. We know you will never leave us or forsake us. We believe the promise of your love and your word of grace in our lives. Help us, Lord, to trust in you more and more in all areas of our lives. Lead and guide us to have trusting hearts in you.


Your companion on the Way,

Pastor Tom

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