Trust in Jesus: A Superhuman Feat

Why is it easy to entrust our little difficulties to the Lord but balk at entrusting to Him our deliverance from the most horrendous crises and insurmountable challenges?
by Suze Forster | Source: Catholic.net

Trust and faith are not unfamiliar bedfellows but often we mistake one for the other or blur the lines between them until we are unable to distinguish one from the other. In a spiritual sense, faith is the confident hope experienced by believers in the divinity of Jesus Christ and the promise of salvation through the grace freely gifted to us by His atoning Resurrection as attested in the Living Word of scripture. Trust is the exercise of absolute confidence in faith.  Faith is the belief. Trust is the action that demonstrates the authenticity of faith, the truth that legitimizes it.

How many of us testify to our faith in Jesus and yet act contrary to our witness when challenged by our circumstances to put that trust to the test? How many more of us happily put but a little trust – ‘safe trust’ – in Him by half-heartedly presenting only our small trifles in life? ‘Lord, please help me to get ready for work and get the kids to school on time today!’. ‘Lord, my goose is cooked if I don’t nail this presentation during the meeting – help me find the right words!’. But when an opportunity to lay it all on the line and trust in Him for deliverance from disaster – after the unexpected diagnosis of cancer in a son or daughter, when the threat of war looms, when the loss of our livelihood is imminent – do we turn first to the material, earthly resources at our disposal or to our Savior? How many of us are guilty of thinking (consciously or unconsciously) – ‘As much as I like the idea of trusting in God to come to my aid, I’d better handle this one myself…just in case He doesn’t come through for me.’ We all too often assume that we know better than our Maker how best to address and resolve our hardships and trials. When you see it written in black and white…it looks as foolish as it sounds, and in fact is. And yet I’ve done it. I’ll likely do it again. It is human nature to think that no one but ourselves is more qualified to know what is best for us. It takes effort and discipline and most of all trust to hand it over to God?

So why is it so hard to trust in Him?

We live in a corporeal state and material world with five senses that reinforce over and again every second of every day that we can trust in what we see, hear, smell, taste and touch because we have an immediate and unmistakable encounter with these experiences. When we trust in the Lord we are acting contrary to all that these five senses scream at us, we are taking what is often an all too frightening and confronting risk in something and someone we may experience emotionally and spiritually but cannot see, hear, smell, taste or touch. Trusting in the unseen – in our Risen Lord whom we can neither see nor hear, nor indeed perceive by any other means save the faith of our hearts – creates an unparalleled internal conflict in us as sensory beings. It brings to mind a saying I once heard about two different ways of experiencing our lives: We are not human beings having a spiritual experience but spiritual beings having a human experience. Either concurring or disagreeing with this statement makes a profound statement about how we experience the world and the fundamental basis of our perceptions.

With the definitions of trust and faith now firmly established (within their spiritual contexts), and in acknowledgement that the tyranny of our five senses locks us in a battle between proof obtained through corporeal verification and truth attained through faith, we now address the evidence that tips the scales.

T
he Bible.

As the hallowed Living Word of God, the source of all truth, the most sacred scripture, all of our answers lie here. So how can we know that complete and absolute trust in God for deliverance from sorrow, peril, difficulties will never go unanswered by our gracious and merciful Lord? Because the greater the trust placed in Him (ie, the bigger the problem we trust Him to overcome for us), the greater His capacity to affect not only the circumstances of our crisis but to shape the hearts and actions of all involved for a truly astonishing and ultimately beneficial outcome. Jesus is without limit and can influence alter, affect, do and undo all things in Creation and beyond it. But we limit the outcomes we desire when we limit our trust in Him. A wall of water is only as powerful as the tiny fissure or yawning chasm through which it pours forth through. When we trust in Jesus only a little or with doubtful trepidation, we allow His sovereign might to dribble through but a sliver of a crack in our lives, thus permitting His lifesaving waters to touch and influence very little. When we lever this fissure apart to allow a gushing torrent to course through, this same life-giving water of deliverance saturates all areas of our lives with the power to change even the most impossible of circumstances.

The Bible not only cites innumerable account of great faith animating God’s even greater aid, but some recorded incidents are so astonishing that they defy our ability to deny God’s omnipotent supremacy even in the face of the opposing ‘truths’ of our sensory experience of the material world.

When Hezekiah received the letter of threat from the Assyrian king, he could have busied himself immediately with rallying support from allied nations, concentrating his resources (chariots, horses, weapons) and conscripting fighting men, working night and day on battle strategies to outwit the opposing army, organizing supply lines to feed the troops, fortifying the city walls and erecting battlements. But no... He went straight to the temple of the Lord - straight to the temple! And he laid his distress at the feet of the Lord God Almighty. Tens of thousands of lives depended on him as King to deliver them from certain death or slavery. And he turned to God. And what a deliverance He provided!!! ‘That night the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew.’ (2 Kings 19:35-36).

When Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, despaired at the might of the Aramean army besieging the Israelite nation, Elisha prayed that the Lord would open his eyes that he might see both the temporal world and the spiritual world that overlapped and interacted with it. Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.’ (2 Kings 6:17). The Lord went on to answer Elisha’s prayer that the entire Aramean army –thousands upon thousands of men – be blinded, saving both the lives of the Israelites and those of the enemy by stemming the bloodshed in a single unprecedented, impossible event. The greater message is of course that even had this prayer to temporarily steal the sight of the Aramean army never passed Elisha’s lips, the army of the Lord was spread out in battle-ready formation to deliver the nation from genocide. God is always at the ready to defend the faithful and it takes but a single voice raised in indomitable faith and supplication to rouse Him to action.

When David went against the advisement of his followers and refused to kill Saul after countless opportunities to unseat him had been presented to him, he bore the exasperation and criticism of his followers. They saw things only in men’s terms, not in God’s. Though the spirit of the Lord had departed Saul and an evil spirit had become indwelt in him, David never forgot that it was God who had anointed and appointed Saul as king and that only God could remove Him. He trusted unconditionally in God’s timing and purpose, even when he didn’t understand it, and even when this placed his own life in mortal danger to exercise this trust. (1 Samuel 24:3-7) 

‘Turn, O LORD, and deliver me;
 save me because of your unfailing love.’ (Psalm 6:4) The key to trusting God unreservedly lies in understanding that He cannot lie, he cannot go back on His word, that He is the embodiment of eternal love and that this love is incomprehensible in its unquantifiable enormity. Because He loves us He gave us His solemn promise to deliver us. It is almost mathematically formulaic: God’s love + our trust = guaranteed rescue.

'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in
 weakness’ (2 Corinthians 12:9) – the word of the Lord to the Saint Paul when he anguished of his inability to remove the ‘thorn’
[1] that troubled him. But the message, though specific to Paul’s dilemma, can be applied uniformly to all matters of distress and hardship: our abject weakness, frailty and powerlessness presents the perfect conditions for God’s inexorable might and inconceivable mercy to dramatically and radically alter, influence and in some cases entirely reverse circumstances of dire calamity. But first must come trust – and what else have we but trust when we are rendered so weak and so defenseless that our only hope is in divine deliverance.

Which begs the question – should we have to wait until we are so debilitated, so utterly defeated by our circumstances, to the point of having nothing left, our every temporal resource exhausted before we call upon the Lord? Certainly not! He wishes for us to lay at His feet our every concern, anxiety, sorrow and distress. He wishes this for 3 reasons: 1) placing our trust in Him produces consistency and strength of character (Psalm 125:1); 2) it presents him with an opportunity to demonstrate that all things are under His control (Luke 8:22-25) (Job 38); and 3) lack of trust creates a fissure in our hearts through which fear and doubt steal (Matthew 14:22-32) and these are Satan’s weapon’s of choice. If we place our trust in Jesus, from the least of our trifles to our most dire crises, at the very outset of the distress they cause, He will joyfully and exuberantly justify that trust above and beyond our greatest expectations.

God Himself first placed His trust in us – in humanity – by giving to us all His only begotten Son. In turn, His Son led by example by testifying to His trust in the Father.

5It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking.  6But there is a place where someone has testified: 

   "What is man that you are mindful of him, 
      the son of man that you care for him? 
 
7You made him a little lower than the angels; 
      you crowned him with glory and honor 
    
8 and put everything under his feet." 

    In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. 
9But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 

 
10In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.  11Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family.

 
So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. 
12
He says, 
   "I will declare your name to my brothers; 
      in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises." 
13
And again, 
   "I will put my trust in him." And again he says, 
   "Here am I, and the children God has given me." 

 
14Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants. 17For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:5-18) 

God our heavenly Father and His only Son, Jesus Christ, led with examples of trust – just as a responsible, loving, nurturing parent always leads by example. It is therefore not only right but natural that we should place the full complement of our trust in the Holy Trinity who live within and without us and whose omnipotent supremacy and influence extends to the complete spectrum of human experience. The Bible is a history of monumental demonstrations of trust. Hebrews 11 forms an impressive ‘who’s who’ of iconic figures whose seemingly superhuman trust in the Lord reaped not only rewards, miracles, both spiritual stipends and temporal aid in their lifetimes, but garnered far reaching corollary many centuries and countless generations on from their own lives. Hebrews 11 lists ordinary men and women – like you and I – whose faith set them apart, whose trust in the Lord elevated them to such intimate proximity with our Creator that He knowingly, willingly, and spectacularly justified their trust – a trust that often placed their lives on the line – by delivering them from trial and tribulation alike. 

The validation of our faith can only be realized if and when we trust our Lord and Savior with our greatest fears and calamities as well as our accomplishments and triumphs. He welcomes us to test His fidelity to His promise to forever keep His covenant with the children of Abraham by confiding in Him the secret fears of our hearts, by relying entirely upon His deliverance and by awaiting in confident conviction the fulfillment of His promise. 

It may be something as leviathan as the imminent loss of a loved one or less troubling, like concern about performance in a recent exam, but whatever the essence of our need, we are guaranteed the distillation and purification of our faith as well as the justification of our trust when we commend it fully and without reservation to our Lord – not in part, not in pieces, but entirely unto Him. 

Undoubtedly the greatest rewards are gleaned from the greatest risk – and what greater risk (or demonstration of trust) than to assign in absolute faith our most dire of crises to our Lord? And what unparalleled deliverance He provides! God invites us to test Him. God invites us to trust Him. 

When you enter into that covenant of trust established by our forefather, Abraham, you enter into the same bond of trust that provided him with a son in his advanced years and spared that same son in the greatest act of trust ever demonstrated. Be confident in the love of our Lord, be bold in your belief in Him, be assured of His sovereign power to provide deliverance. May God ignite your heart with faith that it may swell with trust in his unfailing love and unchanging Word. 

Amen.


[1] The identity of this vexation is not clarified in the Bible, though many theologians speculate that it referred to an internal conflict or character defect and not a circumstance from which he requested deliverance



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Published by: Lerato
Date: 2011-09-23 03:47:32
This is the best 'sermon'I ever read about trusting God. Thank you, God was talking to me as I was reading it. I am devoted to the Divine Mercy, and was actually searching for a meaning of Trust! I found it!Wow!

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