Chances are that if you ask a Christian: “do you trust God?” they would answer “Yes”. But what does trusting God mean? What does it look like? I ask because trust isn’t a theoretical concept, it has practical consequences. Firstly, I can’t really trust someone I don’t know. This implies that trust occurs in the context of a relationship. Secondly, I must have a reason to trust someone. I don’t trust everyone I have a relationship with, neither do you. Thirdly, I think the degree to which we trust another person lies on a spectrum and evolves with experiences within our relationships. People usually have to earn our trust. The more they do, the further they move along on our trust spectrum. Therefore, it can be implied that trust has a lot to do with the integrity of the person being trusted.
Where do you place God on your trust spectrum? Imagine you are standing at the edge of a cliff and you cannot see what’s below because it is foggy. However, you know the cliff is 60 metres high and rocky at the base. Therefore, jumping off that cliff could result in very serious consequences. How many people in your life could convince you to jump without any evidence that you wouldn’t come to any harm? I suspect the answer would be zero for most of us because there is no one we would blindly risk our lives for in that fashion. In fact, it could be considered the height of stupidity to jump off such a cliff. But what if the person asking you to jump was God, would you jump? What if you think its God asking but you are not 100% certain, would you jump?
As I mentioned earlier, trust is not theoretical. There is usually a real-life situation where trust is required. With some situations, there are alternatives to trusting God but with others, everything is completely outside your control. In some cases, if trusting God doesn’t work out the way you want, you haven’t risked much. With other situations, you are risking everything, so there is much to lose and a huge potential for shame. The older I get, the more I realise that we cannot play it safe with God when it comes to trust. Eventually, the situations we face will starkly reveal where we truly stand and we will be faced with the decision to take a leap of faith or not.
One thing is certain, if we don’t take that leap of faith, we will never know what might have been. Wouldn’t you like to know if God is out there? Wouldn’t you like to know if He truly has your back? Imagine the assurance you could live with after experiencing God’s salvation when you risked everything and trusted Him. When the chips are down in life, our natural instinct is to call on the people we trust the most. In some cases, these people can come to our rescue, but there are situations where no one can help. This is not the case with God, He is always our very present help in time of need [Psalm 46:1]. However, truly believing this can only happen through a personal experience.
So, what is your experience? If someone was to ask you, “how do you know you can truly trust God?” how would you respond? Would quoting the Bible be a compelling enough answer? What if they don’t believe in the Bible? Imagine asking Abraham the same question? He could regale you with several stories. Moses, for instance, could tell you about his experiences in the Exodus. Rahab could tell how she was spared when the walls of Jericho fell. Gideon could tell you about his 300 men. David could tell you how God took him from the fields to the palace and Daniel could tell you about the fiery furnace and the den of lions. Each of these heroes of faith had a personal story and life will present each of us with opportunities to create our own stories. If we prevail as they did, our stories become our testimonies and they are the best answers we can give to others when they ask us about trusting God.
It is clear that trusting God requires us to take risks, you have to be willing to jump off that cliff blindly. It is inconvenient and you will sometimes look stupid to most observers, but if you are sure its God asking, jump. However, what if you aren’t sure? God usually places people in our lives to confirm His word, so look out for that confirmation. Even if you are still not certain after that, know that God is pleased with our efforts to obey Him. So, jump because even if you heard wrong, the fact that your primary motivation was obedience, God will catch you. Obedience and trust go together.
My own story is developing but it started with me trusting God in something that was of little consequence. This was difficult for me but I eventually took that leap of faith and God caught me. He is now taking me through an experience where the consequences are much greater but He is using my story as it unfolds to encourage others which is something I didn’t anticipate. Jumping off my cliff was a struggle; I am still worried about falling flat on my face but I believe that: “anyone who puts their trust in God will not be ashamed” [Romans 10:11]. As my most trusted friend put it: “Don’t let fear stop you, jump afraid.” Where is God calling you to take that leap of faith? will you jump?