Like many Christians my age, I grew up singing the golden oldie hymn, Trust and Obey. Even now, with little prompting, I can sing all the verses.
This old song, as well as others, taught me valuable spiritual truths.
I learned, for example, that Anywhere with Jesus I Can Safely Go, Faith Is the Victory, and Jesus Paid It All.
I know the messages in these songs are true because Scripture supports them.
But back to Trust and Obey.
Obeying was not particularly hard for me. Because I was taught the difference between right and wrong, and because I knew the benefit of being one and the penalty for being the other, I lived, though far from perfectly, pretty much on the straight and narrow.
But for me, trusting has been harder than obeying.
Obedience is a concrete term. It, or the lack of it, is demonstrable. I can wrap my arms, and my brain, around obedience.
Trust, however, is a less tangible concept. It belongs to that nebulous set of nouns that cannot be seen, heard, touched, tasted, or smelled. Trust exists within my mind and heart.
I have had trouble nailing down an answer to the question: Do I trust God?
Of course, I trust that He is, has always been, and always will be. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all life. He is the Author of everything good. He is love itself.
But trusting becomes a bit more difficult when I bring myself into this matter of trusting God.
Can it be true:
- That He loves me just as I am?
- That He cares about what happens to me?
- That He sees me blameless through the curtain of His Son’s blood?
Though Scripture assures me the universal answer to each one of those questions is yes, I have resisted believing God’s “yes” applies to me.
That is because my brain is quick to remind me of my unworthiness. Unworthy people, I reason, should receive nothing good.
I could not “see” my way to believing God’s yes was for me.
Recently, Dan and I were discussing some project he hoped to complete. I expressed doubt that He would accomplish his goal.
He looked squarely at me and said, in a challenging voice, “You’ll see it when you believe it.”
(Of course, he meant to say, “You’ll believe it when you see it.”)
Within an instant of hearing him say, “You’ll see it when you believe it,” something shifted in my thinking about trust.
You’ll see it when you believe it.
Isn’t that the very definition of faith?
What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead (Hebrews 11:1 TLB).
I wanted to be able to see that God’s yes is for me, but Jesus says, “No. I am asking you to believe it. When you believe it, you will see it.”
My trust problem disappears when I choose to believe, even when I cannot see.
God’s yes is indeed for me. It is for you, too.
And you will see it when you believe it.