Trust is a powerful word. According to Merriam-Webster: “Trust is reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.” Trusting God is essential for a believer to thrive. Now, you don’t need to spend much time around Christians to hear the expression, “trust in Jesus.” This statement is layered with meaning. We trust in Jesus by believing in Him for our salvation (John 3:16). We believe who He is and put our faith in Him as our Lord and Savior. We believe He died for our sins and was resurrected for our salvation (Romans 4:15). Not one of us can save ourselves, so we trust Jesus to save us (Romans 3:10-20 & John 11:25).
Once one finds salvation by trusting in Jesus for his or her salvation, “trusting Jesus” means committing or dedication one’s self entirely to Him. Followers of Christ trust Jesus by putting complete confidence in Him and His Word. We discover in John: “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32). To abide in Jesus’ word means to continue believing what Jesus has said and walking in obedience to Him. Continuing to trust Jesus and obey Him is one test of who is truly His disciple. Jesus is speaking of one way to know the truth, and that is by continuing to believe and obey His word. Such trust in Christ brings freedom from guilt and the enslaving power of sinful patterns of conduct. Simply put, the more we know and abide in the words of Jesus, the more we will obey Him, and the more we grow to trust Him and experience freedom in Christ, we thrive.
One verse that I have expressed more in prayer than I personally like to admit is Mark 9:24: “I believe; help my unbelief!” In context, this verse is found amidst an account where a father is seeking the Lord’s miraculous power to heal his son. Jesus calls this man to trust in Him. The father’s confession is raw. He confesses he has some faith but also acknowledges his spiritual weakness and appeals to Jesus to create in him a heart that believes more firmly in Him.
It is easy to become discouraged when our trust waivers, but Jesus understands our weakness and knows we will struggle to trust Him. Paul encourages us: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). When we take our uneasy hearts to the Lord in prayer, He offers us peace. His very presence is peace. Notice that the promise is not to give whatever we’re are asking for, but the promise is peace to guard our hearts and minds.
Trusting Jesus means to come to Him and believe He is good and is trustworthy. His plan for our lives is to thrive. We can be confident in this because of who He is and who we are in Him. We are as John 1:12 proclaims: “To all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” When we trust in Christ for our salvation, God’s supernatural work makes us His children. When we trust in Jesus and who we are in Him, He pours out His peace into us, empowering us to thrive.
Our trusting in Jesus grows as we continue to walk with Him. It grows through experience (see: 2 Corinthians 1:10). As we experience God’s faithfulness through the good, the bad, and the ugly of life, our faith, our trust in Him grows. In this sense, the Christian life becomes a testing and training ground of trust (see: James 1:2-4).
To trust the Lord, we need to know who God is and who we are in Him. Jesus is teaching us to trust Him in all things at all times with all our heart. As we learn to trust Jesus more and more, He empowers us to thrive. Soli Deo Gloria (God Alone be the Glory)!