Thursday, December 10, 2015

December 6, 2015 - Faith or Trust, What are you seeking?

Are you seeking "faith" or "trust" in your life?
God asks us to have both, but many believe they are one and the same.

And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him righteous because of his faith. (Genesis 15: 6)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight 
(Proverbs 3: 5-6).

The reality is that faith and trust are not the same, and belief in one can sometimes inhibit belief in the other.

Faith is belief that does not require any proof. You accept and believe, even when there is nothing concrete to show as evidence. In fact, demanding proof shows a lack of faith.
Trust is a reliance upon something occurring, that is not in your own control. A belief that something WILL happen because it has happened before or there are rules or proof governing it's reality.

When we ask for signs of God's presence, as Thomas did in John's gospel, we are looking to strengthen our trust but at the same time we weaken our faith. God wants us to have both. 

Faith in His loving grace and trust that He will guide us, protect us, and comfort us though all situations. On my Bible app this morning the "daily verse" perfectly captured this point.

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. (James 1: 2-3)
I interpret "endurance" in this verse to equal trust.

When we build our faith, it allows us to build trust that God will see us through any trouble. God helps to build our trust in Him by using our faith to see us through our problems.

I don't think most of us would approach our troubles with great joy though, I know I often have problems with that! Often when we are faced with challenges we revert to our trust instead of our faith, and how often then do we seek to just "do it ourselves?"

As Jesus tells His disciples and indirectly tells us in Matthew 17: 20, 
"You don't have enough faith," Jesus told them. "I tell you the truth, if you had as much faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there.' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible."

Do you consider yourself a faithful person?
We think we have faith but what we really have is trust. Each of us have evidence of something God has done in our lives. Our faith is more difficult to identify.
Faith can be found in many places, some you might not expect. Everyone possesses the seeds of faith, even the atheist. We need to allow our faith, no matter how big or small it is to grow, so our trust in God can grow as well.

Remember the sacrifice made on our behalf, to wash away the sins we have committed. Have faith that God loves us and forgives us. Remind yourself that God can be trusted to guide us through whatever may happen in our lives. 

Build both your faith and your trust so that you can live by the Spirit and enjoy the fruits of the Spirit as mentioned in Galatians 5: 22-23;
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to the disciples, saying, "Take this and eat it, for this is my body." (Matthew 26:26)

This was an act of trust for the disciples because they had the evidence of Jesus' presence. Jesus used this to grow their faith and prepare them for what was to happen. We too can trust in the Lord as we continue our walk in building our faith. Let us use the opportunities God gives us and have great joy through all of the challenges we will face in life.