What does the Bible say about trust

Distrust - trust

We live in a world and in a time that is characterized by mistrust. More and more we have to realize that mutual trust has been lost in all areas: both among peoples and among individuals. In society, in dealing with friends and brothers and sisters in faith, and even in family relationships, there is mistrust that undermines every relationship. But it shouldn't be like that, especially not with children of God. The apostle Paul is an example to be followed when it comes to love and trust. Guided by the Holy Spirit, he spoke of trust, but he didn't just talk about it - he showed trust in dealing with fellow believers. However, as we shall see, his confidence has been repeatedly tested.

Paul writes to the Philippians: "I am confident that he who has begun a good work in you will finish it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil 1: 6). With this he expressed his trust in God that he had in regard to the Philippians. Adverse circumstances, such as imprisonment and suffering - even if they were prepared for him by those who were believed to be believers but who intended to "afflict his fetters" (Phil 1:17) - could not trust him in the Lord and in his brothers shake. For him the infallible, his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, was above all circumstances. Paul knew that whatever mistakes the brothers revealed - Christ was equal to everything and He would complete the good work that had been started despite all the attacks of the enemy and reveal it in triumph on the day of his glory. Herein lay the secret of the apostle Paul's trust. He always prayed with joy and thanksgiving for the believers.

Certainly the apostle in his trust in God was inspired by a passage from the Old Testament: "In the fear of the Lord there is a strong trust, and his children have a refuge" (Prov. 14:26). Fear of the Lord or intimate relationship with God is the true basis of strong trust. For us Christians it is not a servile fear of God, but the result of a purified conscience. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Ps 111:10). It teaches us to turn away from evil (Prov 3: 7) and not to rely on people (Phil 3: 4; Ps 118: 8.9). Faith steadfastly trusts in the Lord because He knows Him as the Savior, who gave him victory over the world. The word of God is a lamp to him on his way (Ps 119,105). He is afraid of getting involved in something that may afflict and dishonor the Lord. He serves the believers, who are loved by the Lord and bought at a price, with patience and devotion, for they are his brothers and sisters. In all situations of life, faith seeks and finds refuge in the Lord. He shows his strong confidence by not looking at what you see but at what you don't see

Notice the discouraging circumstances in which the apostle served the Corinthian believers. He consumed himself in the service of the Lord and the believers: "But I will very gladly use everything and be fully used for your souls, even though the more I love you the more I am loved, the less I am" (2 Cor 12:15 ). What a devotion!

Hadn't the Corinthians wronged the apostle? Didn't they doubt his apostleship? Hadn't they irritated him so much that he was compelled to speak of himself? Yes, they even distrusted his genuine intention to visit them. Yet the faithful apostle did not in the least change his attitude towards them. On the contrary, he even speaks of his trust in them and also shows it to them. He received the account of Titus with joy and found comfort and refreshment in it for his heart, which was concerned for the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 7:13). How gladly was he ready to acknowledge the work of God's restoring grace in them!

The apostle not only admonished, but he himself lived such a “Christian life” that he was an inspiring example. “Love does not attribute evil” or “thinks no evil”, “it rejoices with the truth” (1 Cor 13: 4-7). The apostle exercised this love; she guided him to express his confidence in the believers: “And this is exactly what I wrote to you ...; trusting you all that my joy is that of you all ”(2 Cor 2: 3). So Paul saw the Corinthians, despite their sad behavior towards him, “in Christ”. Only the divine nature delights in God and in all that is wrought by Him. In this unshakable trust Paul was able to serve them “through the gentleness and gentleness of Christ” (2 Cor. 10.1).

How could the Corinthian believers remain indifferent to such admonitions? Paul introduced them to the Lord in his meekness and gentleness; this should be a driving force for them to produce good fruit. It is always more difficult to serve spiritually ill children of God than spiritually healthy ones. More wisdom and love are needed to bring them into direct contact with the great doctor who alone can help and heal.
The apostle John also wanted to be able to share in the joy of the Lord over the believers. The “joy of the Lord” is to see the children of God “walk in the truth” (3 Jn 4). Wherever one walks in the truth, one enjoys fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ as well as with all believers.

One danger of shattering mutual trust among children of God lies in dealing with the mistakes and sins of others. There is a lack of self-judgment, which is essential for mutual trust. The enemy does his devastating work by allowing the weaknesses and flaws of others to be viewed through magnifying glasses. It then seems hopeless that trust and fellowship will be restored. The prayers are thereby prevented; intercession fades; Hatred, envy, and malice begin to dominate hearts and determine motives.

Judgment is arrogance, pernicious arrogance. Arrogance looks down on others with suspicion, lightly condemns the brother as unfaithful and is quick to judge him in everything because one believes that evil is to be discovered everywhere. This is not love. Love values ​​others more than itself (Phil 2: 3).

What a model of love and trust the apostle Paul is! His example brought about the same trust in the other believers: "We have sent with them our brother, whom we have often tried in many ways as one who is zealous, but now even more zealous because of the great trust in you" (Ex Cor 8:22).

What effect did his first letter to the Corinthians have under the gracious work of the Holy Spirit? What fruits could be seen among the believers? Repentance, diligence, diligence, devotion, etc. - all things that encouraged the apostle in his trust and confidence: "I am glad that I am confident in everything about you" (2 Cor 7:16). He was delighted by Titus' good report on the Corinthians, and his confidence had not been shamed. He willingly recognized the work of God's grace in them. Suspicion, self-righteousness and arrogance, on the other hand, can only assume insincerity and evil in others.

In his letter to the Galatians, the apostle had to criticize things with seriousness and yet he expressed his confidence in the recipients of the letter: “I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will not be of any other opinion; but whoever confuses you will bear the judgment, whoever he is ”(Gal 5:10). The obstacles Satan placed against trust were great; nevertheless he could not disturb the community among the believers, for the trust of the apostle in the Lord and in the believers remained intact. This certainly helped the believers to find the way again that many had left.

We too have the privilege of receiving from the fullness of the Lord in all circumstances of life: grace for grace. This grace creates submission to his word and obedience. Do we not also want to confess all the common mistakes of God's people on the throne of grace and persevere in prayer for all the saints?

The apostle wrote to the Thessalonians: "We have trust in you in the Lord that you will both do and will do what we command" (2 Thes 3: 4). The Lord remains faithful! He will keep all who pay attention to him from all evil and fix them in love and trust. Paul was able to point this out again and again. It was the way to inspire believers to joyous obedience and to make them willing to show love and trust. We too would like to show love and trust, as much as there is in us (Eph 4.1–4; 1. Cor 1:10)!

May the word of the faithful apostle also apply to us: "Since I trust your obedience, I have written to you and I know that you will do more than I say" (Phlm 21).

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From: The last hour, 6th year, 1942, ed. by R. Müller-Kersting, Zurich-Höngg; Pp. 73–77, heavily revised

Source: www.bibelstudium.de/articles/3877