"Faith" is one of our "religious words." Christians have a "religious vocabulary." We took common words with ordinary meanings and made them religious words with special meanings. Consider an example. When do we have faith in our husbands or wives? in our children? in our parents? in our God? Is our concept of faith in God different from our concept of faith in a person?

The best word in current English language to accurately reflect the concept of faith is trust. When do we trust our husbands or wives? our children? our parents? That which expresses trust in key human relationships expresses trust in God.

How do we measure trust in human relationships? What do we mean when we say, "I trust you!" How can someone determine our trust exists and measure it? In that same manner, trust exists and is measured in relationship with God. God determines if it exists and to what extent it exists in the same way we determine a person trusts us.

If a person tries to reduce trust to words and good intentions, we are not impressed. Forgetfulness and empty words attack trust. Deceit and exploitation destroy trust.

We expect of God what we cannot expect of people. When we reduce trust to words or good intentions, we expect God to be impressed. When we are forgetful, deceitful, use empty words, use acts that exploit, or even say to God, "I do not trust You in this matter," we still expect God to "understand" that we believe in Him.

How does God measure our trust? In the same way we measure another person's trust. The truest measure of trust is not demonstrated when we are secure within ourselves. The truest measure of trust is demonstrated through our insecurities. Trusting when we know that we can "make everything okay" cannot measure our confidence in God. Trusting when we are vulnerable and afraid powerfully measures our confidence in God.

Trust is inseparably linked to the feeling of security. We prefer to trust when security is not in question. However, when our security is not in question, little or no trust is required or expressed. Great trust expresses itself in the face of great insecurity. Trust in that which is trustworthy creates peace in the face of insecurity.

We cannot demonstrate great faith in God "when we have it covered." We demonstrate great faith in God when we trust Him while everything declares we are insecure. When God is our source of security as we confront our vulnerability, we trust God.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 18 June 2000

 Link to next article

 Link to other Writings of David Chadwell