How Trust Leads to a Fulfilling Life
Isn’t it exciting to think about living an adventurous and fulfilling life? This desire for adventure and fulfillment is core to all of us as humans – God designed it that way.
For many of us, it’s exciting to think about living a life where you feel fully alive, full of purpose, and intimately connected in your relationships. It’s exciting to think about walking out your God-given calling and making a difference in the lives around you… These ideas sound so appealing and full of hope. But along with that, if we aim to live this kind of life, we must remember that we will also have some big areas to overcome – mainly, completely trusting in God – something that is much easier said than done.
In Acts chapter 9, the Lord tells Ananias to go and speak to Saul who was throwing Christians into prison and even killing them. “But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” (Acts 9:13–14) The Lord did not reassure Ananias by saying, “Don’t worry, Ananias, I will make sure that Saul does nothing to hurt you after you pray for him and he can see you.” Instead, He simply told Ananias to go and pray for Saul’s sight to be restored and tell him about the destiny that Jesus had for his life. Ananias risked his life when he trusted and obeyed.
When we require guarantees before we obey, we do not have trust.
No one will be as faithful or as trustworthy as God is to us, yet we must learn to trust in our close relationships. When a person close to us has done something wrong or hurtful and then repents, reconciles with us, and we forgive them – do we still require “absolute proof” that they will not hurt us again? Or do we take the risk to trust?
Now I will mention that if you hear repetitive words of repentance with no change, a deeper repentance will need to happen in order for lasting change to occur that will allow trust to grow in the relationship.
But ultimately, trust requires risk. If we are to follow Jesus’s command to love our neighbor as ourselves, we will have to take risks with our heart. And we will have to risk again after we have been hurt. We are fooling ourselves if we believe that we can represent God’s love by loving only when there appears to be no risk. Jesus did not trust the religious leaders and He cautioned His followers about them. But Jesus never shrank back from trusting the Father to bring His truth and love in spite of the religious leader’s hatred of Him. Jesus’ complete trust enabled Him to do what no man or woman has ever been able to do – to perfectly show us the Father’s love and do the works of the Father without limit.
Talk to the Lord about your struggles in trusting certain people in your life. Let the Lord lead you and show you how to express God’s love to your spouse, friend or acquaintance that has hurt you deeply. Let the Lord show you whether or not you are to limit that person’s access to your heart.
As you may already see, I am suggesting that you place your trust in the Lord first and then in others – even in close relationships. Just as Ananias experienced, listening for the Lord’s voice and trusting Him completely may be the scariest and the most unreasonable thing you have ever done, but it will also be the most rewarding and extraordinary thing you will ever do that will put you on the path to living the kind of life God desires for you experience – one of fulfillment, adventure, and connection!
by Barry Byrne