Trust Again

 Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. Make room for us in your hearts. (2 Corinthians 7:1-2)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  (John 14:1-5)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trust, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.  (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
This week, we have been breaking some of the self-inflicted chains that can bind us and prevent us from enjoying the joy, peace and freedom that God wants to give us. Let’s end the week by embracing that freedom together. It’s interesting that, in 1 Corinthians 7, the Apostle Paul doesn’t see forgiveness as the final destination. He invites us to allow the Holy Spirit to cleanse us from all that contaminates us and to help us ‘open up our hearts’ again to other people. The goal for Paul is not just forgiveness. It’s relearning basic trust.

God created us to learn basic trust from our parents at a very early age. However, our parents weren’t perfect and nor were our siblings and our wider family. The promise in Proverbs 22:6 – “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” – can be both positive and negative. If we had a difficult experience when we were very young, then we can carry it with us into our adult lives. We need to learn the basic trust that we were meant to have learned when we were younger but somehow didn’t.
Trust can be defined as “the ability to hold our heart open to others and to life itself, even when people hurt us”. It brings with it the capacity to be vulnerable with other people, not fearing that they will mistreat us. Trust gives us a sense of security (it’s OK, ‘because I know I am loved). Trust gives us a sense of peace (I don’t have to be in control all the time; if I let go of the steering wheel of my life, I’m not scared that there will be a car crash). Trust gives us a sense of confidence (I’m not afraid to say no to people, because my value isn’t bound up in what they think of me).

Do you feel that this describes you? If it doesn’t, then God wants to teach you basic trust. He wants to help you to do what the Apostle Paul describes as ‘making room in your heart for people’. And here’s the good news: You really can. The same Jesus who calls us to trust him in John 14:1-5 promises to make our hearts overflow with hope through his Holy Spirit in Romans 15:13. He promises to fill us with the love that “always trusts” and which “keeps no record of wrongs”. Trust isn’t something other people have. It’s what God has given you through Jesus too.
1)   Would you describe your early childhood as happy or as a difficult?
2)   Looking back at the definition of ‘trust’, would you say that you find it easy or difficult to trust others? How is your own sense of security, peace and confidence?
3)   Would you like the Lord to grow your ability to trust in others? If so, tell him that and ask him to help you today.
Father God, I thank you that you are fully trustworthy. Thank you that you are teaching me to trust you and to open up my heart wide towards you. As I do so, please empower me to trust others and to open my heart wide towards them too. Let your Holy Spirit flow out through me today, so that I overflow with hope and trust towards the people around me. Where people are genuinely evil, let me be wise towards them, but where people are just people, let me overflow with love and trust towards them, both today and from now on. I ask it in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today’s Everyday Devotions were written by Phil Moore, who leads our team of whole-church elders.
If you have time, consider carrying on your conversation with God using one of our helpful Prayer Pathways.
Today’s Everyday Devotions have also inspired a devotional video that you can watch on our YouTube channel.
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