I believe in God. That’s not a very challenging or informative statement. Commonly, it expresses that I believe that God exists; you may also infer that I consider God to be generally a good thing.
In English translations of the New Testament, there is a lot of talk about believing. Jesus repeatedly encouraged people to 'believe in' him. But Jesus wasn’t asking people to believe that he existed - that would hardly have been difficult for them - or even to believe that is was the Christ or the Son of God - those ideas were only just beginning to be associated with him. Jesus was asking people to trust him - thats the meaning of the word he was using.
Trust is subtly different from belief. Trust is specific. You may be willing to trust me with a small amount of money, or trust that I am a generally well-meaning person. But you would be unwise to trust me to style your hair, and utterly foolish to trust me to perform routine surgery on you. We trust specific people to do specific things. The same needs to apply to our relationship with God.
What are we trusting God for?
Often, talk about trusting God is unhelpfully vague. Trust is a decision to embark on a particular action when the outcome of that action is, at least in part, beyond our control. I get a mechanic to service my car because I don’t understand how my car works. When I next drive my car, I put my trust in the mechanic’s understanding and integrity.
So what do we actually trust God for?
Trust requires action, and it involves risk. When I sit on a chair, I trust that it will hold my weight. If it doesn’t, I will end up on the floor. We trust God when we perform certain actions which rely of him in a way that is beyond our control - actions that we would not perform if we didn’t trust God.
Jesus asks us to trust him. He asks us to live differently in this world, trusting that his way is a better way, even though it may be costly for us.
How often to you really trust God?