A Matter of Trust

On Monday I posted about my struggles in trusting God’s providence. Shortly thereafter I came across an mp3 file I had downloaded from the New Attitude website but had forgotten to listen to. It’s a message by Bruce Ware entitled, “Why Do We Trust God?”

The message was outstanding! Mr. Ware described how there are three legs to the stool of faith: (1) God is all-powerful, (2) God is all-wise and (3) God is all-loving.

God is all-powerful. Some say God does have power but He has chosen not to use much of it because He has given us power and He doesn’t want to interfere with it. Daniel 4:35 tells us otherwise: “All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing [in other words, what can all the inhabitants do to inhibit the power of God being exercised? Nothing!]; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” God’s power is undiminished. If He chooses to act, nothing can withhold His hand from being extended.

God is all-wise. There is a difference between knowledge and wisdom. Wisdom is the use of knowledge in a way that can design the best ends to be accomplished by the best means possible. God’s wisdom relies on the storehouse of His knowledge, which is exhaustive. One problem with open theism (the belief that God doesn’t know the future) is this: you might ask God for guidance for the future, but He may not know all the factors about the future and thus may not know the best answer to your prayer. God’s heart is pure and His motives are always right and His discernment is perfect. Imagine a God whose will cannot be thwarted and yet is not guided by wisdom (that would bring terror). Imagine a God who is all-wise, but has no power to bring it about (that would bring pity).

God is all-loving. He loves His children with an extraordinary love. Even in our best moments, we do not fully comprehend His love. “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us” (1 John 4:10). Propitiation—in Christ, God’s wrath against our sin (which we would pay for with an eternal payment, with never a hope of release) was satisfied. In this is love. God doesn’t love us because of our beauty or smarts or because we are so loveable. His was an “in spite of” love. We deserved nothing but His just judgement, but we have received His love. His love is not “only” forgiveness. Romans 8:32: “God who did not spare His own Son but delivered him up for us all, how will he not with him freely give us all things?” The cross is the basis on which every blessing in the heavenly places is bestowed upon us. If you doubt the love of someone, will you trust him with what matters much to you? Do not doubt God’s love.

Ware brought these three elements together to define faith: “trusting God’s power to accomplish what His wisdom in His love has designed and planned.” He then explained from Romans 4 and Hebrews 11 how Abraham’s life exhibited this kind of faith.

He closed the message by asking several specific questions that related to each of the three essentials of faith. I found these questions to be extremely helpful in both revealing more sin in my heart (Arrgg! There is no end to it!) and encouraging me to trust in God’s care.

Then, last night, one of the passages I read in Scripture was from Psalm 34 (vs. 8-10):

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.

The Lord is once again showing Himself faithful to build my trust in Him when I am wallowing in doubt.