Faith is belief. Faith has a truth content, which we come to know by accepting God’s word for what it is. But faith is not only believing. It is alto trusting and having confidence in Him.
Those who were praised for their faith in the Bible put their trust in God and in Jesus Christ. Jesus praised the centurion, whose servant He healed from a distance. He told the woman with a haemorrhage that her faith had saved her.
We trust a person if we perceive these two qualities in him: he can, and he cares. He is capable of helping us and he cares enough for us to help us.
God is all-powerful. He can do all things. More importantly, God is love and cares for us more than anybody does. Jesus showed Himself powerful over the forces of nature, over sickness, over the devil, over sin, and over death itself. What He saw the Father doing, Jesus also did. Hence, God and Jesus are supremely worthy of our trust and confidence.
Trusting God and Jesus means that we put ourselves into their hands, confident that in doing so we shall attain our true happiness. Hence, trusting God also means that we obey what He wills for us because He wants and does only what is good for us.
Trusting God does not mean no trials will befall us. Bad things happen to good people, experience shows us. But trusting God does mean that, no matter what evils befall us, God will not leave us alone and, with the trial, will also give us a way out so that we may prevail.
We cannot live our ordinary human lives without exercising trust. We trust the taxi driver who brings us to our destination. We trust the cook who prepares our food. We trust the doctors who operate on us and prescribe medicine for us.
But we need to trust God even more. We entrust our whole selves and lives (and not only a particular need) to God, and we have absolute confidence that God will not fail us if we follow His will. We may not always be able to figure out His ways but we are confident that He will arrange things for our benefit. Hence, the person of faith can endure trials, and even death, with a serene confidence in the God of love who is also all-powerful.
In modern times two saints have emphasized this absolute trust and confidence in God: St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, and St. Faustina Kowalska. St. Therese taught us her little way of humility and confident love. Jesus taught us through St. Faustina to say, “Jesus, I trust in You.”
Those who trust in God become recipients and channels of His power. If it is true that nothing is impossible to God, it is also true that “everything is possible to Him who has faith” (Mark 9:23). Many people have experienced the power of a trusting faith, either of their own or of others who pray for them.
Our trust is best shown not when all goes well with us, but when we cannot understand what is happening to us when God seems to be indifferent to us.
Trust in God should not beget recklessness, which would amount to putting God to the test. However, trust in God and His Son should help dispel our fear and embolden us when our faith is put to the test. The Apostles, threatened with punishment, refused to stop preaching the name of Christ, boldly saying, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
Trust should not reduce the believer to passivity and resignation to adverse forces in life. Because he trusts that God is with him, and that his God cares for him and is all-powerful, the believer dares “to dream the impossible dream” and hopes “to beat the unbeatable foe.”
To trust is not to submit to fatalistic resignation with a “Bahala na!” but it is rather to be confident that, together, he and God can beat all the problems in life, or at least assure him of ultimate victory. For one who trusts, “there is never any failure, there can only be delayed success.”
Trust energizes the believer to do good and overcome evil.
By Bishop Ted Bacani Jr. (Kerygma Magazine)