Trustfulness is a mark of mature faith (like that of Abraham and Moses). It is both a characteristic of mature faith, and a characteristic that heps faith mature.
The fruit of faith is a quiet, steady, unwavering trust in the goodness, wisdom, and faithfulness of God Almighty.
The outward expression of this kind of trust is stabiity.
Psalms 125:1 They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.
All earth’s mountains may tremble and shake and be removed, except one. Mount Zion is God’s chosen Mountain. It will last forever.
So with the believer. All around him may tremble and panic, but the believer remains calm and unmoved.
Psalms 87:1 His foundation is in the holy mountains.
The key to this kind of trust is commitment.
Psalms 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. (Literally “is bringing it to pass).
Commitment opens the way to trust. “Commit” is an act. “Trust” is an attitude.
As long as we continue in this attitude of turst, God “is doing it”, in other words, is working out the thing that we have committed to Him.
The continued attitude of trust whch is trustfulnes, keeps open the channel by which God intervenes in our life and works out what needs to be done.
If we abandon the trust, we close off the channel and hinder the completion of what God has begun to do for us.
Let’s use a modern parable that may help throw light on this matter.
Committing our way to the Lord is like taking cash to the bank and depositing it in our account. Once we’ve received the bank’s receipt for our deposit, we need no longer be concerned about the safety of our money. (Remember: unlike banks in these end times, the Bank of Heaven is completely stable and reliable.) It is now the bank’s responsibility, not ours.
Isn’t it strange that people find it easier to trust a bank to look after our money than to trust God to look after a matter we have committed to Him.
The parable of the bank illustrates a factor essential to a successful commitment. When we walk out of the bank, we carry an official receipt indicating the date and place (bank branch), and the amount of the deposit. There are no uncertainties. We should be equally specific about the things we commit to God. We should know, beyond the shadow of a doubt what exactly we committed to the Lord, and when and where the commitment was made. We also need the Holy Spirit’s receip, indicating that God has accepted our commitment (the witness of the Spirit with our spirit)
Trustfulness (the attitude of trust) is like a fruit that needs to be cultivated. It passes through various stages of ripening before it reaches maturity.
This “ripening” can be seen in Psalm 62:2,6.
Psalms 62:2 He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.
6 He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.
In verse 2, David says the Lord only is his rock and his salvation and defence and he will not be greatly moved.
Verse 6, starts with the same words: he says the Lord only is his rock, his salvation and defence, buy hr concludes that he will not be moved. Period.
His confidence has become absolute, beyond quantification.
David was always completly honest before God. That’s why God called him a man after His own heart.
We need to be honest before God as David was.
We need to admit to God when our trust can be shaken by difficulties, and opposition, but not greatly (in other words cannaot be overthrown), and continue to cultivate trust until we can say that our trust cannot even be shaken, let alone overthrown.
Fruit of this kind is in the realm of the spirit, rather than just in the emotions (the soul).
David illustrates this point too from his own life.
Psalm 56:3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
There are two conflicting things here: an emotion (“I am afraid”), and an attitude of will in the spirit (“I will trust”).
The fear is superficial in the emotions, but the trust runs deep in the spirit.
Let’s use another analogy: a deep river flows along its channels to the sea.. Sometimes, a wind may blow strongly along the surface, stirring up waves that go in the contrary direction, but neither the wind nor those waves can deflect the direction of the river as it coninues to flow in its channel to the sea, unperturbed by the wind and waves on its surface.
A great New Testament example is Paul.
2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
Most of Paul’s influential friends had left him or turned hostile. Only Luke was still faithful to him. Demas, one of his traveling companions had abandoned Paul and turned to the world. Paul was infirm and aged, manacled, a prisoner in an unjust trial, awaiting executino in a Roman jail.
Notice his serene unshaken confidence: “I am not ashamed,” “I know,” “I believed,” “am persuaded”.
Notice that he looks forward to “that day” when the righteous Judge will award him the crown of righeousness. (2 Timothy 4:8).
Whence comes this unshaken trust? What’s Paul’s secret? “I have committed unto Him.”
To change the English word without changing the meaning. He trusts because he entrusted!
Years ago, Paul had entrusted himself to Christ irrevocably. Subsequently, he experienced all kinds of trials and sufferings, but these only brought forth a deepening trust that came to full fruition, its full bright radiance, in the dismal setting of a Roman dungeon.
Although our lives can have tribulation as Paul had, trustfulness is what God expects of us in all situations. Sometimes God teaches us a lesson of trust through the lips and behavior of a child:
Luke 18:15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.
16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
Here’s another parable of trustfulness, based this time on a true incident in the life of a preacher who was undertaking a project for God that he felt he didn’t have adequate faith for.
And then, God taught him a lesson in trustfulness through his 15-year-old xon.
That day he was on his way to South Texas to lead a revival meeting. While preparing to leave, his 15-year-old son said, “Daddy, when you’re in South Texas, I believe God wants you to bring me back a parrot.” Chuckling at him, I replied, “Son, parrots cost $1,500. Why don’t you go ask the Lord if He really wants you to have a parrot? If He does, He’ll get one for you.” The lad darted out of the room. About 10 minutes later, he returned and flatly declared, “Daddy, I asked the Lord about my parrot, and He said He wants me to have one.”
The preacher could not believe it. What could he say? He left, wondering if he had somehow taught his son to manipulate what he was hearing from God.
When I arrived in South Texas, he told the couple he was staying with about his conversation with his son. The man andthe preacher laughed it off. But the wife had a different reaction: “Parrots fly over the border from Mexico through here all the time.” The preacher looked at her and wondered what that had to do with anything. They could never catch a wild parrot.
Att 5:00 next morning the preacher got up for his quiet time. In the middle of his devotions, hr heard something outside. Looking out the window, hr saw that the woman had set up a cage in a nearby tree and was down on her knees praying. He wondered if he had somehow led this woman into total delusion. Did she expect a wild parrot to just walk into the cage?
I returned to my quiet time, then went on with the meetings of the day.
The following morning he got up for his quiet time again. This time he was in deep prayer
Again, he heard something outside. Opening the window, he saw this woman shutting the door of the cage.
Inexplicably, a large, beautiful parrot had flown into the yard and walked into the waiting cage all on its own! I looked up at the Lord and said, “Lord, I am in bad trouble for my lack of faith.” And it just felt like He agreed with me. That day the Lord began to speak into my heart and say, “Your borders are too narrow. But I can cross your borders, I can bring the supply that’s needed. If you will have faith as a child, I will release that which you need in this hour.”
Today that parrot sits in the preacher’s house. He says he can’t look at it without being reminded of God’s supply in the face of childlike faith.
End of parable. I have left out personal details about the preacher and his specific project, because I didn’t want to distract you from the core of the real-life parable. When we have the trustfulness of a child, it delights the Father’s heart, and He responds in ways we cannot imagine.
I have three concerns with sharing this story. The preacher is a well known figure who teaches dominionism. And it is a fallacy to base one’s faith on a testimony however gripping (and this one is actually somewhat trivial), rather than base it on the Word of God. The third concern is that more details would have left the reader that God heard the lad’s prayer because he was the preacher’s son, and had learned from him how to listen to God, rather than the fact that he trusted God Himself.