February 14: “Believe, Faith, and Trust”

Today’s Bible Reading:

Exodus 37:1-38:31
Matthew 28:1-20
Psalm 34:11-22
Proverbs 9:9-10 

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Psalm 34:15 (NLT): “The eyes of the LORD watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

In a sermon I preached a few weeks ago, I pointed out the difference between belief, faith, and trust. All three words are used in our English Bibles, but only one of them adequately conveys the original authors’ true intent.

“Believe,” in contemporary English, focuses on knowing and accepting certain truth claims. It focuses on our minds.

“Faith,” in contemporary English, focuses on the will. In fact, it assumes effort on our part. “You just gotta have enough faith.”

“Trust,” in contemporary English, focuses on the mind AND heart. It believes certain things to be true (factual) and demonstrates it by resting in those facts. Just about every time you see the words “believe” or “faith” in the Bible, the word “trust” could be inserted to get at the true meaning that the biblical author intended to convey.

Using the currently understood English definitions, we can “believe” what the Bible says (accept it as true in our minds), but that isn’t good enough. We can have “faith” in what the Bible says (exert our will to believe it), but that isn’t good enough. We must “trust” in what the Bible says. We must embrace the truth so deeply that we rest upon it.

“Belief” and “faith” require effort. But when we “trust,” we are merely resting on what the Bible says.

So, in our reading this morning, we came across a passage that clearly stated that God watches over, and cares for, those who obey Him. When they call for help, He listens to their every word.

Psalm 34:15 (NLT): “The eyes of the LORD watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help.”

Do you “believe” that the claim of Psalm 34:15 is true? I assume you do. Yet, in your belief that it is true, you may still not find the comfort you so desperately need in times of trouble.

Do you have “faith” that the claim is true? I assume you do. But you may feel like your faith isn’t strong enough. You might feel like your faith is weak, and you cannot find the comfort that Psalm 34:15 offers.

So, I’ll ask this last question: Do you “trust” in the claim of Psalm 34:15? That’s a different question, isn’t it? It assumes you believe the truth claim, but it doesn’t call you to exert effort. It merely calls upon you to rest in what you believe is true.

So, how do we trust? How do we get to a point where we rest in the Bible’s truth claims?

  1. Don’t just read – meditate. Reflect on God’s Word throughout the day. Write a verse or two down, memorize it, and reflect deeply upon it.
  2. As you meditate on that verse(s), appropriate it (them). Make it yours. Claim it. Close your eyes and use your God-given imagination to picture God fulfilling His promise in your life. God has meant every promise in His Word.
  3. Document in a journal the things God does that demonstrates that He is fulfilling His promises. Even document when it seems that He didn’t fulfill His promise. In so doing, you will learn how God works in your life. As you record how God works in your life, it will make trusting (resting) in Him and His Word easier.

Don’t just believe what the Bible says. Don’t merely strive to have the faith to accept its truth claims. Strive to simply trust every word God has said. Only as you and I trust can we truly benefit from the unspeakable wealth of Scripture.

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Posted by

I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s