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Trust and Doubt

As I think about what to write for my next blog entry for ‘The Loft’ on the subject of ‘Trust’, I have to grab my NIV Study Bible and flip to the concordance at the back. I quickly realise that this is quite an overwhelming way to start thinking about trust! The concordance incorporates other words for trust including: entrust, entrusted, trusted, trustfully, trusting, trusts, trustworthy. This idea of trust is mentioned roughly 167 times in the bible (this is my possibly inaccurate count, so apologies if I have got the exact number wrong!), so I am guessing it is worth spending some time thinking about it!

I recently got out Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods book out of the library, and I tried the ‘character quality method’ of studying a bit in the bible. I chose to study humility and one of the steps in studying a character quality in the bible is to look it up in the dictionary, write its definition down and look for its opposite or antonym. For example, the definition of humble in the Oxford English Dictionary means “having or showing a modest estimate of one’s own importance; of low rank…” and its opposite is proud, arrogant, superior, self-important etc. When looking at the word trust, the dictionary states that it is the “firm belief in the reliability of truth or strength etc. of a person or thing; confident expectation; …have or place trust in; entrust; hope earnestly.” The antonym of trust is ‘doubt’.

Doubt can be defined as a “feeling of uncertainty or disbelief; being undecided”. As I think about trust, I must also think about doubt, as this gives a clearer understanding of exactly what it means to trust and exactly what it means when we do not trust in someone or something. When thinking about trust, I am reminded of what is printed on American money: ‘In God We Trust’. When thinking about doubt, I am reminded of the book by John Humphrys ‘In God We Doubt: Confessions of a Failed Atheist’.

We have a choice to make. Do we trust in God? Or do we doubt Him?

One of the most well known proverbs is Proverbs 3 verse 5-6 (ESV):

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

We are to trust in God with all of our hearts and to not rely and trust in our own understanding. Ask God to help you in this because, in the world we live in, we want to trust ourselves and we are encouraged to reject God. Accept His love and ask Him to show you how to trust Him and how to not lean on our your knowledge and understanding. In everything we do, we should acknowledge (“admit the truth of; confirm receipt of”) God and when we do, we are in a place where God can work! In my opinion, it is easier and more helpful to work with someone when they trust you, rather than doubt you, right? 🙂

But what if we doubt Him?

In James 1:6 it says:

“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.”

This idea of being blown by the wind like a wave is unsettling, especially if you get travel sickness like me… It is unstable. It is unbalanced.

When we trust in God we are on solid ground (Psalm 40:2). We may make mistakes, stumble, and sin, but when we put our trust in Jesus Christ, we are trusting in the way everlasting, from now until forever.

“The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
    when he delights in his way;
24 though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
    for the Lord upholds his hand.” (Psalm 37: 23-24) 

11 thoughts on “Trust and Doubt”

  1. Dear Ruth, YES, He does uphold our hand, I love it! Though we may struggle with doubt and fear, He is still going to carry us through. Nice meeting you at The Loft!

  2. Doubt like the waves. Interesting. I will never forget the day I learned the waves could go only so far, but no further. Is doubt disobedience? Trust IS obedience. You’re making me think! Thank you. Oh! the video isn’t working. I don’t know why.

    1. That is a could point – I am not sure I would use the word disobedience. I think of Thomas doubting Jesus, and Jesus tells him to stop doubting and believe. And that those that have not seen, but believe will be blessed. So there are blessings from trusting in the Lord from the faith we have. The Lord tells us to stop sinning and to stop doubting, and to seek Him and trust Him! He does this all because He loves us! 🙂 Will check the link on the video! 🙂

  3. Doubt and sin can’t go hand in hand, can they? By doubting, we essentially make God (in our heart and mind) less than who and what he really is. But in trust, we lift him up as omnipotent, almighty God. And only such a God can carry us safely over the waves of doubt and the buffeting winds of fear. Thanks for sharing that insight, and I’m so glad to have met you at The Loft!

    1. That is a good point – I guess doubt can lead to sin perhaps? But not always? It is one to think about. The Lord did tell Thomas to stop doubting, and the woman caught in adultery to turn away from her sin… Hmmm… That is a good question though! It is lovely to have met you at The Loft too Sheila! 🙂

  4. Our world does encourage us to doubt, especially to doubt God. It is the age old problem. Satan caused Eve to doubt the goodness of God; to not trust God’s heart for her. He continues to lead us to doubt our Father even today. But when we trust in God, we are on solid ground. That is a very good word. Thank you, Ruth, for joining us at The Loft.

    1. Thank you Leah! 🙂 It is definitely the age old problem. Thank goodness we have an everlasting Creator and Saviour 🙂 Blessings to you Leah 🙂

  5. I loved this: ” in the world we live in, we want to trust ourselves and we are encouraged to reject God.” That is so true. What a great reminder, and I love the song that you posted along with this.

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