Faith and trust are often used interchangeably – meaning we treat faith and trust to mean the same thing. However, I tell you that there is a difference between both faith and trust and we as believers ought to know that. Scripture gives us a definition of faith and tells us that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb. 11:1).
The dictionary defines trust as the assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. So, when you say that you trust something or someone, you’re being reliant – dependent – on them (or it) with an assured reliance. Another definition for trust is one in which confidence is placed. Again, we see that there is a difference between having faith and trusting in something.
There are many who will say that they believe in God – they have professed their faith. But my concept faith, as I will explain here in my message today, is that faith is like a bubble filled with smaller bubbles of trust. Sadly, there are many people who profess faith in God, but do not have confidence in Him because their faith is not filled with trust.
The Centurion’s Trust
I want to take a look at a faith that was filled with confidence in my sermon today – I really want to focus on both trust and faith. We are going to take a look at scripture that is recorded in Luke 7:1-10. This scripture focuses on an event that Luke recorded involving Jesus, a Roman centurion, and the centurion’s servant.
The centurion – a Gentile by the way – was a man who had a love for the Jews and I believe he also had a love for God as well. We are told that this centurion both loved the Jews and even built a synagogue for them in Capernaum where he was stationed (Luke 7:5). The Romans typically get a bad stigma for how terrible and cruel they were as a people, but there was something different about the heart of this centurion.
His servant had apparently gotten real sick and was even near death (Luke 7:2). Personally, I believe that the centurion had done everything he possibly could to heal the servant, but nothing he did was helping. We are told that he heard about Jesus – I believe this means he had been told of all the things that Jesus had done and was still doing in the land. So, he sent the elder of the Jews to Jesus so that Jesus could heal the servant (Luke 7:3).
Sometimes, we end up in the same predicament as this centurion. We end up in a hold and cannot get out of the hold for nothing! We try everything that is humanly possible to get out of the whole but for whatever reason, we just can’t get out. We end exhausting ourselves – I believe the centurion was in a situation where he had exhausted his resources; things were out of his control (out of his hands).
I tell you that just because things are out of our control that does not mean that things are out of God’s control. Just because we exhaust our resources, that does not mean God’s resources has been exhausted – God’s resources our limitless! The question is whether or not you trust the control that the Lord has. This centurion was in a position to where he would have to decide whether or not he truly trusted in Jesus’ authority.
A show of trust
So Jesus began to follow the elders to the centurion’s home. When they were not far from the centurion’s house, we are told that Jesus was met by the centurion’s friends (Luke 7:6). These friends deliver a message to Jesus on behalf of the centurion. Now, it is in the centurion’s words where we see the sort of trust we ought to have today in what God will do for us.
Let us note the centurion’s humility and recognition of who Jesus was. He says that he is not worthy of Jesus entering into his home. He even states that he was not worthy to come to Jesus and stand before him! To me, this is a sign that he recognizes Jesus’ power and authority over all things, especially those things beyond His control. I believe the centurion recognized Jesus’ divinity and power over this world!
He then says, “Say the word, and my servant will be healed.” To me, this is a testament of the man’s trust in Jesus’ power over all things. You see, we can easily say we believe in what Jesus can do, but this centurion goes a step further into the world of trusting in what Jesus will do.
Let’s note that the centurion does not need to see Jesus lay His hands on the servant! For him, Jesus simply saying the word was enough for him to know it would be done. I tell you, that’s some sort of confidence to have in a man he had never seen do anything for him. We do not give our trust away so easily – our trust is something that someone has to earn over time!
Fully confident in His power
This centurion believed in the authority and power that Jesus had and he explains his trust in Jesus in the next verse. He says (Luke 7:8), “I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
In so many words, He is saying I am confident that you will do what you said you can do because you have the authority! To this, Jesus marveled at the centurion’s faith. What was so special about this man’s faith? I tell you that his faith was something to marvel at because it was filled with complete trust in what Jesus would do. You see, we all believe in what Jesus can do, but do we trust in what He will do – these are two different things.
The Difference Between Faith and Trust
Our trust, as I just said, is not something we quickly give away. No, trust is something that has to be earned, and it often has to be earned over time. Are we going to trust God the way the centurion did right away? Probably not. I was baptized when I was 8 years but I did not begin to trust God until I was in my early 20s – right after college. It takes time for some of us to get to such a place.
The thing is, God is willing to work for our trust! Our trust in the Lord is built up over time as He works in our life and brings us through the trials and tribulations that we face. James wrote that we should rejoice in our trials and tribulations because they grow our patience – our patience is that trust. In our life, we learn how to believe in the Lord but then God teaches us how to trust in Him – be totally reliant on Him.
Trusting God is an intimate decision
Trust is also something I have learned to be a very intimate decision. I say that it is an intimate decision because nobody can make the decision to trust God for you. It is your decision when you are ready to be totally reliant on the Lord and lean on His understanding, His strength, and His power (Prov. 3:5).
Intimate is also a word I would use to describe how personal and close this means our relationship is with God when we trust in Him. Your relationship is an intimate one because it is exclusive between you two – nobody else has a part in your relationship. This is the place where God will build up and earn your trust in what He will do for you.
Personal trust in God
We trust God because of what we have seen Him do for us, and I believe that we all probably trust Him for different reasons. The reason why I believe this to be the case is because we all go through different things in our life. Some of us, who believe in God, have had to go through surgical procedures. We were probably fearful of doing such at first, but at some point we put all of our trust in the Lord and He brought us through.
Have you ever watched one of those action movies where a character ends up holding out their hand and asking another character, “Do you trust me?” This usually happens in a very dangerous situation when one character has to make a “leap of faith” and the other character has to catch them or carry them through a dangerous situation. This is how I often picture us in our relationship with the Lord – we believe in Him but sometimes we don’t want to make the jump and grab hold of His hand because we are afraid to jump.
In my intimate relationship with God, I have tried the Lord and He has been good to me repeatedly (Ps. 34:8). I can personally vouch for my trust in the Lord! You see, I was once in the valley of the shadow of death after the passing of my dad in 2011. I had no idea how I or my family would come out, yet we are still standing here in 2020. God has built up my trust in Him and through my faith in Him. I have also learned to trust in Him and be confident that God will do what He says He can do.
We are living in a season of crisis, but I can also tell you that this is a season in which God is busy! I can tell you that God is going to give to us a wonderful blessing. Most importantly, I can tell you that I trust that God is going to give us a wonderful blessing! I am confident in my God and know that He is able to do whatever He says He will do.
Don’t Be Afraid to trust in God
To trust in God means we must “let go of the wheel” (control) and let God do the driving for us. Sadly, we struggle to let go because this takes things out of our control and we hate when we don’t have control. When we go for a drive, do we have our hands on the wheels of all the other cars that are on the road? No, we have faith that the other drivers know how to drive and we put our trust in their hands that they won’t do anything foolish behind the wheel.
Shouldn’t we have this same sort of trust in the One who made us? Even though we may not see what God is doing right now in our world, I tell you that it is to our benefit and that a blessing is coming over the horizon. Like David, when we look to the horizon, we should know that our help is coming from the Lord and we should be confident in Him – trust His hands at the wheel of your life.