Commitment is good. But, for commitment to survive and thrive, it must quickly mature into trust.

Any major commitment—especially one with eternal implications—contains a kernel of risk. It requires promises from us in the present that have consequences for an uncertain future. What if the situation changes? What if things get hard? What if this commitment requires me to do things I don’t want to do? What if I’m tired or hurt or discouraged?

There are times when commitments—boldly undertaken and promised—seem downright foolish.

  • “I said I would lead the people of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land, but …”
  • “I promised to follow you anywhere you led, but …”
  • “I know I vowed ‘til death do us part,’ but …”

What sustains commitment is a developing and maturing sense of trust … a confidence that the One to whom we have committed ourselves is trustworthy … an assurance that the principles to which we have committed ourselves are reliable and constant. We have to decide that God knows what he’s talking about, that he keeps his promises, and that his ways are best and true.

Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. (Ps 9:10)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. (Pro 3:5)

The litmus test of trust, of course, is obedience. It doesn’t take much trust to follow Jesus anywhere we want to go. But to submit to directions we don’t understand, to commandments we don’t agree with, to principles that are uncomfortable or inconvenient, to attitudes that don’t come naturally requires a level of FAITH beyond the safe and limited commitments of many Christians. Disobedience is—at its core—distrust of God. And where trust is absent, there can be no faith.

As we grow in trust and obedience, however, our faith also grows and becomes stronger. As we progressively experience God’s wisdom and care and faithfulness, our reliance on and confidence in him grows. In this way, we add more “rings” to our trunk of faith.

Because the North Central Church wants to foster a trusting faith, we will remind each other (through teaching and personal testimony) that God is trustworthy. We will support and encourage each other during seasons of doubt, promoting trust in God’s wisdom and obedience to God’s ways. And we will celebrate the growth of faith that results when we “trust and obey.”

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© 2012 by Tim Woodroof. Reproduction of this material requires permission from the author.