Classically defined, faith includes both assent to some set of propositions and trust. While at times I have struggled with both aspects of faith, I think I have consistently struggled more with trust. But as I thought about it this morning, it seems that at the heart of distrust is pride or arrogance.
For example, when I don’t trust someone to do something I asked her to do, I stand around, looking over her shoulder, making sure she does it exactly the way I wanted her to do whatever the task is. In other words, I micromanage the situation not believing that she can accomplish the task just fine and not trusting that her way to accomplish this task might not only be just as good as mine, but better.
I have a friend who is generally convinced that if she is not involved in some project, be that coaching her kid’s sports team, sitting on some committee or other, or any number of other activities that touch her world, the task will be done poorly (‘poorly’ = ‘not the way she would do it’). And she wonders why she is so busy.
I think that lack of trust in God runs pretty much the same way. Ultimately, we think we are better at running our lives than God is. After all, if we ran our lives we would have prevented the various hurtful and difficult situations we have faced. In short, we can’t trust that God’s plan is the best plan. We want things our way. Submission to God’s plan means letting go of our own.
But ultimately, that is what we must do. The more we choose our own plan and resist God’s plan, the further we will be from the true joy we experience in communion with God. To be like Christ, our ultimate good, includes not only sharing in his glory, but sharing in his suffering, as Paul makes clear (e.g., Phil. 3:10; Rom. 8:17). The more we insist on our own way, the less like Christ we will be.