It Doesn’t Work Without TRUST
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God;
believe also in me.” John 14.1
Not long ago, I was reminded about how much children must trust their parents. My son, Eli, is just shy of nine months old. He’s crawling, babbling, and feeding himself. Just about every day he does something new or gets delighted because he’s seen something from a new angle. In this moment (while I write), he’s playing with a new $5 toy we picked up in a yard sale. But, despite all that growth, his life depends upon me and his mother. He has to trust that each morning, we’ll get him out of his crib. He has to trust that we’ll give him his next meal or that we’ll change his diaper. He trusts that we’re not going to leave him behind.
In the upper room, Jesus’ disciples probably felt like their parent was leaving them. At the end of John 13, Jesus said “Where I am going you cannot follow me” (v. 36). But, they didn’t understand what he meant and they were afraid. So, Peter responded, “Lord, why can I not follow you now?” (v. 37). A few verses later, Thomas said, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” (14:5). Their hearts were troubled.
By this point, Jesus had told his disciples on several occasions that he was going to the cross (Matt 16:21; Mark 8:31; Luke 9:22), but they didn’t understand. Now that it was happening, Jesus instead of explaining things again, asks them to TRUST him. He asks them to believe in HIM. When they trust him––IF they trust him––they’ll be comforted in their trouble. That illustrates a basic principle of spiritual life: without trust, there will be much trouble of heart. We can also flip that principle: if we are troubled in heart, we should first consider whether we are trusting the Lord.
That same principle is true in the church today. Where there is much trouble, there is little trust. The church community is founded upon trust. Trust, after all, is part of love. When Jesus asked the disciples to TRUST him, that came on the heels of commanding them to love each other (see John. 13:3–35).
When Jesus said, “Believe in God; believe also in me”, he was telling his disciples the remedy for their troubles. With trust came comfort. But, Jesus was also giving a model for how church relationships work. Every pastor, every elder can look to a fellow church member and say, “Believe God, believe also in me.” When a church trusts one another, that is a church with fewer troubles. When a church does not trust one another, that is a church of many troubles.
Imagine how disastrous it would be if my son stopped trusting his parents. Imagine if his little heart was troubled by the food we offered him or the schedule we set? If he didn’t trust us to receive food and eat or adopt our schedule and sleep, his little life would become a misery. That’s because a family can’t work without trust…. Neither can a church.
Trust and love go together. A community that does not trust has little love. And, Jesus taught us that love is evidence that we are his disciples.
Dear Christian, do you love your church? Do you TRUST your church? It doesn’t work without trust, but when you believe in God and believe in Christ and church he established, then your heart can be comforted from much trouble.