If a stranger were to come up to you and ask, “do you trust me?” the answer, I hope, would be no. None of us trust a person we do not know; we’d be fools if we did.
We are asked to trust God, to have faith in God, to hope in God. Peace is found when we do. Unfortunately, for many of us, we are trying to put our trust in a stranger, because we do not really know God.
Part of this is inevitable. After all, God is inexplicable, uncontainable, indescribable, and even in Paul’s charge to the Ephesians to know every possible aspect of God, he calls the whole thing impossible. He prays that we “may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge.” To do the impossible–to know the unknowable God.
And yet, God does wish to be known. After all, this is salvation (John 17:3). It would be impossible for God to tell us everything about Himself (See John 21:25), but He can tell us the one thing that tells us everything else.
“God is love” (1 John 4:8). Simple, disappointing, even, if you were hoping for some new revelation about the God you’d really like to trust right about now. But this tells us everything.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). This means that dying for me–unasked, unknown, unable to repay–this is the pattern His love follows. This is the sales floor demonstration, what His love is like in everyday life.
That means that His love (unasked, unknown, unable to repay) prays for me prayers I have no words for, and secures for me answers better than the ones I ask for (Romans 8:26; Matthew 6:7-8). This means that my sin is forgiven before I recognize I’ve sinned or composed a prayer to repent or arranged my heart to be properly sorry (Romans 8:27; John 19:30). This means that He is orchestrating every event in my life to be totally good, before I can figure out what good is or how to ask for it (Romans 8:28).
A stranger has unknown intentions, unknown methods, unknown plans, and we cannot trust a stranger. That is why I think the most important pursuit I can ever undertake in my quest for faith is to know my God. I wish I could sum Him up in one blog post. But it’s kind of a lifelong thing. I do know this, though:
The Apostle Paul says that “to know the love of Christ” is to be “filled up to all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19). It leaves nothing out, it has nothing lacking, it does not leave you unsatisfied. Know this one thing, and you’ve got the fullness of God, every last drop, understood.
So do not trust a stranger. Trust God. Get to know Him. Start with the cross. It just gets better from there.