Today’s Score: Faith 1 Trust 4
A high wire acrobat had a line stretched across Niagara Falls and announced to those watching that he would push a wheel barrow while walking across on the wire. He looked at one observer and said, “Do you have faith that I can do this?” The man said, “I do.” Then the acrobat said to him, “Get in the wheelbarrow!” That my friends, would be trust.
With the men in the cold weather shelter, as they battle addictions, legal problems, failed relationships and self doubt, faith in anything has been hard to come by. “Nothing seems to work,” “my stuff gets stolen,” “I drink to soothe the pain.”
Our voluntary bible studies with the guys focus on: 1) what do you believe about God (faith) ? 2) how do you know its true (trust)? 3) what difference does it make in your life (obedience, actions)? George Barna, the Christian pollster says only about 15% of believers in the US can fully answer those questions.
Faith: Is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1 NIV)
Trust: a) assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something b : one in which confidence is placed
Faith often starts with a glimmer of strength like having 1 bar on your cell phone. At that level, trust & communication with God is a challenge or even non existent. Others have had 4 bars at one point in their life but for many reasons now hovers around 1 or 2.
Early in my faith journey, with the help of mature businessmen mentors, I was challenged to trust God like I had 3 or 4 bars while my faith was still down at 1. Their challenge: pray (ask for wisdom and some tangible results); read the book of John in the bible; study what others have written; and engage with believers who have 4 bars on their “phone.” Over 2 years my bars moved from 1 to 3 with 4 on the way. Results were not a straight line but I began to find answers to those 3 questions above.
Our job with the men is to get them to explore faith and trust. Example: Robert (not his real name) was in emotional and physical chaos. Talking to him was like drinking out of a firehose and with random thoughts. Lack of sleep & FT housing was a roadblock for getting back to his career. “Not sure I can trust God for housing, but I believe in God ” After some 1 to 1 time and discussions about faith & trust, I challenged him to take his trust in God to level 3 or 4. We prayed for housing and a job. I began to see some focus and action toward contacting housing providers.. As a former military guy he finally went to the VA. After some paperwork and running around, he ended up at a mission in Seattle (ours was in Bellevue) and shortly thereafter received word of an apartment in a great VA complex….all within a month’s time. The job is not here yet but it will be. 1 Bar Faith-4 Bars Trust.
The picture shows one of four men from the shelter who chose to put their faith and trust in Christ on a summer day. Faith was at 1 & 2 but trust was at 4. How many bars on your faith phone today? Did I forget to say, trusting at bar 4 requires some risk but II Timothy 1:7 NIV has the answer: “For the Spirit of God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind.”