Faith As Trust
By Derek Prince
[Editor’s Note: In the original article, the author notes that the fruit of faith may be viewed from two aspects that correspond to two different but related uses of the Greek word “pistis” – trust and trustworthiness. The following excerpt focuses on the first of these.]
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law” (Gal. 5:22-23).
The first aspect of faith as a fruit is trust. The Jerusalem Bible translates pistis as “trustfulness.” Many times over, Jesus emphasized that one of the requirements for all who would enter the kingdom of God is to become as little children. (See Matthew 18:1-4; 19:13-14; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15-17.) There is probably no quality more distinctively characteristic of childhood than trustfulness. And yet, paradoxically, it is a quality that is seen at its perfection in the most mature men of God – men such as Abraham, Moses, David, and Paul. We may conclude, therefore, that the degree to which we cultivate trustfulness is a good measure of our spiritual maturity.
More fully, the fruit of faith – in this aspect of trustfulness – may be defined as a quiet, steady, unwavering trust in the goodness, wisdom, and faithfulness of God. No matter what trials or seeming disasters may be encountered, the person who has cultivated this form of fruit remains calm and restful in the midst of them all. He has an unshakable confidence that God is still in complete control of every situation and that, in and through all circumstances, God is working out His own purpose of blessing for each one of His children.
The outward expression of this kind of trust is stability. This is beautifully pictured by David in Psalm 125:1, “Those who trust in the Lord are as Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.” All earth’s mountains may tremble and shake and even be totally removed – except for one. Zion can never be moved. God has chosen it for His own dwelling place, and it alone will abide forever.
So it is with the believer who has learned to trust. Others all around him may give way to panic and confusion, but he remains calm and secure. “His foundation is in the holy mountains” (Psa. 87:1).
In Psalm 37:5, David said, “Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” More literally, the verse says, “And He is doing it.” Two things are here required of us. The first is an act, “commit.” The second is an attitude, “trust.” The act of commitment leads to the attitude of trust. So long as we continue in an attitude of trust, David assures us, God “is doing it.”
Committing a matter to the Lord is like taking cash to the bank and depositing it into our account. Once we have received the teller’s receipt for our deposit, we no longer need to be concerned about the safety of our money. It is now the bank’s responsibility. It is ironic that people who have no difficulty in trusting a bank to take care of their money find it much harder to trust God concerning some vital personal matter.
The example of the bank deposit illustrates an important factor in making a successful commitment. When we walk out of the bank, we carry an official receipt, indicating the date, the place, and the amount of our deposit. There are no uncertainties. We need to be equally specific concerning those things committed to God. We need to know, without a shadow of doubt, both what we have committed and when and where the commitment was made. We also need the Holy Spirit’s official “receipt” acknowledging that God has accepted our commitment.
Trust Must Be Cultivated
Trust is like all forms of fruit: it needs to be cultivated and it passes through various stages of development before it reaches full maturity. The words of David in Psalm 62 well illustrate the development of trust: “[God] only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken” (v. 2, NASB). But after making exactly the same declaration of trust in God, he says, “I shall not be shaken” (v. 6). Between verse two and verse six, David progressed from not being “greatly shaken” to not being shaken at all.
We need to be as honest about ourselves as David was. Before our trust has come to maturity, the best that we can say is, “I shall not be greatly shaken!” At this stage, troubles and opposition will shake us, but they will not overthrow us. However, if we continue to cultivate our trust, we will come to the stage where we can say, “I shall not be shaken” – period! Nothing will be able even to shake us – much less overthrow us.
Trust of this kind is in the realm of the spirit rather than the emotions. We may turn once more to the personal testimony of David for an illustration. He says to the Lord, “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in Thee” (Psa. 56:3). Here David recognized two conflicting influences at work in himself simultaneously: trust and fear. Fear is superficial, in the emotions; trust is deeper down, in the spirit.
Mature trust is like a deep, strong river, making its irresistible way to the sea. At times, the winds of fear or doubt may blow contrary to the river’s course and whip up foaming waves on its surface. But these winds and waves cannot change or hinder the deep, continuing flow of the waters below the surface as they follow the path marked out for them by the river’s bed to their predetermined end in the sea.
Trust in its full maturity is beautifully exemplified by the words of Paul in Second Timothy 1:12 – “For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.”
– Taken from the DPM Archive. Used by permission.