I have been recently led, through the faithful preaching of a friend and brother in the Lord, to ponder and measure the depth of my love-for and trust-in Jesus and how I may practically increase my love of Him so that His is the superlative love in my heart.
This has raised a question in my mind: What is the relation between trusting in Christ and loving Him, and what implication does this have on a practical level?
Moreover, is the imperative to trust in Jesus supposed to be a separate exercise of will from loving Him, almost like unto a blind trust without empirically testing and tasting that He is good and trustworthy?
Are these ideas of love and trust related?
Can a believer in Jesus, love Him by trusting Him more, or trust him by loving Him more?
Throughout scripture the ideas of love and trust are intermingled, not as being the same idea, but rather where one is the other shall be found also.
The objects of one’s love are usually the objects that you also place your greatest trust in.
The greater the affection for an object, the more you will trust in that object to effect for you the matter for which you place your trust in it.
I.e. If I love money, it is because I trust in it to yield me all that it promises to (although the promise may be empty) – security, comfort etc.
The psalter overflows with illustrations and expressions of trusting God. One such example is Psalm 4
Psa 4:7 You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.
Psa 4:8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
In verse 7, David explains that the source of His joy and delight is God; in the very next verse he exemplifies the trust produced by the delight which he places in God. He trusts in God with a fierce, compelling trust;
Moreover, David loves the object of his trust; he has a much greater affection for the joy of knowing and walking intimately with God Most-High than for the contextual spoils of a rich harvest and the accompanying wealth and security it would bring.
The application of this concept is life-altering!
If we trust in God and delight in God through Jesus Christ, based upon His sacrifice for us,we will trust that what He says concerning us and what He commands us to do is significantly better than our understanding of it regardless of whether we approve or disapprove of it.
This applies well to most areas of life, but a good personal and practical example is being productive at work.
I’m easily able to meet all my deadlines at work and still find time for non-work-related activities, but if I trust what God says about working (i.e. it is good, necessary and must be done with diligence) and believe that He is my reward (He is my reward, not as a result of working, but by grace) even if I have no other reward besides wages (which in and of itself is also grace anyway) then I will through delighting and trusting in Him pursue that obedience in the wake of trusting Him.
Doubtless, this will have more practical influences in our lives, as the Spirit of Christ convicts these truths to our hearts!