Funnily enough, this idea first came to me through an Instagram reel a while back, and since then, it has changed my viewpoint. Hopefully, me sharing it can offer you a new perspective that might be exactly what you need.
So, as you can see from the title of this post, you can guess what my perspective has changed about. What exactly is the difference between trusting and having faith? If you have faith in someone, does that mean you trust them? And if you trust them, is that synonymous with having faith in them?
I didn’t even realise I didn’t know the difference between the two until I came across the post. So let’s get right in.
What is Faith?
Before evaluating and assessing whether two things are the same, you must first look at them individually. So, let’s start with faith. What is it?
Merriam-Webster defines it, in our context, as: “belief and trust in and loyalty to God” or, in another sense: “firm belief in something for which there is no proof.”
In both cases, it comes down to belief. And to believe means to accept something as true, genuine or real. So when we talk about faith, we’re talking about believing something as true without having any empirical evidence. To have faith means to check and deny what you see, hear, and touch to affirm something as true nonetheless.
Faith is merely mental or psychological. There is no physical manifestation of faith.
The closest the Bible comes to defining faith is in Hebrews 11:1 – “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
So, What is Trust?
Let’s move on to trust now.
Trust is both a verb and a noun. Similar to faith, the word has multiple definitions depending on the context, so we’ll only take those that apply to this context.
As the noun, Merriam-Webster says: “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something; one in which confidence is placed.”
The verb says: “to place confidence in: rely on” or “to commit or place in one’s care or keeping.”
From the Open Bible, Brad Archer says: “To trust in the Lord means more than believing in who he is and what he says; the word here for trust can also mean “to have confidence in.” Having confidence in something means having an assurance that leads to action. Trust in the Lord is a faith that lets us boldly serve.”
What's the Difference?
Did you spot the difference? One speaks about belief and hope, while the other discusses confidence and reliance. One is purely in the mind, and one is manifested in action.
Basically, trust is the implication of faith.
Here it is: “Trust is when you put weight on your faith.”
Let me give you a simple example. Would you say, “I have faith that the chair will hold my weight”, or “I trust that the chair will hold my weight?”
The first doesn’t sit well or feels awkward, and the other feels natural. See, we’re more inclined to say that we trust the chair because we will actually sit on the chair to test that belief.
When you have faith but not trust, you’re saying you have enough belief to affirm whatever it is as true but not enough belief to test it. As the idiom goes, you can’t put your money where your mouth is.
When you have a secret you want to keep with someone, you may hope and believe that they will keep it. But you’ll only trust them when you actually tell them. Then you’re actually relying on them. In doing so, you relinquish whatever control you had in that secret being kept a secret, and you give the other person the capacity to share it.
In Proverbs 3:5 it says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” It’s not a coincidence that it refers to the word lean, which means to put weight on. The scripture says, don’t depend on your capacity to understand or comprehend. Don’t put your comprehension to the test. Instead, trust in Him. Instead, shift your weight and your confidence in Him.
What you have to imagine is leaning on an old fence. A fence that anyone could look at and know that it is not sturdy. A fence that no one would ever think could hold anything. Would you put all your weight on that fence when you’re tired? Probably not. Well, that fence is our understanding. But in Proverbs, we’re told, “Don’t lean on your unstable fence. God can provide you with a brick wall with foundations as deep as the earth and as strong as mountains.
What does that mean for us as Christians?
As followers of Christ, I challenge us to question ourselves, especially the next time we say we trust God. Honestly, I don’t think half the time we’re being honest. How can we be if we’re still unwilling or scared of actually putting the weight of all circumstances and our problems in His hands?
If you’re going to say you give something to God, then you have to give it to God. I cannot give you a gift and still hold onto it. I wouldn’t be right to trust you with a secret and then keep checking up on you every 10 minutes, asking if you’ve told anyone. Either I trust you to keep it, or I don’t. So why do the same with God? Why say you trust God when you haven’t let it go. Why tell Him you want His will to be done but still want your own input?
It’s as if we go to a restaurant to eat a meal. Rather than sitting at the table patiently, we walk into the kitchen, micro-managing the chef to see what he’s doing and how. We’d even dare to tell them what to do or even the last of that, adding our own seasoning.
If you’re struggling to trust, that is okay. I struggle to trust, too, sometimes. We all do at one point or another. What I tried to do is I try to communicate that distrust to God and remind myself who He is. I will tell myself, but He is the I am, the Creator of the universe. I remind myself that there is nothing He can’t do, and He has plans for me. So the corollary of me believing that is that I must trust Him. I can’t trust myself because I am not any of those things. If He really is omnipotent, why wouldn’t I?
Either you believe He is, or you don’t. Don’t rely on what you want to believe. Use your actions and your dependence as the ultimate indicator.
What do you think? If you want another perspective on this topic, you can checkout this post.
Let me know your ideas in the comments below…