We often see trust as a passive state. So, when we read the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 6 about how we are not to worry or waste our lives pursuing things like pagans do, we mistakenly think this means we are to simply sit and wait, while God brings to us all that we need in our lives.
This is one of those moments where listening to Jesus through the prism of His own life would expand greatly our understanding of this passage. For Jesus, His trust in the Father was His life’s work.
• Because Jesus trusted the Father completely, He relentlessly submitted Himself to His identity in God and refused to let anyone else name Him. For instance, whenever the crowds tried to anoint Him king, He would simply slip away from them.
• Second, His trust in God allowed Him to singularly focus on the mission God has given to Him. Though some would try to lure Him away – the temptation in the wilderness or Peter’s refusal to understand the Messiah must suffer and die—Jesus refused to alter the course of His obedience.
• And third, because Jesus’ trust was so complete, He experienced moments of affirmation along the way such as the blessing at His baptism and the Mount of Transfiguration. Thus, reminded in small ways of God’s faithfulness, Jesus was confident of His Father’s love in the agonizing torture of the cross.
Far from being passive, trust is the active and constant process of aligning our lives with Jesus. The more we focus our lives, the more we are affirmed in small ways and then learn to trust God in the big things.
Worry is the waste of energy in motion that doesn’t go anywhere or accomplish anything; trust is the use of energy to tighten the focus of our lives on Jesus. The more we see of Him, the more we know of Him, the less we worry.
Trust is the opposite of worry, but trust is far from passive. Trust is the permission given to Christ to remake us so that we, like Him, can face our future with the same confidence in the Father as He did.