Facing the Fear of Trust

Light hand relaxes… it knows where to place its tight hand – on God.

Human relationships rise or fall upon the currency of trust. Yet for so many, trust does not come easily. It’s difficult because it requires exposure; and few things are more potentially devastating than an exposed heart. Some people never move past such loss and most only do so with great emotional and mental effort. But if we’re willing, God can help us learn to trust again.

God always intended that his love should serve as the foundation upon which all our relationships stand. I realize that this may seem like a hyper-spiritual approach to relationships but I assure you, it isn’t. Rather, it’s making our faith practical by refusing to see our relationship with God as separate from our human relationships. But for this to occur we must remember our theme of surrender and, specifically, its impact on our relationships.

Relying on God’s Faithfulness

The more we surrender to God the more opportunities we give him to prove his faithfulness in all parts of our life. Though we confess his faithfulness, this belief will largely remain hypothetical until we intentionally choose to rely on him in ways we’ve tended to avoid. This is why we often try to “fix” our relational problems before actually giving God the space to transform them first. However, when we step out like this, God regularly proves his faithfulness. And when he does, we’ll gain a new capacity for the courage to trust him with our fears, dreams, and loves in ways we’ve never imagined.

Relational Implications

As we learn to rely on God’s faithfulness, the fears that used to paralyze us socially will eventually fall away and trust will no longer seem as intimidating as before. We’ll finally be able to trust without fear of unreturned trust. We’ll begin to release others from the implicit and explicit expectations we’ve placed on them to make us feel safe, secure, and significant. Even though, from time to time, we will still struggle with fears and insecurities, we can draw new strength and hope from the awareness of God’s loving faithfulness having already taken root in our heart.

I admit that the journey of learning to trust sometimes feels like one step forward and two steps back. But if we persevere we will nurture healthier relationships based on freedom rather than compulsion and courage instead of fear. Yes, we’ll learn the grip of light hand that knows how to relax, for it understands where to place its tight hand—always on God. Next week we’ll talk about how our temptation to control others will be one of the greatest challenges to trusting God with our relationships.

What Do You Think?

What would it look like for you to begin trusting God in ways you’ve learned to avoid? How might this choice impact your life?

♦   To see the poem this post is based on, click here.

Author: David Trementozzi

David Trementozzi is married to his wife, Emily and they have three children—Judah, Kaleb, and Halle. David likes to write on topics related to Christian faith and their contemporary relevance. He has a B.A. in Psychology (Messiah College), Masters of Divinity, and Ph.D in Theology (Regent University). David is currently a professor of Theology at Continental Theological Seminary in Brussels, Belgium. To learn more about David, go to the About David page above.