Trust is learned, not earned ∙
We give you only what you first gave us! – 1 Chronicles 29:14
1 Chronicles 29:14-16
14 But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us!
15 We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.
16 O LORD our God, even this material we have gathered to build a Temple to honor your holy name comes from you! It all belongs to you!
What is trust? Trust may be defined as the firm belief in the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing. Synonyms or near-equivalents of trust are confidence, assurance, faith, reliance, or freedom from suspicion.
How is trust developed? Many believe that trust must be earned. People often begin with the idea that I will trust you if . . .. Yet in the Scriptures, the Father chooses to trust us without consideration of our performance. He freely gives His trust without preconditions.
It seems unnatural and even dangerous for someone to trust another person without first “checking them out.” The Father creates and nurtures our trust in Him by allowing us to know about Him through His Word. He reveals His unfailing love, commitment, power, and strength. As we get to know Him, we can confidently trust Him. For children of the King, faith grows out of their trust in the Father’s character and integrity. It is the natural byproduct.
Near the end of David’s reign, he prepared the way for the nation of Israel to build the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. David himself was prohibited from building the Temple (1 Chronicles 22:8-10). That task would fall to his son, Solomon. Everything that was needed was gathered together in advance. This required the people of Israel to chip in and part with whatever was required. They gave and gave generously for its construction.
Why did they give freely and generously? They realized that all that they had, came from the Father. David said, “We give you only what you first gave us”! (1 Chronicles 29:14) David and the people were only returning to the Father what they had already received from Him.
Giving back what we have received provides a guideline for cultivating trust. As we are trusted, we are enabled to trust back.
The Father has a remarkable way of developing our trust in Him. He begins by first trusting us.
The Father entrusts us with abilities, talents, gifts, possessions, and for a few, wealth and power. And then He waits to see what we do with them. If we are trustworthy, we attempt to do what we believe is right with what He has given us. Now we may not always do what is right, but the important thing is that we want to do what is right. Our trustworthiness is demonstrated by our actions.
It is easy to trust someone who first trusted me. When we trust, we give. “We give nothing to God that He has not first given to us” (Stanley).
Eventually, we figure out how to become more trusting. We leave behind our immature, natural thinking in exchange for a better way. The reasoning is quite simple.
If the Father trusts me, then I can trust Him.
REFLECT & PRAY
Because the Father first trusted me, my ability to trust was awakened. Now I can fully trust Him.
Father, what a hard lesson to learn. Thank you for teaching me and showing me how to trust. How I long to trust You fully and completely.
Trust is learned, not earned. Upon reflection, David is reminded that everything good comes from the Father. He learns more about the Father’s nature and purpose. Several questions are asked and answered. What is my relationship with the Father? Who am I? Who are the people of Israel? The Father decided to love David and the nation of Israel. Nothing was done by the people to elicit the Father’s love. It was His sovereign choice.
7 The LORD did not set his heart on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations!
8 Rather, it was simply that the LORD loves you, and he was keeping the oath he had sworn to your ancestors.
David meditates upon Who the Father is, what He is like, and His trustworthiness
1 Chronicles 9:11-13
11 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O LORD, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things.
12 Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion, people are made great and given strength.
13 O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name!
If the first part of David’s prayer sounds familiar to many. It is part of the liturgy of many churches: “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory.”
David elevates his thoughts to the highest strata of theological grandeur. David is awestruck by a vision of the Father’s glory. David sees and acknowledges the Father’s unequivocal sovereignty, vast power, authority, and regal majesty. David’s acknowledgment is extraordinary. He exudes devotion, awe, and appreciation of the Father’s magnificence and splendor.
For David, the mere sound of the Father’s name was glorious. The Hebrew word translated glorious is tipharah. It connotes an intrinsic sense of beauty, being magnificent and splendid. It is frequently translated as beautiful, magnificent, or adornment.
There is something about the Father’s name that touches and resonates within David’s soul. His name is wonderful. Imagine the scene of David worshiping the Father in prayer. Can we see visualize David spontaneously weeping tears of joy?
How about your eyes?