For much of my life I’ve pictured faith as closing my eyes, crossing my fingers, furrowing my brow and thinking really hard about whatever it was I needed to believe. Like an elementary-aged kid who got in trouble for shooting spit wads and is spending recess at the board writing lines, faith was repeating the same phrase over and over again until I convinced myself it was real.

Biblical faith, however, is much more simple–it’s trust. Romans 4:5, “But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness.” Faith equals trust.

What is trust? It’s a historically grounded dependence on someone who has been faithful. Or oppositely, its a risky moment when you put your well being in the hands of someone or something with which you don’t yet have a history. Either way it’s counter-cultural.

The rhythm of the world says you and I need to figure things out on our own. Faith requires depending on someone else. There’s no picking ourselves up by our bootstraps–faith is trusting someone else to pick us up. Faith is waiting on God and trusting in his timing. Faith is trusting in the wisdom God gives, and moving forward knowing that God will intervene if He doesn’t want you or I to do this or that. Faith is trusting that God knows best.

So the most important question you can ask at the beginning of the new year is this: can you trust God this year? Do you believe he has you and your family’s best interests in mind? Can he work even this year’s bad situations out for your good? Does he walk with you? Does he direct your steps? Does he provide for all your needs?

Do you trust him?

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