Bible Reading Blog
“Trust Fall”Categories: Congregational Bible Reading
BIBLE READING: James 1
Four people stand with their hands clasped, carefully bracing themselves. A woman stands in front of them with her back turned, slowly leaning backwards. It is a trust fall exercise where she is supposed to fall backwards into their arms… but she is anxious about letting herself fall.
The trust fall is a common activity used in team building intended to build trust in others. But many people falter or are afraid to do it because there are factors outside of their control. That tends to be human nature—we fear the unknown. But what if you knew with certainty that everything would be fine? Those people would catch you and no factor could alter your choice to trust them. That would not only affect your attitude but your willingness and ultimately your choices.
The wise man tells us to “trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3.5). In many ways our faith is a trust fall as we lean into God. But sometimes falter and are afraid to do that. Why? The truth is, it has nothing to do with his inability and everything to do with our lack of trust. We allow external factors to loom large in our minds: the actions of others; our weaknesses and failures; our past choices and present circumstances; our fear. Like the spies who saw the giants in Canaan (Number 13), we see the challenges as not only relevant, but insurmountable. If we allow these things to dominate our thinking, what does it say about how we see God?
For this reason, James calls this way of thinking “double-minded” and “unstable” (James 1.8). For someone to profess God but continue in fear is negligent and insulting to the One who has proven sufficient in all circumstances. James compares it to waves of the sea, painting a chaotic existence that is irrational and dangerous. This is not God’s desire for us but occurs when we fail to trust him.
The things written in scripture give us ample reason to trust God’s power and promises (Romans 15.4). He is faithful and sovereign over history, even down into our very lives. But even more, his power is not only greater than our weakness but is even shown through them (2 Corinthians 12.9-10). He has told us not to worry (Matthew 6.34), and to ask him for wisdom and he will give it (James 1.5).
God's revealed nature informs our trust. We may feel like we are falling, but he assures us he is with us in every season. He does not promise to change our circumstances but for us to embrace the peace of knowing he is in control. And so instead of fretful fear, let us learn to lean into the promises of God and ask (James 1.5). Let us rest in the knowledge that he gives generously, regardless of past choices or present circumstances. Let us ask in faith with no doubting. It can be scary and uncomfortable, but he will not fail us.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4.6-7)