Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we explore the process of how we learn to trust the Father and hopefully gain additional insight into this vital necessity.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
How We Learn to Trust the Father
"Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him." Psalms, Chapter 2, Verse 12
Brothers and sisters, tranquility of spirit and peace of mind all are contingent upon our trusting the Father. But how do learn how to trust the Father? Is it possible for us who are undergoing all kinds of physical difficulties to really trust him? If so, how do we rise to that level where we trust the Father despite our material difficulties? We are familiar with trusting material persons but how do we learn to trust a spiritual person?
We are material beings with developing spiritual potentials. And it is often difficult to separate these arenas of trust. Even when we recognize our spiritual selves, our emotional reactions turn to distrust when confronted with material difficulties and material realities. It is difficult always to remember that our relationship with the Father is spiritual; when it comes to spiritual matters, of values and meanings, we can trust the Father absolutely. This great truth does not excuse us from developing the faith to realize this. The Father’’s consistent spiritual laws are the foundation for our spiritual trust in him.
Our intellects are cognizant of the power of God, and we know that he has the power to alter material reality yet he does not. Material reality remains subject to his material laws, which are necessary to uphold the material universe of which we are a part. If God should suspend material laws, we would lose faith in his dependability. This is a subtle realization but true. For example, we depend upon the sun to furnish us with life giving energies to maintain our material selves. Each morning the sun comes up. If the sun did not come up, life would vanish from the earth. The material mind takes notes of this consistency. Being consistent in this reasoning, if we could not trust him to maintain his physical laws, even for a special dispensation for us, then we would lose trust in him. We would not be able to trust him absolutely. The consistency of his material laws is the one thing that gives us absolutely trust in these same law.
There are other examples of the failure of supernatural phenomena to convince the material mind of spiritual reality. When Jesus fed the five thousand with loaves of bread and fishes, they were not minded to turn to him for truth but wanted to make him their material king so that they could be exempted from having to toil for their food. Even when Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave, this stupendous miracle did not cause the material mind to believe in spiritual reality. Judas, who was one of the Apostles and directly experienced this miracle, still betrayed Jesus. Those of us who are spiritually minded are tempted to think that if their material difficulties were resolved they could better serve the Father. But such is not the case. Absence of physical difficulties does not increase faith or trust. Rather, material difficulties cause us to exercise faith and trust in the heavenly Father. Our realization that there is no real security in the material world causes us to turn inward to the Father, who provides security for our souls.
Having turned to the Father, the struggle to maintain faith and gain trust remains difficult. The doubting material mind remains. "Lord I believe, help my unbelief" summarizes this predicament. But this state is a temporary stop on the way to unshakeable faith and unfailing trust in the goodness of the Father. Our predicament is the result of our imperfection, our incomplete growth. We cannot see by sight and must proceed by faith until our growth is completed. Trust is a valuable and precious commodity. It is not easy to overcome the doubting of the material mind, for it constantly surfaces in many unexpected ways and masquerades in many forms. But eventually we recognize it for what it is. Faith must grow; like all things that must grow, it requires a stimulus. Faith must have resistance to overcome if it is to reach supreme levels. Thus, doubt offers such resistance, and faith grows as a result of overcoming doubt.
As we grapple with the material realities of life, there is much uncertainty and much uneasiness in our minds and souls. At least this is true until we learn to trust the Father and his goodness. All uncertainty and uneasiness of our material existence motivates us to seek after him and his goodness. Trust like faith grows. It grows by exercising it. The more we trust, the more we are able to trust. As we are confronted with and face the difficulties of life, we reaffirm our faith and trust in the Father; we submit our wills to the Father’’s will.
As we experience the ups and downs of life and still remain spiritually safe, as we submit to the floodtides of adversity and still remain spiritually safe, we build an experience with the Father in our souls that causes us to trust him. At some point, we realize that we have become so familiar with his presence within our souls, have come to recognize his love and mercy, that the material ups and downs of life lose the power to make us doubt his dependability. We come to realize that we know too much about him to doubt him.
And even though the material aspects of life can be and often are devastating, we slowly come to realize that even though we must go through these material difficulties, there is no need to be afraid of them. The Father lives within us, experiences life with and as us. His presence not only guarantees that we are absolutely safe but that the divine plan for our lives is unfolding according to his will. By submitting our wills to the Father’’s will, we gain experience with him that builds the foundation of trust within our souls. It is the revelation of the Father’’s love and his goodness that the soul becomes increasingly aware of as it grows that induces the soul to trust.
Once we become conscious of the Father’’s presence, which is the presence of love, we become like a little child who feels safe in the company of his father. When we feel secure, we trust; when we don’’t feel secure, our trust wanes. We must learn to depend upon the heavenly Father for our spiritual needs. And there is only one way we can do that: by realizing that there is no hope apart from him. There is no security apart from him. There is no life apart from him. Regardless of the material trials and tribulations we find ourselves in, we have nowhere to turn but to him. Thus we stretch out our hands to him in prayer, asking for his mercy and assurance that we are indeed his children. We place our hope in him; all of our dreams and aspirations find lodgment in him.
We learn to trust the Father by seeking his will in every doubt-provoking situation. We hold unto his unchanging hand, which guides us through all the trials and tribulations of the material life. We recognize that without him we are nothing. So we cry out to him for help in the face of helplessness. He increases our strength and provides rest for our heavy laden souls. He gives us hope and spiritual power.
Here is an eternal foundation that our souls can rest upon. Yes, through all of the ups and downs of life, all of the uncertainty, all of the disappointment, all of the suffering and trials and tribulations, we have learned to trust in the Father. We learned because we dared to follow our faith which revealed his goodness to our souls. He rewarded our trust in him by taking care of us, by loving us and showing us mercy. We are safe in his arms because we trust him, and as long as we remain in his arms, subject to his divine will, we shall remain safe.
This concludes today's message on understanding how we learn to trust the Father. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry