Why is trusting God so difficult?

It’s in us, it seems, to trust anyone but God. All the serpent had to do was say to Adam and Eve “Trust me, God’s lying,” and they believed him, no questions asked, and no proof required. God said they’d die, but the serpent said they wouldn’t. They believed the serpent. They didn’t believe God. But why? Why was it so easy trusting the serpent and so difficult trusting God?

Because, Ephesians 2:2-3, two things conspire against us as humans – our sinful nature and the devil’s influence. The devil, verse 2, is “the prince of the power of the air,” a superhuman force of evil who controls humanity by one simple device: he appeals to our senses. We’re suckers for anything that looks good, sounds good, feels good and tastes good, and with a little temptation the devil has us all “gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts,” verse 3, just like Adam and Eve.

He tried to take control of Jesus by the same device, tempting Jesus to turn stones into bread to satisfy his hunger, so that Jesus focused on himself and not on God. But Jesus had resisted the driving force of his senses for 40 days already and trusted his life to God, and that’s what won the day for him. And he won the day for all humanity too, because he now lives his trust in God in us.

He has to live his trust in us, though, because he knows all too well – having watched us humans in action for thousands of years – that it’s not in us to trust God. We’d rather follow our own instincts, depend on our own resources, and go our own way instead, illustrated in all its unfortunate reality and grim results by the children of Israel in the Old Testament.

But God resolved that by sending Jesus Christ as a human being to live a life of trust in God for us, which he’ll now live in us, Galatians 2:20. “The life I now live,” Paul writes, “I live by the faith of the Son of God.” Not by his own faith, but by Jesus’ faith, the results of which are quite startling, 1 John 5:18. “We know that no child of God keeps on sinning, because the Son of God keeps him safe and the Evil One cannot harm him.”

The devil can’t get to us like he got to Adam and Eve because Jesus keeps us safe from his devices and temptations. How? By living his faith in God in us. Result? We believe what God says, not the whispers of the devil.


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