Borrowing one of Brennan Manning’s book titles, today’s theme is trust, as in trusting God.
The adjective ruthless means to act without pity, so using it to precede trust in this context can only mean that one must discard self-pity and abandon oneself into the arms of Abba Father without reservation or hesitation.
Now that Brennan Manning has earned his eternal reward, he leaves us the gift of himself in the form of words. Grace filled words that invite hope. Words thick with appreciation for the love God lavished upon him as a ragamuffin (yes, that guy).
Manning writes that trusting God is the supreme need in most of our lives.
Trust is our gift back to God, and He finds it so enchanting that Jesus died for love of it.
“Unwavering trust is a rare and precious thing because it often demands a degree of courage that borders on the heroic,” writes Manning. “When the shadow of Jesus cross falls across our lives in the form of failure, rejection, abandonment, betrayal, unemployment, loneliness, loss of a loved one … when the world around us suddenly seems a hostile, menacing place … at such times the seeds of distrust are sown. It requires heroic courage to trust in the love of God, no matter what happens to us.”
Other chewable quotes from Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin’s Path to God, 2000:
- childlike surrender in trust is the defining spirit of authentic discipleship.
- while it is good to go to God as a ragged beggar, it is vastly superior to approach God as a little child would approach his or her papa.
- Jesus never asked his disciples to trust in God, rather He demanded of them, “Trust in God and trust in me”(John 14:1).
- Fear of the unknown path stretching ahead of us destroys childlike trust in the Father’s active goodness and unrestricted love.
- The heart converted from mistrust to trust in the irreversible forgiveness of Jesus Christ is redeemed from the corrosive power of fear (my personal favorite).
“The basic premise of biblical trust is the conviction that God wants us to grow, to unfold and to experience the fullness of life. However, this kind of trust is acquired only gradually and most often through a series of crises and trials. The story of salvation-history indicates that without exception trust must be purified in the crucible of trial.
Abraham learned that God was eminently reliable and that the only thing required of him was unconditional trust. David ravished the very heart of God with his unwavering trust.” Brennan Manning
Henri Nouwen’s words close out our time together, “For as long as you can remember, you have been a pleaser, depending on others to give you an identity. But now you are being asked to let go of all these self-made props and trust that God is enough for you.”
Somewhere along the way in the life of a maturing Christian, faith combined with hope grows into trust, Brennan Manning, p 23.
May trust lead us the way of Job, “Though he slay me, yet I will trust him” (Job 13:15 NKJV).