[by David Korb, as featured in the January 2010 issue of Missionary Monthly]
In his book Cross-Cultural Connections, Duane Elmer writes a chapter on trust as it relates to building relationships with those of other cultures. He begins the chapter by stating, "Nothing significant happens between people unless there is a strong bond of trust." Then he asks, "Do you agree?"
Well, absolutely! But what a significant statement he makes! It is true in marriages, in friendships, between nations, and with our God.
Elmer is talking about things that really matter. Seeking to build a strong bond of trust with God, asking what that looks like and how that is accomplished is probably one of the most important things we can do. This will inform and affect every area of our existence.
In Proverbs 3:5 we read, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” In the Psalms we read, “We trust in the name of the Lord” (20:7), “Trust in the Lord and do good” (37:3), and “in God I trust: I will not be afraid” (56:4). In John 14:1 we find, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” In the Bible, trust, have faith in and believe in all have similar meanings.
Duane Elmers’ statement is quite thought provoking: "Nothing significant happens between people unless there is a strong bond of trust." We see it all the time, among those we know and with those who are in the public eye. What happens when trust is broken? Everything, and I mean everything, falls apart, and it is so hard to ever put it “back together again.” How important it is for us to build strong bonds of trust! It takes time, but in the end significant things will happen.
I recommend that as we begin a new year we spend some time asking ourselves the questions I have already posed: What does it look like to build a strong bond of trust with God? What does this entail? Next, how is this accomplished? In 2010, how can I go about building a stronger bond of trust with my Lord? What must I do? The next step is to ask the same questions of building stronger bonds of trust with those in our family, and then out from that circle of relationships to friends and others. I believe this is an important exercise as we move into 2010.