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Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

What Are You Trusting — Really?

Something puzzling

When I studied faith and trust in the Bible, I discovered something puzzling —

I discovered that it’s not just believers who have faith. Everyone has faith.

Everyone is always trusting something to secure a satisfying future for them.

For example, Jeremiah 46:25 says people trust in Pharaoh.

Psalm 52:7 says people trust in treasure.

Isaiah 31:1 says people trust in chariots.

What does it mean to trust Pharaoh, treasure, or chariots? It means trusting them to secure and satisfy you.

Everyone lives by faith

So it’s not just believers who live by faith. Everyone is always trusting something to secure and satisfy them.

Take my day today. I started off fighting the fight of faith with Ezekiel 1-3, Job 1, John 7, and 2 Peter 1 — and the Holy Spirit strengthened my faith so I was trusting Jesus to secure and satisfy me.

But then at breakfast I heard something that depressed me because I thought it would make me look bad — which shows I had turned from trusting Jesus and was now trusting recognition from people to satisfy me.

But then I got some prayer time and confessed to Jesus that I had turned from Him — and asked Him to strengthen my faith once again.

And Jesus answered by having me get an email from a friend who shared a Scripture — which God used to restore my trust in Him as my all-satisfying Treasure.

So all morning I was living by faith in something — but it was not always Jesus Christ. I turned from trusting Christ, to trusting people, then back to trusting Christ.

How can I tell what I am really trusting?

My father taught that whatever I trust the most to satisfy me, I desire the most; and whatever I desire the most, I obey.

So there’s two crucial questions that show me what I am trusting.

What am I obeying instead of Christ?

Christ calls me not to look upon any woman lustfully (Mat 5:28).

So if I disobey Christ and entertain a lustful look, that shows I am no longer trusting Christ to fully satisfy me; I am trusting that sexual pleasure will satisfy me more.

Christ also calls me to meditate on His Word regularly (John 8:31).

So if I disobey Christ and watch TV without taking time for His Word, that shows I am no longer trusting Christ to fully satisfy me; I am trusting that TV will satisfy me more.

So one way to see what you are trusting is to ask — what am I obeying instead of Christ?  Whatever it is — that’s what you are trusting to secure and satisfy you.

What am I desiring more than Christ?

The other crucial question is — what am I desiring more than Christ?

Think about it. Over the past 24 hours, what has brought you the most joy? What have you been most excited about?

Monday Night Football? Profit in your 401k? Getting new furniture? Or Jesus Christ?

The answer will show what you are really trusting.

Not that we can’t find joy in other things. But when we desire other things more than Christ, it shows we are trusting them to satisfy us more than Christ.

This dishonors Christ, because He is the all-satisfying Treasure. And it leaves us empty, because nothing else will satisfy us fully and lastingly.

Monitor your heart

Throughout the day, take a faith-reading of your heart.  Ask — what I am obeying instead of Christ?  What am I desiring more than Christ?

The answer will help you see what you are really trusting — which will help you fight the fight of faith.

Comments, questions, feedback?

I’d love to hear them.  Feel free to leave a reply below.  Thanks.

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(Photo by matalyn at everystockphoto.com.)

Category: Strengthening Your Faith

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29 Responses

  1. Paul Walton says:

    Steve,
    You mentioned that everyone possesses faith, we all are trusting in something, in the book of John, Jesus has performed a great miracle by turning water into wine, this causes folks to take notice of Him, God’s word even tells us that many believed in Him at that point, but Jesus wants nothing to do with them.

    “Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.”- John 2:23-25

    So my question is how does one know if their faith, is a faith that comes from God, as opposed to the type of faith that doesn’t save us? How would you approach this subject with someone whom you may have concerns about their faith?

    • Steve Fuller says:

      What a good question, Paul.

      One way to help people is by explaining that saving faith means trusting all that God promises to be to us in Christ. So saving faith is not just trusting Christ’s death to save us — it’s also trusting His presence to satisfy us, and His commands to guide us.

      Couple that with what my dad taught me — that whatever a man trusts the most to satisfy him, he will desire the most — and whatever a man desires the most he will obey.

      So gently ask your friend what he desires the most. That’s what’s he’s trusting the most. Ask him what he pursues instead of obeying Christ. That’s what he’s trusting more than Christ.

      Would those questions help your friend?

      • Paul Walton says:

        When I have approach him about his faith and what he was trusting in, he quoted the bible saying if a man believes in his heart and confesses with his mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord he shall be saved. I believe he truly believes that Jesus is the Son of God, but I don’t see him going hard after Christ, it’s not a consistent hunger to be filled with the Spirit of God. I’m not judging him, I’m only concerned that he may be like the folks in John 2, they had faith but it’s not a saving faith. Sometimes folks know just enough of God’s word to be deceived into thinking that saving faith means that once they say they believe and turn their heart towards Him that the fight is over, when in truth it has just begun.

        • Steve Fuller says:

          Hmm. I’ll pray for much discernment for you.

          The fact that he “believes that Jesus is the Son of God” may not mean anything — since the demons believe that (Mark 3:11).

          More crucial is whether He believes that Jesus Christ is His all-satisfying Treasure. John 6:35 teaches that the only true believing is a believing that comes to Jesus in order to have our heart hungers satisfied in Him.

          I’m thankful for your care for this person. May the Father give you much wisdom as you pursue him.

  2. Susanne Schuberth (Germany) says:

    Saving faith…

    I’m so glad that I’m not the only one who is brooding about that right now. I totally agree with your comments, both Paul and Steve.

    There are just some additional thoughts that crossed my mind which you perhaps could debate on with me…
    Since the faith of the demons that God and Christ do exist is not a saving faith, there must be more than, “I believe that God exists” to get people saved. When I look at Mk 16:16 I realize that one must be baptized and believe to be not condemned. But what is meant by this faith? Though we are justified by faith in Christ alone apart from the law (Rom 3:21-22), isn’t it necessary that this faith must – looking ahead from the “beginning point of first believing” – bring forth works lest it would be a dead faith (James 2:17)?

    I think that saving faith will always result in obedience towards God’s commandments, i.e. works, particularly in:

    “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Rom 13:8-10)

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Glad to hear from you, Susanne, and I hope you are doing well.

      There is much misunderstanding about faith today. My best attempt at explaining saving faith is found in the post to the right — “What is faith?”

      And I try to explain how this biblical faith produces obedience in the post also in the far right column — “How faith in Christ changes us.”

      I hope those are helpful — and may the Father richly bless you and your family.

      Steve

  3. delphine says:

    This has nothing to do with what you all have been talking about other than the fact of who and what am I trusting. So if I am trusting Jesus Christ to satisfy my longings, will i never long to be back in the arms of my beloved husband who has chosen other arms to go to right now? He left a year ago and I find it very hard as to what i am putting my faith and trust in. I ask God for a heart that would please Him, but if I am still longing for my husband, where does that leave my relationship with my heavenly Father?

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Hi Delphine,

      I am so sorry to hear about the heart-breaking situation you are in. Thank you for sharing your story, and for raising such an important question.

      The truth is that Jesus Christ can so fill and satisfy your heart with His glory and beauty and majesty that you desire nothing else. I see that in John 6:35 and Psa 73:25-26.

      That doesn’t mean you would not want your husband back. Nor does it mean you won’t have times when you deeply mourn the absence of your husband.

      Please read a blog post I wrote on how God comforted Hudson Taylor concerning his wife. The link is here —

      http://livingbyfaithblog.com/2011/12/16/how-god-comforted-hudson-taylor/

      This is very different from your situation in that his wife died. Your situation is far more painful. But this is a powerful example of how deeply God can comfort us, and how we can feel loss at the same time as we experience comfort.

      I will pray for you right now.

      In Christ,

      Steve Fuller

  4. Roy says:

    If you were TRUSTING jesus to satisfy you and you began to attempt to obtain satisfaction from something else it can only be because you didn’t have satisfaction. if Jesus had satisfied you then you would have been satisfied and no other source of satisfaction could have attracted you. I guess what I am asking is If Jesus satisfied you then how can something else tempt you? Satisfaction can’t be taken on faith, it’s defined by our EXPERIENCE of it, right?

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Good questions, Roy.

      I agree that satisfaction is not just something God wants us to take on faith — He wants us to experience the complete satisfaction of beholding Him in Christ.

      But if I am completely satisfied in Him, how can something else tempt me?

      I can think of two reasons (there may be others). One is because this side of heaven our experience of Christ will rise and fall due to both physical and spiritual weakness. When my experience of Christ lessens, my heart starts craving once again for fulness. So why wouldn’t I turn right back to Christ, if in the past he has fully satisfied me?

      That’s the second reason. It’s because I still have indwelling sin. I can have a thirsty heart, and see before me both a fountain of living water, and little cracked jars, and choose the little cracked jars (Jer 2:12-13).

      Why would I choose little cracked jars? It’s because my indwelling sin can make me want independence so much that I’d rather be be thirsty and independent, than humbly dependent and satisfied.

      So I do not agree that seeking satisfaction in something else shows that I didn’t have satisfaction in Jesus Christ.

      I hope that helps some.

      In Christ,

      Steve Fuller

  5. Roy says:

    I do not intend to dispute or disprove or discount what you are teaching,I desperately need it to be true and to be able to understand and recieve it.
    What keeps throwing me off is the use of the word trust.What I “trust” for satisfaction is whatever actually causes me to experience satisfaction. It doesn’t satisfy me because I “trust” it, I “trust” it because it has satisfied me in some way.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Another good question.

      If I’m not understanding your question, just let me know.

      But I think both are true: I trust Jesus because He has satisfied in me in the past, AND when I turn to Him and trust Him, He gives me fresh satisfaction by helping me once again see and feel His glory.

      So my trust in Christ is because He is all-satisfying, and my trust in Christ brings more heart-satisfaction.

      But I’m not sure I’m getting to the core of your question. Let me know.

      Steve

  6. Roy says:

    So I don’t really “trust” anything, if satisfaction is experienced there then I return there untill it isn’t.

  7. Roy says:

    I am at a dangerous place, depression, disapointment and discouragement have become more than I can continue to manage.It sounds to me that the only way to actually experience love, affection, affirmation or affection, in any significant way or amount, is for this life to end.
    Those are things that have no meaning or value apart from the experience of them. Knowing, believing and”true” are not enough, not even close.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      I am sorry to hear about the pain you are in, Roy.

      Here’s what I’m praying for you —

      “Father, I plead with you to meet Roy now. Help him. Encourage him. Strengthen and comfort him in Jesus Christ. Give him the answers he’s longing for — and let him taste of your love, your beauty, your glory, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.”

      I agree that the Christian life is not just knowing and believing truths. It does include that — but that’s not enough.

      Jesus promises that when we come to Him and believe in Him He will be living bread to hungry souls (John 6:35).

      He promises that if we believe in Him He will give us the living water of the Holy Spirit so much that our hearts will overflow (John 7:37-38).

      God’s Word also shows that this does not necessarily happen instantly. Psalms 13 and 42 show that God allows His people to go through seasons where we are looking to Him by faith but experience some delay before we experience His fulness.

      But Jesus promises that if you will turn your heart to Him, laying down any thoughts of deserving anything good from God, and admitting that your only hope for acceptance before God is Jesus’ blood and righteousness, and setting your heart on the truth of who He is, praying for the Spirit’s heart-enlightening work — you WILL in time experience and taste and see Jesus’ glory.

      He has promised. He will be faithful. So please, trust His Word. And let me know if these words help, or if I am missing the point of your pain.

      In Christ,

      Steve

  8. Judy says:

    I second Roy’s strained dead lock state, and I am holding on to this part of your reply to him ” laying down any thoughts of deserving anything good from God, and admitting that your only hope for acceptance before God is Jesus’ blood and righteousness” .

    I do try to get God ‘on my side’ but haven’t been able to stop it even though I know I fail every time. And thank you for this Blog article Steve. Encouragements to you Roy.

  9. Steve says:

    Steve

    I am a new visitor and have been blown away by this site.

    Your teaching (and the the joyous simplicity) of the promise (that Jesus is enough) is hopefully what has been alluding me these last 25+years of very active searching.

    In almost all teachings I have read, trust is imprecisely used.
    Too often it is used in reference to a particular outcome or gift we are seeking. These illustrations of trust actually can raise up and deify unimportant parts of our life. The practical definition of faith I have been looking for had to tick two boxes for me: 1. Can I child comprehend it, and 2. Does it encourage us to “seek first…”. Bravo to both!

    [As an aside…it is interesting to note that this is almost a practice of active detachment from the material and relatively unimportant.]

    Again, many thanks to you and the people who have left comments.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks so much for your encouraging words. I appreciate you taking the time to give me feedback.

      And I totally agree with you — the more biblical understanding of faith and trust is life-changing.

      May the Lord richly bless you, brother.

      In Christ,

      Steve Fuller

  10. kevin says:

    Hi pastor
    Any scripture for “Jesus is my all satisfying treasure.” ?

    Thanks
    Kevin

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Good question, Kevin. You will find that this blog emphasizes the truth that Jesus is our all-satisfying treasure.

      And the reason I emphasize it so much is because I do believe it’s biblical.

      Here are some scriptures that I believe teach this: Philippians 3:8-9; 1 Peter 1:13; 2 Corinthians 4:6-7; Matthew 13:44; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Peter 4:12-13; Titus 2:13; John 6:35; Philippians 1:21 — and there’s many, many more.

      I hope that helps!

      In Christ, Steve Fuller

      • Steve says:

        Hi Steve,

        I think it would be incredibly helpful for you to write about the difference between poor faith and great faith. [That said, you may have already – so forgive me!]. In doing so, it will help illuminate the path to greater faith in God.

        As I search this question, for me “great faith” is a simple unwillingness to allow the world (circumstances/error/sin/events/my failures/other’s opinions) to alter my response: that might be so, but God’s word is true!

        I believe this real time response to life’s ups and downs leads us to a path of great faith. A faith that will help us overcome the world….

        When “life” lessens this response, our faith erodes. If something negative happens and we begin to think “I hope God’s word is true” then we are on a slippery slope.

        Ultimately, I think spiritual depression is a response to “life” that says: “I dont believe God’s word is true for me, at all”.

        Thanks for your thoughts, they are greatly appreciated!

    • Kevin says:

      Hi Pastor

      Thanks for your reply. Not that I doubted it one bit, being a born again believer myself. However it does make it easier to pass around to people if you had A scripture at hand.
      Thanks for the excellent blog and may God enable you to reach the minds and hearts of many people through it.

  11. Boyd Jahnke says:

    “for me “great faith” is a simple unwillingness to allow the world (circumstances/error/sin/events/my failures/other’s opinions) to alter my response: that might be so, but God’s word is true!”

    This definition that correspondent Steve has offered is superb, I think. And I agree with his suggestion for you, Steve ~ an article that illuminates the concept of ‘overcoming faith’ or how ‘little faith’ and ‘great faith’ differ would be really helpful. Thanks, brother, for the good work you are doing.

  12. kevin says:

    You talk about : My father taught that whatever I trust the most to satisfy me, I desire the most; and whatever I desire the most, I obey.
    Being that as it may – should’nt we start from changing what we trust in first – that would automatically change what I desire and therefore what I obey. You however are going about it backwards – any reason why ?

  13. sarah says:

    I am 26 years old and I was saved when I was like 9 years old. I used to be on fire for God and went to church every wed and sun. I still feel my passion for him everytime I read or learn about His word, but I have struggled with addiction to drugs and I have fallen away from God and then He consumed me and I felt Him so close to me and it was fully satisfying! I still struggle with my being an addict but recently I began reading the Bible and decided to come as I am and that through reading His word He will once again change me. Arent I saved by the Grace of God, and trusting that He will eventually pull me through my struggle? I continue to trust and seetk His word, but it has been hard for me to remain sober completely. What if an addict who uses and has been saved and continues to pray and go to God, but can never stop using completely? I have battled spiritually aince my parents divorced at the age of 11 and my whole woeld was turned upside down. I experimented with things like drugs and alcohol but since i went from Jesus fully satisfying me at a young age and then got into stuff I didnt yet realize the effects or know what Gods word said about things like drug use. I always felt guilty and still do any time I begin to use again so doesnt that mean that the holy spirit is and always has been woeking in me. I KNOW I AM A CHRISTIAN SAVED BY CHRIST, but if I can never stop using but am a good forgiving, k8nd, loving person who trys to ahate Gods l9ve with others, will I really be consemned to hell.

  14. sarah says:

    Also, id like to say that I know Jesus can help redtore me and He has before. But why must I keep falling and getting back up why cant God just keep me on the right path, He knows my heart and also knows that I know all things are possible with His help. If a person isnt relying on drugs to satisfy them bc they truly make that person miserable, bc they know jesus is the answer, but for whatever reason they continue to use and also try to get closer to Jesus, what then?

    • Anonymous says:

      Sarah- Read Romans 7:14-25. That’s the problem. Romans 8 has the solution and Romans 12 shows how we are to live.

  15. Judy says:

    Beats me, but i can relate . I’ve had some very peak times with the Lord but mostly I scrabble round in the dust. We want the Peaks to affirm ourselves we’re in His hand. But maybe our religion hasn’t been big enough for His relationship with us.
    I feel hope for you, and more hope for me xxx

  16. Pearl says:

    I find your blog extremely knowledgeable comforting and most importantly
    Bibically based.
    Thank Our Father and you for being a true man of God!

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