Jesus, Author and Perfecter of Our Faith
According to Erik Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development, the foundational building block of good emotional health is learning to trust. We must develop trust between the ages of birth to 18 months so we can naturally begin mastering the next essential tasks toward living a healthy emotional life. The key outcome of developing that sense of trust is that it gives us a hopeful outlook.
Erikson discovered that when caregivers meet the child’s essential needs such as comfort, food, and affection, the child learns that its world is a trustworthy, hopeful place. When trust isn’t built, the child sees the world as an unpredictable, undependable, dangerous place. That shaky foundation undermines their ability to master every other emotional task we humans must achieve to live healthy, fulfilling emotional lives.
As adults, we can build an atmosphere of trust, or mistrust, in our homes and workplaces. A few years ago, Uber had developed a toxic reputation in their corporate environment. It took months of intentional effort to pull the company back from the brink of collapse due to that shaky foundation. After some painful reorganization at the top, Uber is now on the journey toward developing a culture of healthy trust and is gradually rehabilitating their reputation.
As we develop a relationship with Jesus, one of the first questions we subconsciously ask is, “Can I trust God?” When we learn that God is trustworthy, not only will we develop this loving relationship, we will easily step into unknown situations with faith because we know the One who is leading us.
A scriptural term for trust is faith. When we say we have faith in Jesus, we are really saying that we trust God. This faith led Abraham to pack up his tribe and travel to parts unknown. This faith empowered Moses to stand up to the most powerful man on earth and rally God’s people to make the miraculous journey to the Promised Land. Hebrews chapter 11 lists several ordinary people, just like us, who achieved extraordinary feats simply by trusting God.
In sum, whatever form the judgment scene takes in heaven, we can come boldly before the throne of grace because we trust Jesus to provide everything we need to receive our heavenly inheritance.
Connecting: If you trust easily, how did you learn to develop that trait? If not, can you identify events that cause you to be especially cautious?
Sharing: How exactly does Jesus perfect our faith?
- By showing us what it means to live a faithful life
- By providing for our basic physical, spiritual, and emotional needs
- By encouraging us to step out in faith, testing God’s ability to lead us into the unknown
- By preserving scriptural stories throughout history of those who exhibited faith during persecution and death.
- By giving us the gift of faith through the ministry of the Holy Spirit
Applying: Think about someone who has broken your trust. What will that person need to do to reassure you that they can be trusted in the future and/or receive your forgiveness?