Trust is hard.
It is hard to trust others because we have been hurt by people in the past. It is harder to trust in God because we do not always seem to get what we want, as we want, in the way that we want things to be. Yet, to trust requires that we go beyond ourselves and its own expectations, demands, and desires to accept the unknown possibilities, even if it means that we might get hurt or do not get what we want. To trust requires that we let go in order to believe in someone or in God‘s goodness. It is not easy!
To trust in the Almighty is extremely hard in this day and age because we tend to be consumers who demand or expect things to be our ways right away. We lack the patience and the willingness to allow God to work in His own time and according to His divine providence, especially when there are many people or things that offer “solutions” that seem to be more immediate and appealing. We often time want things done right away or as we like them to be that we cannot wait for the Lord to answer or invite us for something greater. Sometimes, we are too occupied by our fears and despairs that we cannot trust that He wills our good and desires that we share the joy He has in store for us. It is always easier to calculate and base our pleasures and happiness on appealing or visible standards of hedonism. Yet, the things of this world is like the stock market, constantly go up and down, everchanging with short-term, temporary trends and fads. Even people’s minds are everchanging nowadays!
Therefore, we have to admit that, even with our best intentions, we can still hurt one another when our ego and its expectations get the best out of us. It is so easy to give in to the game of manipulation and objectification — to use or be used — in order to calculate and get our desired return on investment. This way of life slowly makes us see others simply as dispensable objects and to be used as chess pieces in our little self-benefit game. Nevertheless, this is is a dangerous trap where one loses him or herself. In the midst of all these immediate and objectified desires, we have to fix our eyes on God and His constant love for us. He, who knows us better than ourselves, desires our good and wants us to mature holistically. He wants us to fix our eyes on everlasting values, things that give life, especially to know, understand, live, and embrace His never-changing, ever-faithful, everlasting love.
The Beatitudes remind us of Jesus Christ‘s own values and invite us to embrace our vocation and calling to be His disciples. Through the Beatitudes, He taught us the necessary attitudes to live in true love and freedom as sons and daughters of God and as His followers. However, we have to be honest in admitting that His standards are hard to bear — and harder to follow — because they require us to trust and not be held back by the immediate satisfactory and appealing desires of worldly, material, sentimental, or quantifiable riches and pleasures now. No one wants to be poor, hungry, weeping, have people hate us, and the likes! Yet this is the way of Christ and His invitation for us, the desire to embrace the (possible) ultimate prices and consequences in following Him. To be Christians is to desire, wanting, and following the Master, even if it means to bear ridicules and hardships when we live by His standards. This is counter-cultural! Yet, this is true trust and what it means to love.
To trust is to believe in both of our prayer and our commitment to Christ Jesus and His promise, especially in God‘s timing, even though we do not know why or how at times. To truly trust is to trust in Him and not on how things are going to turn out! True trust is based on the quality of love for God, not just the quantifiable matters and standards of how things need to be. To trust means that we are committed and faithful to Him, not just on what He can do for us. To trust is to widen our vision and immediate expectations in order to see His bigger plan for us, especially the real power of His divine love for our eternal salvation. If the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, who took the evil that was given to Him and transformed it into the life-giving gift for all humanity, He is and able to be true to His promise in making all things work for our salvation. Do we believe it?
In my own personal life, I had come to the Lord with many requests. Often times in the past, I had asked him to “come through” for me as I would like Him to be. I had asked him to take my trials away, to alleviate the pains of my heart, or to give me what I asked for. There were many times that I got frustrated because I did not think that He listened or because I did not receive what I wanted. There were times that He did not take away my crosses or the hardships that I was going through. There were times that I had to be in the midst of the situations that I did not like. Yet, I had learned (and continue to learn) that if He leaves me to be, He will not abandon me. Over and over again, the Lord continues to teach me to trust and be content with the (creative) tensions, to not be controlled by them, and to learn to find rest and contentment in the midst of the trials. I rarely get what I want in prayers. Really! I seldom get what I want as I want them to be, yet I always received the grace needed to grow and mature in faith — oftentimes though, kicking and screaming in the midst of everything. The Lord has taught me (and, honestly, I do not like it) that I do not need to have things in my way to be happy, and the greatest gift of discipleship is not based on want but on contentment. This is contradictory to all of my human desires! Yet, I have learned to trust in God. He had taught me what is really necessary and required to be joyful — with little of this world, but a lot of Him. I know that my faith is not perfect but He is refining it each day.
What is Jesus Christ‘s promise to us? First, this promise had already been proven and given at the Cross, continues to be given to us at each and every sacramental celebration and Eucharistic sacrifice, and personalize in our very life of prayer. All graces flow from Him and He desires to give us life and life in abundance! He freely chose to die so that we are saved by His Blood, and through the power and working of the Holy Spirit, we can truly become adopted heirs of the Heavenly Kingdom in being children of God, our Heavenly Father. He has promised that those who abide with Him shall have life, and without Him, we are nothing. (cf. John 15) He has told us in the Gospels that, even though we will be persecuted, misunderstood, hated by others, or do not get what we want by worldly standards, our rewards will be great in the life to come. This reward is not something quantifiable objective and appealing, nor can it be measured by hedonistic or worldly standards, but it is so sweet and basted in His love for us — for eternity.
Therefore, do not be afraid to trust. While it is not humanly easy, we have to trust that our God is good and He desires our eternal happiness, which is to share in the everlasting bliss with Him. He is true to His promise and will not abandon us. At times when we are fearful and filled with doubts, do not be afraid to seek Him and learn to stay with Him. He is always with us, even at times when we try to block everything or everyone out. Let us learn to trust in Him always even though we are not perfect so we can be opened in growing in our faith every day.