Trust might be one of the more serious casualties of the pandemic.
The unreliability of humans
Faith in other people is hard enough when we are together in person. Recent studies have shown a significant drop in employee confidence for their supervisors and peers after just a few months of lockdowns and work-from-home initiatives.
Statistics probably aren’t necessary to prove what you had already sensed. Changes brought on by the pandemic likely just accelerated cultural trends already taking place. The percentage of Americans who believed “most people could be trusted” plummeted to 30 percent after holding relatively steady at around 45 percent through the 1980s. Sociologists point to the decline in church attendance as a contributor. Social media and our contentious political climate certainly haven’t helped.
While it might be tempting to point a finger at culprits, the source of the problem is pretty basic. We are unreliable. We are very conscious of the way we have let our loved ones down. We frequently make commitments beyond our ability to keep. The landslide of a lack of trust on a culture-wide level begins with the falling pebble of unfaithfulness on our part.
The absolute reliability of our God
All this makes the last words of Jesus from the cross that much more remarkable. He expresses absolute confidence. He is rock-solid in trust as he commits himself into the care of his Father—and with good reason. He has given his all. He exhales one last exultant cry from the cross in complete confidence.
You know what it feels like to let out a last gasp in exhaustion. You went to work early. You stayed late. You put in what feels like a month’s worth of work in a single week, but you still wonder if it will be enough. You collapse on the track after anchoring the final leg of the relay. You trained and practiced. You pushed yourself to the limit during the meet. But as you crossed the finish line, you aren’t sure. Even when you’ve done your best, you can’t be completely confident in yourself.
Jesus has put in the hard work. He is exhausted. But Jesus doesn’t suffer from any of our familiar feelings of self-doubt. It wasn’t just that his Father was dependable. He was. He is. He always will be. The Father’s absolute reliability is at the core of his essence.
Jesus had other reasons for confidence. He had flawlessly accomplished the mission for which he was sent. He had done everything necessary to secure our salvation. Committing his spirit into the care of his Father was a cry of victory. Jesus mustered his last ounces of strength to express the certainty that there was nothing left undone to gain access for humanity into paradise.
Jesus entrusting himself into the hands of his Father allows you to entrust your very life to your loving and forgiving Lord too. Your confidence comes from your Savior’s perfect performance. Your assurance to carry out your calling as a child of God resides in the Messiah’s impeccable character. Your peace in times of turmoil rests on the reliability of every promise God has kept in Christ.
In a world of growing suspicion, trust in the work Jesus did for you.
Author: Jeffrey Enderle
Volume 109, Number 03
Issue: March 2022