Peace and Trust

What role, if any, does trust play in having/attaining peace? Do they go hand in hand? Can you have one without the other? Curious to know what people think…

This was the Facebook status for a friend of mine recently. She poses an interesting question. You cannot have shadows without light. You cannot have gravity without the risk of falling. Does the same kind of relationship exist between trust and peace?

Before I offer my answer, let’s talk about what these words mean:

TrustComplete reliance on another

If you’ve ever participated in a team building activity with a group, you’ve probably experienced, or at least witnessed, a trust fall. In the trust fall, an individual stands on an elevated platform and falls backwards into their team, that waits with extended arms to catch them. The point of the exercise is to illustrate trust as well as teamwork. If the individual who falls fails to trust the team and begins to flail, somebody will get hurt. If the team fails to catch an individual, trust has been broken for the entire team. It will be difficult to find another volunteer to take the fall. Trust is a complete reliance on the other party to do what they said they would do.

Peace: A sense of inner calm or serenity

When all of your children are home in their beds, sleeping soundly. That first cup of coffee while you watch the sunrise. A gentle, mountain rain. Still waters… Spas spend a great deal of money trying to create an environment for patrons that is conducive to peace. But peace is internal, not external. You could be lying on the beach, near a waterfall, getting a massage, listening to soothing music and still not be peaceful. Peace settles in when your mind and heart rest, free of anxiety and fear.

Peace is a byproduct of trust.

Trusting that someone will do what they said they will do brings about a peace of mind. That “something” no longer has to be your concern; you’ve placed it in skilled hands and no longer have to wonder what to do with it. Taking your car to a mechanic, taking your pet to the vet, taking your child to the doctor… each of these scenarios has the potential to bring a sense of peace because somebody more knowledgeable than you steps in to remedy a situation. In these cases, there is also the potential that your trust will be broken by dishonest or incompetent “professionals”. That brings me to my next point:

The greater the object of your trust, the deeper your sense of peace.

Take flying, for example. Let’s say it’s your first time to travel by air and you’re uneasy with the whole idea. If you had your choice of pilots, which of the following would you choose:

  • A rookie who recently earned her pilot’s license
  • A retired fighter pilot with years of experience

My guess is that you’d choose the pilot with more experience because it would set your mind at ease a little bit more.

Or let’s say you’re traveling from California to Hawaii by boat. Which of these vessels would you choose?

peace boat  

You may trust that both vessels will float, and they do, but one will provide a more peaceful voyage than the other. (Hint: it’s the one named “Peace”. I found that image after I wrote this example. SCORE!)

The object of your trust matters.

In each of the examples mentioned so far, there is room for mistrust. Mechanics, doctors, vets, pilots and boats are faulty, flawed and prone to error. A mechanic misses a bolt, doctors dismiss symptoms, pilots fall asleep and boats capsize. In those situations, it’s a matter of choosing the option least likely to let you down, the lesser of two disappointments.

The only faultlessly trustworthy being in existence also happens to be the Creator of the universe, or as Louie Giglio calls Him, the Star Breather. If peace is a byproduct of trust and trust is dependent upon the object you’re trusting, you’ll never have complete peace apart from God. Even if you think you’ve got it all together, that you trust yourself to get things done correctly, you’ll be disappointed.

Spoiler alert: you’re gonna blow it somewhere along the line. The plates you’ve kept spinning will fall and break, the successes you’ve enjoyed will be usurped, the happy little life you’ve built for yourself will crumble at the first signs of tragedy, terminal illness or a job loss. Some things you just can’t control, no matter how much you may want to or how much you spend trying. There’s a difference between peace and comfort. Comfort is fleeting, but peace lasts regardless of circumstances, failures and crises so long as the object of your trust is trustworthy.

Don’t just take my word for it!

Isaiah, speaking to the Lord:

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. — Isaiah 26:3

Paul writing to the Philippians:

The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplicationwith thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 4:5b-7

David singing to God after he’d been seized by the Philistines:

When I am afraid,
I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can flesh do to me? — Psalm 56:3-4

And twice in the gospel of Luke (7:50 & 8:48), Jesus tells women whose faith in Him healed/saved them:

“Go in peace.”

The Object of their trust was worthy, so they did.

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