“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Perfect Trust, by Randall D. Kittle

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Many years ago a small Swiss village decided to have a community picnic in the mountains nearby. After lunch, some boys began to play a game of dare on an old, closed rope-bridge that crossed the deep divide separating the two mountain peaks. Each boy would take turns walking out on what remained of the old bridge to see which boy was brave enough to go the farthest.

Suddenly, the main rope snapped and gave way. With a loud crash and a cloud of dust the bridge collapsed and fell into the ravine. The air was flooded with the sound of frightened screams and shouts of the boys who had been playing on the bridge. Three of the boys were on the bridge when it fell, and now they desperately clung to the dangling remains of the bridge as it hung down the side of the mountain. The first two boys quickly climbed up the rope to safety, but just then the frayed rope began to give way, so the last boy, unable to climb to safety, grabbed hold of a bush growing out of the side of the mountain just as the last remnants of the rope bridge gave way and fell to the bottom of the ravine. There, one hundred feet above the rocks below, the boy hung on with all his might, knowing that eventually his strength would give out.

A number of men who had heard the noise of the bridge collapsing ran to the scene. When they arrived, they noticed the eerie absence of the old bridge, and saw the children all talking amongst themselves as they intently stared over the cliff’s edge. As the boys quickly explained what had happened, the men began to make out the sounds of a young boy crying. Looking over the edge of the drop-off they saw the boy desperately hanging onto the small bush. The men explained to the boy that they were going to lower Mr. Stevens, the blacksmith, over the edge to grab his arm, so they could bring him up safely. “All you have to do is let go of the bush when Mr. Stevens grabs your arm.” “No! He might drop me! He might let go!" was the boys frantic reply. “But Mr. Stevens is the strongest man in the village” they argued to no avail, the boy still crying and filled with fear.

But then the boy heard the sound of something that grabbed his attention and calmed his racing heart. It was the sound of his father’s voice. “Son, the other men are going to lower me down to where you’re at, and I will grab a hold of your arm. Son, I will grab you, and I won’t let go until you are with me.” “OK, father,” replied a quiet, trembling voice. The men grasped the father by the legs and lowered him down the edge of the ravine. When the father swung close enough to his son, he grabbed his arm, and immediately the boy let go of the bush and they were pulled to safety.

Though the men of the village offered the boy their best attempt to rescue him, it was a choice that he had no confidence in. He would not trust, because he did not know whether Mr. Stevens, big and strong as he might be, was trustworthy. The young boy did know the character of his father, and that his trust in him was well founded. It was not the strength of the man’s arm, but the boy’s understanding of his fathers character that allowed him to let go and trust.

This story shows us the deep trust that a child can have in their father. It was a trust that allowed the boy to let go of himself and trust his father to be his protection and only source of rescue. As such, it is a dim reflection of the trust in our heavenly Father that Jesus showed us. No example of trust in all history is as profound and amazing as the trust Jesus shows us toward His heavenly Father. It was the perfect example of what trust in God should look like when it is seen in our lives.

Pure, Childlike Trust
Jesus told us that in order to enter the kingdom of God, we must come as a little child.
“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Luke 18:17). This should come as no great surprise, for the Son of God had to come to earth as a little child in order to bring us new life.

When Jesus came to earth, he was the perfect example of what trust should look like. As the “new Adam,” Jesus shows us the way that we should live. There is no better example we could ever look to because Jesus was the most perfect man whoever lived.

From His very birth, Jesus demonstrates to us a deep and incomprehensible trust in Father God. Just think of the unshakable confidence that Jesus had in His heavenly Father to be willing to leave the infinite realms of heaven and be contained in time and place. The infinite became finite — the God who made man was made a man! Jesus was willingly stripped of His glory in order to become a man, and not just a man, but a child — helpless, dependent. This was the most monumental transition in all history: from the vast unfathomable riches of heaven to a dark, dingy, and dirty stable; from being worshiped by all the angelic hosts of heaven to being adored by a few shepherds; from being awesome in splendor and majesty to having
“… no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him” (Isaiah 53:2); from sitting upon the magnificent throne of heaven to laying in a cattle feeding trough filled with hay; from unfathomable omnipresence to being rapped up practically immovable in “swaddling clothes.”

Victory Garden
Once again in the garden of Eden we see the unwavering trust of the Son of God displayed. Many players appear on the stage of Gethsemane. Judas and his betrayal. Peter and his sword. The soldiers and their weapons. And though each of these is important in its own way, they are not critical. The encounter is not between Jesus and the soldiers; it is between God and Satan. Satan dares to enter yet another garden, but Jesus remains firm in His trust of the Father, and Satan is overcome.

The first Adam lost our heavenly inheritance in the garden of Eden, and Jesus, as the second Adam, had to win for us the victory by overcoming the same temptation to trust in self. Satan had tempted Adam and Eve with the desire to take their trust from God and put it in self -
“You shall be like God.” Jesus, as the new Adam, faced the same temptation in the Garden of Gethsemane, but He kept His trust fixed and focused on the heavenly Father. Trusting His heavenly Father was more than just a word of agreement. To demonstrate His trust in Father God, Jesus was stripped of His will and desire in the Garden. Because Jesus trusted the Father, He chose the Father’s will. This is how we overcome the temptation of the enemy — deep, abiding, obeying trust!

Complete Surrender
The final act of trust that Jesus demonstrated for us was upon the cross. Here He is stripped of everything — clothing, dignity, strength, and finally life. There, nailed to the cross, the Son of God holds onto only one thing — trust in His heavenly Father. Upon the cross Jesus displayed the most infinite trust ever displayed,
“Father, into Your hands I commit my Spirit” (John 23:46). He trusted the Father with all that He was, holding back nothing.

Our heavenly Father's desire for us is
“… to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29) and “… transformed into His likeness” (2 Corinthians 3:18) until our character comes into the fullness of Christ. God is going to strip away everything we trust in beside Himself until we have pure, naked trust in Him. That Father God requires this of us should not be surprising, for He required it of His precious Son. Jesus, our Perfect Example, was stripped of His glory and majesty, stripped of His will and desire, and in the end stripped of literally everything — clothing, dignity, strength, and His life; everything, that is, except His pure and loving trust in His heavenly Father.

To have perfect trust like Jesus, we must come to know the Father perfectly. While none of us have arrived at this place of knowing God fully and trusting Him completely, we are all called to the adventure of knowing Him more intimately. Each step forward on our journey of knowing our loving heavenly Father also brings us one step closer to the place of perfect trust.


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