The biographies of pioneering missionaries, or puritans resisting the English kings, or reformers facing heresy trials, or other heroes of the faith often impress us with great displays of trust in God. These heroes proclaimed the gospel to people about to kill them for it, preached when they’d be thrown in jail for doing so, and relied constantly on God for provision. Perhaps we see great trust as well in fellow church members—those fighting cancer, those with very sick family members, those who end up in severe financial trouble, those who go through great trouble with unbelieving family, and others. While many people go through various difficult trials and have to rely on God, some Christians experience mostly good providences to us, and that their “trials”—finals weeks and annoying people at work—hardly count. How then can such a person trust God?
The short answer is that Christians are called to trust God in every situation into which God has placed them, whether that be big or little. To despise the little opportunities to trust God is to be unfaithful to the calling God has given you. I was personally struck with this a couple weeks ago while flying across the county. My plane was late leaving Raleigh, and I knew that I only had a 4 minute layover in Atlanta before going on to Burbank. Being late could result in missing my plane. As I sat in my seat I felt pretty nervous—not necessarily fully anxious but definitely very much impatient and wanting to leave my seat as promptly as possible. This feeling annoyed me; why couldn’t I feel relaxed with God’s providence?
Surely this was only a little annoyance; surely there was no great consequences for failing to trust God enough to be relaxed when my plane might not get me home on time (which it ultimately did). However, the principle struck me: “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.” (Luke 16:10) In context, God is referring to faithfulness in stewardship with money as the faithfulness in a little, and faithfulness with the truth to store up heavenly treasure as the faithfulness in much.
But this isn’t actually that far from our life circumstances—as earthly wealth is a stewardship, a trust from God, so too is any life circumstance. Whether driving down the 405 in rush hour, spending an hour talking with a friend, or waiting to get off an airplane, God has ordained every situation in our lives, and we can either make the most of it for His glory, or we can be unfaithful with it. These earthly stewardships are measures of our faithfulness in little. Should we fail here, we have no reason to wish for the harder stewardships involved in standing up to the Catholic church like Luther at Wurms or working alone on the frontier like David Brainerd. The principle stands, though the context is slightly different: he who is faithful in a little will also be faithful in much.
Ultimately this provides great encouragement: in whatever daily situation the believer finds himself called to, he has an opportunity to trust God that He has appointed it as the best thing for the believer at that time, an opportunity to serve Him and worship Him. While cliché, this is also profound stuff—a condemnation on our general mindlessness of God in daily life. I personally rarely fully recognize my daily commutes as opportunities to trust God, perhaps as seen in the quickness of my various ejaculations and enthusiastic vitriol directed at other drivers. I pray then, that I could repent, and that I could learn to be faithful with God’s little trusts He gives me, as they are opportunities to trust Him.