2228) Faith and Trust

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By C. S. Lewis in The World’s Last Night (1952)


     There are times when we can do all that a fellow creature needs if only he will trust us.  In getting a dog out of a trap, in extracting a thorn from a child’s finger, in teaching a boy to swim or rescuing one who can’t, in getting a frightened beginner over a nasty place on a mountain, the one fatal obstacle may be their distrust.  We are asking them to trust us in the teeth of their sense, their imagination, and their intelligence.  We ask them to believe that what is painful will relieve their pain and that what looks dangerous is their only safety.  We ask them to accept apparent impossibilities: that moving the paw farther back into the trap is the way to get it out – that hurting the finger very much more will stop the finger hurting – that water which is obviously permeable will resist and support the body – that holding onto the only support within reach is not the way to avoid sinking – that to go higher and onto a more exposed ledge is the way not to fall.  To support all these incredibilia we can rely only on the other party’s confidence in us – a confidence certainly not based on demonstration, admittedly shot through with emotion, and perhaps, if we are strangers, resting on nothing but such assurance as the look of our face and the tone of our voice can supply, or eve, for the dog, on our smell.  Sometimes, because of their unbelief, we can do no mighty works.  But if we succeed, we do so because they have maintained their faith in us against apparently contrary evidence.  No one blames us for demanding such faith.  No one blames them for giving it.


Proverbs 3:5-6  —  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Psalm 22:4-5  —  In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them.  To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

Psalm 56:3-  4…11  —  When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.  In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid.  What can mere mortals do to me?

Psalm 112:7-8a  —  They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.  Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear.

Psalm 119:66  —  Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands.

Psalm 146:3-5  —  Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save.  When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.  Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God.

Isaiah 26:3  —  You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Jeremiah 17:7  —  Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.

Nahum 1:7  —  The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble.  He cares for those who trust in him.

Romans 15:13  —  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.


In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.

–Psalm 25:1