I Thessalonians 2:4 (WEB) states, “But even as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News, so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, who tests our hearts.” John 14:1 also states, “Don't let your heart be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me.” Curiously all three underlined words above are derived from the Greek word, pisteuo, with the same Strong’s reference number of 4100.
We all know that Christians pisteuo God, but does God also pisteuo Christians? Popular Christian lyrics harmonize, “He believes in you.” Others commonly boast, “If you cannot trust in yourself who can you trust in?” Or again, “If you want something done right you have to do it yourself!” Or the persuasive, “Ah come on, just trust me.” Or again, “The foundation of solid relationships is trust.” Or the pine of hopeless romantics, “I need to find someone I can trust.” Or the book I now read, “Building Effective Relationships [through trust].” Or the grand conclusion of Cinderella’s daily speech in the Magic Kingdom or the High School football coach pep rally exhortation, “You have to believe…in yourself.”
Though we all want to trust in others, others to trust in us, and ultimately to trust in ourselves, perhaps now we have found Biblical support for the practice. For if God trusts in us why shouldn’t we trust in ourselves? In fact if our trust relationship with God is reciprocal, us trusting God and God trusting us, we have every reason to trust in ourselves and to urge others to trust in us as well. For if the God of the universe depends on us, why then we are at least equal to God and possibly greater, and we are then in agreement with Invictus and in fact 'the captains of our souls.' Yet before we launch into the skies with our new confidence let us double check the Scripture above.
Greek study observes that ‘entrusted’ and ‘believe’ above both are from the same word ‘pisteuo’, yet a study of the context shows that ‘pisteuo’ is used differently in the two verses above. In the case of I Thessalonians 2:4 ‘pisteuo’ is followed by the direct object ‘The Good News.’ Thus a more careful reading shows that God does not ‘trust in man’, but ‘entrusts man with’ the gospel. The ‘with’ is absent in the Greek but is implied by the direct object. In the case of John 14:1 there is also a direct object, ‘God.’ Man is commanded to ‘trust in’ God.
Webster’s explains the difference between ‘entrust with’ and ‘trust in’. To ‘trust in’ someone is to place ‘total confidence in the integrity, ability, and good character of another.’ To ‘entrust with’ is to ‘give over something to another for care, protection, or performance.’ When we ‘trust in’ God we are dependent upon his dependability. When God ‘entrusts us with’ the gospel he is not dependent upon our dependability, but instead gives us an assignment leagues beyond our ability causing us to further ‘trust in’ him for help. Greek word studies and word comparisons are useful only in as far as we remember that even the same Greek word can have different meanings depending upon the context, just as English words.
Of course other Scriptures make it plain that God loves us, but does not ‘trust in’ us. “But Jesus didn't trust himself to them, because he knew everyone” (John 2:24 WEB). Furthermore, we should love each other, but not ‘trust in’ each other. “Don't put your trust in princes, each a son of man in whom there is no help” (Psalm 146:3 WEB). Jesus is the faithful prince that God or we can trust in because Jesus is God. Finally, we should soberly consider our weakness and never ‘trust in’ ourselves. “One who trusts in himself is a fool; but one who walks in wisdom is kept safe” (Proverbs 28:26 WEB).
Ironically the world with raised hand, bold facade, and trembling heart preaches trust in your self and trust in me, while we preach with trembling hand, no facade, and bold heart, trust in God alone! The foundation of confidence on this earth and solid relationships is not trusting each other, but trusting in God, receiving his love, and loving each other as he loves us!