Is It Faith or Is It Trust?

ALT="jacquard silk scarf"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer 

As a novelist, my life often intersects with my fictional characters—or theirs with mine. A challenge they face may be one with which I’ve wrestled. A discovery they make could mirror one of my own.

This was the case with my recent novella, Just in Time for Christmas.

During the time I was writing the story, I was also in an online study group exploring the differences between faith and trust.

For years I’d thought faith and trust were basically the same thing. But when I looked closer, I realized that in a spiritual context one was a noun and the other a verb.

Faith is something we have; trust is something we do.

A comment from the instructor, Dr. Dallas Willard, clarified things even more:

God gives us faith so we can trust Him.

That simple statement not only impacted my life, it later came tumbling from the lips of one of my characters.

Trust and faith are close cousins, like two sides of the same coin. But the metaphor my character used in the story was the unique weave of a jacquard scarf. Though the same thread is used in the creation of the fabric, a specific loom process causes it to appear in two different shades—the same, yet different.

The design of the textile is incorporated into the weave, instead of being printed or dyed onto the fabric. 

Look closely at the photograph above and you can see a pattern in the scarf, separate from the images printed on the fabric. It shows through in both the black and gray areas.

In 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, faith is listed among the gifts given by the Holy Spirit. Elsewhere we read, “Trust in the Lord and do good” (Psalms 37:3). The first eight verses of this Psalm are full of action-packed directives – things we can do when we trust God.

The first month of the New Year is nearly over. Let’s grab hold of the faith God has given us and actively trust Him to see us through the days, weeks, and months remaining.


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ALT="Just in Time for Christmas audio cover"
Now available in audio.

Abigale wiped her fingers on the towel and picked up the scarf, letting it spill like a green waterfall on the table. It was big enough for Seth to wrap around his throat twice, as ranchers did.
     “He asked me to marry him last night. Well—in a way. He didn’t really ask. It was closer to telling.”
     “And you didn’t take that well, did you.” Ida chuckled and sipped her coffee. “Nor should you. Never let him ride roughshod over you, but neither forget that he loves you. It will make all the difference in your partnership. If you choose to marry him, that is.”
     “Mams would have said to have faith.”
     “And she’d be right,” Ida said. “Faith is something we carry with us. Trust, on the other hand, is something we do. The two work together, like the light and darker weave in that jacquard-patterned scarf.”
Ida gave Abigale’s hand a gentle squeeze. “I won’t tell you to follow your heart. But I will tell you that God gives us faith so we can trust Him. He’ll let you know. All you have to do is ask.” ~Just in Time for Christmas

*For more on jacquard scarves, commonly called “wild rags” by the cowboys who wear them, check out my post on Heroes, Heroines & History.
Inspirational Western Romance – where the hero is heroic.

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