“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” Job 13:15 (KJV)
“Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him;
I will surely defend my ways to his face.” Job 13:15 (NIV)
The words translated “trust” in the Bible literally mean “a bold, confident, sure security or action based on that security.” Trust is not exactly the same as faith, which is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9). Rather, trusting is what we do because of the faith we have been given. Trusting is believing in the promises of God in all circumstances, even in those where the evidence seems to be to the contrary. Hebrews 11 talks about faith, which is accepting and believing the truth that God reveals about Himself, supremely in the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus the Christ. Nevertheless, the practical consequence of faith in God is trust, which we prove by living out our full acceptance of God’s promises day by day. Furthermore, it is by this trust that we are promised peace:
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Isaiah 26:3
The classic verse regarding trust is Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” This verse sums up the Bible’s teaching on trust. First, it is the Lord in whom we are to trust, not ourselves or our plans, and certainly not the world’s wisdom and devices. We trust in the Lord because He and He alone is truly trustworthy. His Word is trustworthy (Psalm 93:5; 111:7; Titus 1:9), His nature is faithful and true (Deuteronomy 7:9; Psalm 25:10; 145:13; 146:6), and His plans for us are perfect and purposeful (Isaiah 46:10; Jeremiah 29:11). Further, because of God’s nature, we are to trust Him with all our hearts, committing every aspect of our lives to Him in complete confidence. Finally, we are not to trust in ourselves because our understanding is temporal, finite, and tainted by our sin natures. Trusting in ourselves is like walking confidently across a rotten wooden bridge over a yawning chasm thousands of feet deep. Disaster inevitably follows.
Trust in God is a feature of many of the psalms of David. There are 39 references to trust in the Psalms alone, whether referring to trusting in God and His Word, or to not trusting in riches or the things of this world. It is on the basis of this trust that David finds deliverance from all the evil he encounters. Many of David’s psalms describe situations when he was pursued by Saul and his army, as well as his other enemies, and always did the Lord come to his aid. One thing that can be noted about biblical trust is that it always engenders further trust in our God. The man of God never stops trusting in God completely. His faith may be knocked, He may stumble, or He may fall into the foulest of sins, but “though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand” (Psalm 37:24). The man of God knows that, though trials will beset in this life, his trust will not waiver because that trust is based on faith in the promises of God: the promise of eternal joy with the Lord and the promise of an inheritance that “can never perish, spoil and fade” (1 Peter 1:4).
The Bible has quite a lot to say about hope. Biblical hope has as its foundation faith in God. The word hope in English often conveys doubt. For instance, “I hope it will not rain tomorrow.” In addition, the word hope is often followed by the word so. This is the answer that some may give when asked if they think that they will go to heaven when they die. They say, “I hope so.” However, that is not the meaning of the words usually translated “hope” in the Bible.
In the Old Testament the Hebrew word batah and its cognates has the meaning of confidence, security, and being without care; therefore, the concept of doubt is not part of this word. We find that meaning in Job 6:20; Psalm 16:9; Psalm 22:9; and Ecclesiastes 9:4. In most instances in the New Testament, the word hope is the Greek elpis/elpizo. Again, there is no doubt attached to this word. Therefore, biblical hope is a confident expectation or assurance based upon a sure foundation for which we wait with joy and full confidence. In other words, “There is no doubt about it!”
One of the verses in which we find the word hope is Hebrews 11:1. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This verse at the beginning of the faith chapter (Hebrews 11) carries with it all of the confidence that comes with knowing for sure, with no question, what we have been promised by God in His Word. Our faith is confident assurance, for it is founded upon the Rock of our salvation, the Lord Jesus the Christ. All of the actions of the heroes of the faith recorded in Hebrews 11 were made possible because they had this faith based in their confident assurance or hope in God. As believers, we are also called to give an answer for the hope that is within us to any who would ask (1 Peter 3:15).
Therefore, biblical hope is a reality and not a feeling. Biblical hope carries no doubt. Biblical hope is a sure foundation upon which we base our lives, believing that God always keeps His promises. Hope or confident assurance can be ours when we trust the words, In the translations of Job 13, there is no disconnect in the application of trust and hope.