When I refer to the names Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I’m talking about a God, who eternally exists in three distinct persons. They are each fully and equally God, in eternal community with each other. I say they are persons, but I’m not saying they are human beings. I only mean that they are not impersonal forces. Each member of the Trinity thinks, acts, feels, speaks, and relates. They all share the attributes of being eternal, of being all knowing, all-powerful, and present everywhere.
A beautiful verse in Ephesians 1:4-13 refers to all three members of the Trinity in a way that also explains their distinct roles,
“In love he [the Father] predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved [Jesus]. In him [Jesus] we have redemption through the blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace….In him [Jesus] you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him [Jesus] were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.”
To trust in God, it’s vital to know who Jesus is. Jesus alone reveals who God is. Jesus is how God came to us in a human world. Before we can trust in God, we have to have faith in him, and hope in the promises that he gives- and then we can trust. Brennan Manning says in Ruthless Trust,
“Like faith and hope, trust cannot be self generated. I cannot simply will myself to trust…….What does lie in my power is paying attention to the faithfulness of Jesus. That’s what I’m asked to do: pay attention to Jesus throughout my journey, remembering his kindnesses (Ps.103.2).”
And the Holy Spirit helps me to do that, to pay attention. Everything I need to place my trust in God is given to me. It is in all three persons of the Trinity that I place my trust. So when I refer to these different names, Father Son, and Holy Spirit, I’m talking about the same God, because there’s only one God, but I use different names because they are separate persons with different roles. I hope this is clear enough. I thought it was important to clarify before I went any further.
Yes, it's all a bit mysterious, awe inspiring, and wonderful, and so much bigger than us. But the Holy Spirit meets us where we're at, bringing us to a better understanding of the beautiful love of God, as we're ready. Paying attention to Jesus, not our circumstances, remembering his kindnesses…it’s not always easy, especially when life seems out of control. But that’s exactly what we want to do if we are to place our trust in Jesus. That’s what the phase, Above the Waves, which comes from Hillsong’s Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) song is referencing. I’ll write more about that next time.