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What is the meaning of full trust in G-d?

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What does it mean to have full “bitachon” (trust) in G-d?

From a talk by the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson. Presented with permission from the publisher, Sichos in English. Translated from Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XXXVI, p. 1-6.

What is the meaning of full trust in G-d?

What does it mean to have full “bitachon” (trust) in G-d?

From a talk by the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson. Presented with permission from the publisher, Sichos in English. Translated from Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XXXVI, p. 1-6.

Bitachon/trust is not merely the faith that G-d has the potential to bestow good [upon a person] and save him from adversity. Instead, [it implies that] the person trusts that G-d will actually do this. And his trust is so absolute that he is serene and does not worry at all. As [the book] Chovos HaLevavos [Duties of the Heart] states:[1] “The essence of bitachon/trust is the serenity of the person who trusts. His heart relies on the One Whom he trusts that He will do what is best and most befitting with regard to the matter he trusts in Him.”

Explanation is required: What is the foundation for this absolute certainty? Even when there is an explicit promise from G-d, it is possible that the promise will not be fulfilled because “sin will have an effect.” Certainly, this applies when there is no such promise. [Moreover,] the possibility that “sin will have an effect” is relevant to each of us (“for there is no man so [wholly] righteous on earth that he always does good and never sins.”)[2] If even Jacob had this fear [see Genesis 32:8, and Rashi’s explanation there], certainly, it applies to others.[3]

Heavenly world

The Rebbe proposes a possible explanation

On the surface, one might offer the following explanation: The concept of bitachon/trust is based on the faith that everything comes from G-d, blessed be He. Thus, when a person is found in distress and difficulty, it isn’t because [the material factor] causing the distress has, Heaven forbid, [independent] control in any manner whatsoever. Instead, everything comes from Above.

Bitachon/trust is not merely the faith that G-d has the potential to bestow good [upon a person] and save him from adversity. Instead, [it implies that] the person trusts that G-d will actually do this. And his trust is so absolute that he is serene and does not worry at all. As [the book] Chovos HaLevavos [Duties of the Heart] states:[1] “The essence of bitachon/trust is the serenity of the person who trusts. His heart relies on the One Whom he trusts that He will do what is best and most befitting with regard to the matter he trusts in Him.”

Explanation is required: What is the foundation for this absolute certainty? Even when there is an explicit promise from G-d, it is possible that the promise will not be fulfilled because “sin will have an effect.” Certainly, this applies when there is no such promise. [Moreover,] the possibility that “sin will have an effect” is relevant to each of us (“for there is man so [wholly] righteous on earth that he always does good and never sins.”)[2] If even Jacob had this fear [see Genesis 32:8, and Rashi’s explanation there], certainly, it applies to others.[3]

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