By nature, I'm an optimist.

Twenty years ago, I knew about the horrors of terrorism.

But conventional wisdom said that it couldn't happen in America.

So I trusted; and I slept peacefully.

I try to pay some attention to the financial markets. And, over the years, my financially-astute friends would assure me that slumps were "just part of the normal market cycle," and that "our economic system is solid and reliable." In fact, "some companies are TBTF [Too Big Too Fail]; they're here for the long run, no matter what happens in the short term."

So I trusted; and I slept peacefully.

What now?

Is anything in the world truly secure and TBTF?In 2009, we in our local Chabad Center find ourselves (like synagogues and JCCs all over the world) inviting the Department of Homeland Security for "target hardening."

In 2009, I find that the economy has actually been masking a fundamental weakness, that there's really no such thing as TBTF, and that nobody really knows when we'll pull out of this.

So where do I find a sense of stability? Whom can we trust? Is anything in the world truly secure and TBTF?

Sure, I believe in G‑d, and I believe that G‑d loves, guides and helps me.

But belief is one thing; trusting G‑d is different.

What is trust?

When I genuinely trust someone at work, I'm fully expecting them to carry a load. I totally expect good results from this person, because I trust him/her.

In Jewish theology, that's what "Trust in G‑d" should mean.

It means relying on a G‑d who cares and is able; and who loves us so much that He'll even help the "undeserving."

It means expecting good results, appreciable in the here and now. Why? Because G‑d is carrying the burden.

That's not easy, because it's somewhat counterintuitive.

In life, we need to expend human efforts to achieve results; so it's natural for us to attribute the results to our own efforts.

The Torah is telling me to continue my efforts, because G‑d wants His blessings to find a human conduit. But the Torah's telling me to trust that the final results will be G‑d's; and to trust that – because they flow from the Divine – those results will be appreciably good.

The third Chabad Rebbe had the following advice: "Think positively and it will be positive."

He wasn't only giving psychological advice; it was innately Judaic guidance.

"Think positively and it will be positive"My trust in G‑d, my absolute reliance on a loving G‑d to deliver positive results for my efforts, is a critical spiritual trigger for good things to happen.

And the results will reflect the amount of my trust.

It isn't easy.

But I guess it's not meant to be.