Have you ever relied on someone’s word or asked them to do something for you— only to later discover they let you down and weren’t worthy of your trust?
When she was a teenager, my wife went on a church ski trip. Being new to skiing, Terese was only able to go on the beginner slopes. On one trail, she came across a boy from the church and asked him about a black diamond sign that she didn’t understand. The boy told her it meant nothing, and she should go on it, knowing full well Terese was a beginner. Trusting his advice, she followed the trail only to encounter a frightening slope that was only for advanced and expert skiers. After a few terrifying falls, Terese took off her skis and walked down the hill. She learned the hard way that the boy was not trustworthy.
Many of us have accounts of someone whose behavior broke our trust and left us hurt and scarred physically, psychologically, and even spiritually. From birth, trust is foundational to our very existence. Jeffry A. Simpson wrote, “Trust involves the juxtaposition of people’s loftiest hopes and aspirations with their deepest worries and fears.” Trust has been called the necessary glue for a relationship but is also extremely fragile. As we journey through life, broken trust can lead us to be understandably guarded and skeptical regarding whom or what we can trust. Because of past disappointments and even tragedies in life, some people may even question whether God is trustworthy.
I don’t claim to know or understand everything that happens in life, but there are some foundational truths I know that lead me to embrace this Truth: God is trustworthy! I could write an entire library about God’s trustworthiness and still not scratch the surface, but here are just a few Truths about God:
• There is no challenge to God’s ultimate, eternal power and authority— anywhere or anytime. God exists before the beginning, through the present, and beyond the future. Unbounded by time or space or anything else, God is perfectly able to do everything He says.
• God will ALWAYS do what He says he will do. It is literally impossible for God to otherwise. God stands by His word.
• God created everything, especially you and me, out of His immeasurable love. God knows everything about you and me and loves us unchangingly, intensely, and forever!
• When we allow Him into our very being, God’s reliable power is unleashed into our lives and circumstances. God will NOT let us down.
• God understands and helps us in and through our doubts. In Mark’s Gospel, a man brought his son, who had been in spiritual and physical bondage since childhood, to Jesus. Riddled with uncertainty, the man asked for Jesus’ help, if possible, in healing his boy. Knowing the man’s doubt—and the father’s love for his son— Jesus reminded him that everything is possible for the one who believes. The man replied, “ Lord, I believe, help me overcome my unbelief!” Jesus’ compassion for and understanding of the man’s doubts was evident as He healed the boy of his spiritual and physical afflictions. This is not just one man’s story— it’s all of ours! I wonder if that man had previously brought his son to so-called healers or went through all the religious exercises prescribed by legalistic authorities. The man’s trust had been damaged because of broken promises given to him in the past, but Jesus restored it (and the boy’s health) because of his unsurpassed, trustworthy power. God knows our doubts and brokenness and wants to restore us by showing that He is worthy of our trust.
My experience is that God is trustworthy, even when I don’t always see an answer or end in sight. Romans 8 reminds us that God causes all things—good, bad, or indifferent— to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. God has promised an eternal, perfect ending to our life story because of Jesus Christ. When we finally meet Him face to face, all our doubts and questions will be put to rest, and we will see how truly trustworthy and faithful God has been, is, and always will be. Even when our sight is clouded in doubt, we can lift our heart and voice to God and declare this:
“You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 86:15)
God is trustworthy!
God bless you.