Volume 21, Issue 21 (May 26, 2019)
Reasons You Can Trust God
By Kyle Pope
If you are like many people in this world, it may be that the hardships of life, discouragements you have faced, mistreatment by others, or pain that you have experienced has brought you to a point that you find it difficult to put your trust in God. You may feel like He has let you down. You don’t feel like He cares about you. If so, you are not the first to feel this way, but let me offer you some good reasons that you can trust God...
1. He is the source of any joy or good thing in your life. In spite of any disappointments, pain, and suffering you have faced in life, at some point you have experienced good things—happy things—pleasant things. God gave you those things. The Holy Spirit led James to write, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). Don’t let the pain make you forget the joys—however few they may have been.
2. He loves you as no one else ever has. A newborn baby isn’t fully aware of all of the hard work, long hours, sleepless nights, and endless effort that is a part of the love that parents show to their children, but it is there none-the-less. There is no one who has ever loved you like God has! He was loving you before you were ever born. God told Jeremiah, “Before you were in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you” (Jer. 1:5). He was with you in the cradle. He cared for you in ways you don’t even realize even when you faced hardships. In the moving messianic Psalm 22, which Jesus quotes in part from the cross, the Psalmist (and Jesus in anguish) cries out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” (Psalm 22:1; cf. Matt. 27:46). Yet, the focus of the Psalm (and perhaps the focus of Jesus’ use of it) is the recognition that God was there all along—“He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; nor has He hidden His face from Him; but when He cried to Him, He heard” (Ps. 22:24). The very death of Jesus was a demonstration of His love for you—a love that continues even now. He loves you more than a lover, a mate, a parent, a friend, or a sibling. You can trust One who loves you so much.
3. He has never forsaken you. You may have faced situations in which people you trusted betrayed you, hurt you, or let you down. God has never done that! The Hebrew writer quotes Jesus’ promise, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5). Jesus promised His disciples, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). No one else has ever been as faithful to you. You may not have always recognized that He was with you, but don’t confuse what others may have done with what God has done.
4. He has never lied to you. Trust means that we have a confidence in the words or actions of the one in whom we have put our trust. When trust is lost it is because the one in whom we believed failed to honor something that was said or acted in a way that was contrary to our trust. God has never done that to you! The Holy Spirit tells us, “it is impossible for God to lie” (Heb. 6:18)—in fact God “cannot lie” (Titus 1:2). No one else can say that. Any betrayals you may have felt were not done to you by God. He always keeps His word. You may not like what He says, but He will always tell you the truth.
5. He has never mistreated you. People are capable of horrible mistreatment of one another. You may have suffered such mistreatment. God is not indifferent to these things. He “is angry with the wicked every day” (Ps. 7:11)—“the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates” (Ps. 11:5). Freewill allows human beings opportunities for great good, but also great evil. Whatever others have done to you, God has never mistreated you. God asked the people through Micah, “what have I done to you? And how have I wearied you? Testify against Me” (Micah 6:3). We can’t blame God for what others have done to us. A father is not guilty for the sins of his children (cf. Ezek. 19:20). God didn’t mistreat you. He has been with you seeking your good in spite of whatever you may have suffered. He may not have spared you from mistreatment, but He cared for you when you faced it.
6. He can sympathize with your struggles. You may wish that God had not allowed you to go through some of the dark times you have faced. Unfortunately, as Jesus said, “in this world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33), but you can trust God through such things knowing that God in Christ has experienced dark times Himself. The Hebrew writer assures us that we have a High Priest who can “sympathize” with our struggles because He was “was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). Christ’s suffering keeps us from ever being able to say—“He doesn’t know what it’s like!” or “He doesn’t know how it feels!” We can trust One who has faced what we have faced.
7. He has been patient with you. The first time you doubted Him, or disobeyed Him, as your Creator He had the right to punish you at once for your defiance and rebellion, but He didn’t. The Psalmist rejoices because God, “has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities” (Ps. 103:10). Every day you continue to live God is giving you time to repent. Peter wrote, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). If God cared enough about you to be patient with you, you can trust that He has your best interests in mind.
8. He promises you hope of an eternity free of suffering. If you doubt God because of what you or others have suffered, consider what you are choosing if you reject Him. Rejection of God doesn’t take away what you have suffered. Instead it consigns you to nothing but suffering! The suffering of your life becomes the sum of your existence. The suffering you will face for rebellion against God will become your fate for eternity. On the other hand, you can trust the One who, in spite of all you may have faced, offers you the hope of a life with Him in which “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4). One who has both the power and the desire to offer such things to you is beyond all question One whom you can trust!