“He didn’t protect me, so I don’t trust him.” Have you ever heard someone say these words, or something like them? Perhaps it was someone who was in a terrible, life-changing accident. The Lord did not protect them from spinal cord injury or some other life-altering tragedy. Now, they just can’t bring themselves to trust God any more. He let them down.
When a counselee makes this type of declaration, I know that they have trusted God for the wrong reasons. It is easy to trust God when things are going well and life is reasonably smooth. What is the basis of your trust in God in those good times? Is it the evidence you see around you, the smoothness of life, the satisfaction of having your material needs met? If so, you are setting yourself up for a big fall if things go south.
Often, it is in trials that we find out our trust has been misplaced. We thought we’d been trusting God, but when tragedy strikes or troubles come, we find out our trust was not really in God, but in something else. Many people find out that their trust was really in themselves. They take great pride in their self- sufficiency, trusting in their own strength to see them through. When times get tough and their strength proves inadequate, they begin to question God. Others put their trust in money, and the comforts it can buy. Inevitably though, the money runs out, and they begin to doubt God.
Some put their trust in people. They surround themselves with friends, employees, or others who will build them up and make them look good and feel good about themselves. That’s all great until life gets hard, the job gets down-sized, and the fair-weather friends go looking for bluer skies. When the person is left alone, she begins to question: Where are you, God? You promised to be with me, but now that times are tough, you are nowhere to be found!
Are you suffering right now, my friend? In the midst of that suffering, are you doubting God’s goodness or love for you? Think about the God you trusted when things were going well. Why did you trust him? Was it because He was answering your prayers and bringing you success and good health? If so, you need to meet the real God of the Bible. He is trustworthy for one reason: Because He said so. Paul suffered greatly (See 2 Corinthians 11:22-29 for a detailed list), yet he was able to say this, in 2 Timothy 1:12:
For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.
David experienced every kind of defeat, loss, disappointment, and shame, yet he was able to pray this prayer in 2 Samuel 7:28:
"Now, O Lord GOD, You are God, and Your words are truth…”
The writer of Psalm 111, recalling the Exodus and wilderness wanderings of the Israelites, has no complaint of the hunger or difficulty his people suffered during those 40 years. Instead, he says this:
The works of His hands are truth and justice; All His precepts are sure…
Perhaps, somewhere along the way, your trust in God has shifted to a trust in something else. The God of the Bible never changes. He is faithful and true, regardless of your circumstances. If you are beginning to doubt God’s goodness and love, you need to go back to the Bible and reacquaint yourself with the One True God. Open Tozer’s The Knowledge of the Holy , or Pink’s Attributes of God and begin to read about the God you have said that you trust. You will see that none of the attributes of God rely on earthly circumstances for their truth. God is God. He is who He says He is, regardless of what you see with human eyes. If your trust truly is in Him, then it cannot be shaken.
The only God you can trust is the God of the Bible. If you’re doubting today, go meet Him again. He is better than money, fame, friends, and He is a much better savior than you are! Study the God of the Bible, and place your trust only in Him.