Can God be trusted?
I remember the moment I realized, to my own surprise, that I didn’t trust God. I thought I had this Jesus-thing under my belt. I had been following Jesus for years and years. I was a believer, and in a season of growing closer to God, He used Psalm 115:3 to point out the distrust tucked away in my heart.
“Our God is in heaven; He does whatever pleases Him” (Psalm 115:3).
What do you mean God does whatever pleases Him?
This verse troubled me. It brought up an image of God, sitting on high, doling out suffering and punishment at His whim. The discrepancy between what I knew in my head (that God was good) and the reaction in my gut showed me I had some trust issues to address.
God is so certain of His own goodness that He isn’t threatened at all by our questions.
Many of us distrust God at times, but we think it too grievous a thing to admit. The truth is that God is big enough to confront and settle our doubts. God is so certain of His own goodness that He isn’t threatened at all by our questions. Our heavenly Father isn't someone we have to tiptoe around.
Three Common Reasons We Distrust God
1. We don’t know Him.
Just as in other relationships, we tend to be wary of people we don’t know well, people we have no history with, or people we only have limited interaction with. The same skepticism plays out in our relationship with God.
If we don’t spend time getting to know God, if we only “hang out” on Sundays or throw up polite prayers, we'll never get to know Him and our trust will never grow.
God wants us to know Him. That's why He sent His Son, Jesus, and gave us the Bible — His Words, written down for us.
2. We distrust others.
This was my deal. I took the hurt and disappointment I experienced in other relationships and transferred those expectations to Him.
Often, because God does not wear the skin our other relationships do, we feel the need to define Him in human terms we can grasp. But God is not one of us — a thought that should bring us comfort and make us glad! Psalm 103 reminds us of God's supernatural character: compassionate, gracious, loving, forgiving, all to perfection. When we wrap our brains and hearts around God's goodness, we realize He can be trusted.
3. We misunderstand Him.
When we allow our limited knowledge of God to rub elbows with our distrust of others, we can arrive at a warped understanding of who God is. We can come to believe that cancer and rape and abuse and hunger are instruments in God’s toolbox, and we approach Him with a raised brow, a squint of suspicion. And as a result, we offer Him little of our hearts or lives.
Psalm 145:13 sums up the truth I had to allow to soak into my bones: “The Lord is trustworthy in all He promises and faithful in all He does.” When I was willing to do the work to get to know God better, according to His own definitions and integrity, I discovered that He is trustworthy and faithful without fail.