When you think about trust, who is it that you truly trust? Yes, sometimes we have to lean on people who will disappoint us, but we don’t trust them, do we? It is necessity, not trust, that makes us lean on those people. Who do we trust? We trust those we can count on! When it comes to God, what does the Bible mean when it declares that we can depend on Him?
Psalm 33:4 For the Word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does.
Here are three large areas that describe how God is supremely dependable:
God acts consistently within His character.
God says repeatedly in His Word that we can trust God because He doesn’t do things like lie or change who He is. His standard for holiness has not changed. His revelation of what He cares about has not changed. What does that mean for us? It means that the way God will act in our life will always match the character that is revealed in the Scripture. God will not suddenly become unloving or unholy. His character will always be consistent.
God does what He says He will do.
There is a very disappointing reality about humans. We sometimes make promises that we don’t or can’t keep. God doesn’t do that. When He says He will do something, He does it. The Lord keeps His promises. Even when we are tempted to give up hope, the Scriptures encourage us with this idea: God will keep His promises.
When He works, He does it well
There was a funny saying that I heard often when I was a student. It went, “God don’t make no junk.” Double negatives aside, the point is that when God works in a life He doesn’t do a half-hearted job. He doesn’t make a mess of things. When God’s work is accomplished in a life, it is amazing. The Apostle Paul encouraged his churches with thoughts like this. He declared that what God was doing was, “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20)
When you and I struggle, we need to come back to these three glorious truths. They remind us that no matter what circumstances we face, God is there. He does not abandon us. He works in our lives. He walks with us, hand in hand. We can trust Him.
Normally, I would stop there and sign off for the week. However, I feel led to write a little longer this week about the discouragement that some of us feel when God’s work in our lives feels delayed. We may acknowledge that the Bible does declare these three things about God, but when the struggle persists or God says no to our proposed solution to our problems we struggle with discouragement about trusting God. Let me offer a little perspective about what is happening many times when we want God to act and He delays.
We are asking God to do something that violates His character.
Now, I don’t mean that we are asking God to sin. (Although I have had people ask me if God wouldn’t solve their problem without them giving up the sin that caused it – but that is a small number of people) I mean that our solution to our problems asks God to deny a part of His nature to emphasize another part of His nature. An example: when we ask God to judge quickly someone who has hurt us while ignoring the fact that He refrains from executing judgment specifically because He also loves to show mercy. God is not simplistic. He is filled with a good desires that tugs at His own heart. No sin, but definitely complex desires and character. Our simple answers can violate that part of God’s character and so we are frustrated by His delay.
God is doing something bigger in our life than one season will accomplish.
Many times, I want God to act now! As time passes, God shows me that His vision for my struggle was bigger than my vision. As the years pass, I keep learning more and more that when God seems to delay in answering my prayers that He is doing bigger things than I can see from where I am presently standing.
God values quality and not just simplicity.
When I am struggling, I just want to escape. I am not thinking about how God is refining me. I am not thinking about I can grow and change to become more like Jesus. I just want out. What about you? Don’t you find yourself wanting the same? That’s not enough for God. Consistently in the Word we see Him say that He does things through suffering that transforms us on the inside. Sure, it leaves scars. However, as we turn to God in trust over and over, God takes those scars and redeems them in profoundly glorious ways.
What’s the point? There is a two-fold encouragement in Scripture. First, God’s people through the ages declare to us that God can be trusted. He is dependable and worthy of our trust. The second encouragement is that waiting on God is worth it too. Isaiah says that, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not grow weary. They shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31) So, let’s trust God at both times. If your faith is new or fragile today, know that God is worthy of your trust. He can be trusted. He is dependable. If your faith is seasoned or struggling, don’t talk yourself out of the child-like trust that Jesus encourages us to have. Children keep believing in their parents even though they don’t understand many of the things they do. Likewise, let us fan the flame of child-like trust when we don’t understand what God is doing. He is worthy of that kind of trust too. We can always depend on Him.