Throughout Scripture we are instructed to lean into the fact that God is trustworthy. We are to free our minds and hearts of worry. We are to give up control (as if we had any to begin with!). We are to entrust our lives to Him.
The universe is a messy place, filled with forces beyond our control. That must be one reason why God put so many verses in His Word about trusting Him. Two of my favorites: “Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock” (Isaiah 26:4), and “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).
So how can we hope to put out the “fires” that overwhelm us, when we’re consumed by worries and conflicts and problems? How do we gain the knowledge that God is trustworthy?
We learn from personal experience. We can also look at biblical examples of ordinary people, such as Ruth, Abraham, and Job.
IS God Trustworthy?
In this Bible story we learn that Naomi and Ruth have both become widows.
With limited means, and lacking the protection of husbands, the women face a grim future.
Yet Ruth demonstrates integrity, loyalty, and love when she chooses to forsake her country of Moab after Naomi, her mother-in-law, decides to return home to Judah. Ruth’s decision is incredibly selfless; before her lies an arduous journey and a lifetime of service to Naomi. Naomi encourages Ruth to stay in Moab and find a new husband, but Ruth is not having it.
“Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you,” Ruth doggedly pledges. “Where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God” (Ruth 1:16).
Don’t miss this: Ruth is ALL IN. In making her decision, Ruth also chooses God and His ways without reservation.
God blesses Ruth for her humility and servant attitude. He not only gives her a wealthy husband (a relative of Naomi’s, which also restores Naomi’s good fortune and social standing), but also a baby who becomes the grandfather of King David, a direct ancestor of Jesus. Cool!
What I love about this story is God’s provision. Neither woman, as they imagined their bleak futures, had any inkling that God was directing their steps to bless them and accomplish His plans to bring Jesus to earth.
In the book of Genesis we learn that Abram, at 75, is already an old man. At 65, his wife, Sarai, is also old. But God visits the childless couple, promising that one day their direct descendants will be as plentiful as the stars. This is the stuff of fantasy novels!
Abram chooses to believe God.
“And [God] took [Abram] outside and said, ‘Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ Then [Abram] believed in the LORD; and [God] reckoned it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:5-6).
Over the next two decades, as God holds back on his promise, Abram’s faith wavers. Sarai’s crashes and burns.
Give birth in her eighties? Impossible!
Only as Abram nears the VERY ripe age of 100, does God finally invite Abram to step into His promise. (God enjoys the miraculous!)
“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, ‘I am El Shaddai — God Almighty. Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.’ At this, Abram fell face down on the ground.” (Genesis 17:1-3)
As part of the covenant, God changes Abram’s name to Abraham, which means “Father of a great multitude,” and Sarai’s name to Sarah, which means “Princess or Lady.” Despite her lack of faith, God still calls her into His vision for her. God wants to do that for us, too.
Job might be one of the most difficult books in the Bible to understand. Why, we wonder, would God allow Job, whom the Bible describes as “upright and approved by God,” to endure so much suffering if God is good and loving?
God sometimes allows difficult circumstances to teach us and help us (or others) to grow.
In Job’s case, God allows Satan to rip Job’s cushy life to shreds. He kills Job’s children. He steals Job’s crops and livestock. And he tortures Job by covering his body in painful sores. Despite the incredible loss and suffering, Job does not follow his wife’s advice to “curse God and die.” But he does question God’s justice and benevolence — just as you and I would have likely done.
And as He calls Job to explain the origins of the universe, Job comes to realize the limitations of the human mind. More importantly, he comes to trust in God’s justice.
“Then Job answered the LORD and said, ‘I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.'” (Job 42:1-2)
God restores to Job all that was taken. Satan can only slink into the shadows, licking his wounds at having failed to steal Job’s trust in God.
God IS Trustworthy.
You and I will never have God’s understanding. We don’t know how He is directing our path. So we must choose to trust Him. What God allows, He has purpose for.
Fortunately, God understands that our trust can take time to grow. But in our attitude of surrender, which starts with our choosing to open our hearts to Him, God is pleased. When we allow God to take control and trust Him in all things, we can live with hope and strength. And we can fully lean into the assurance of His unceasing love.
I continue to have my own moments of digging deep to trust God. I’ve had financial scares, health scares, and floundering when I feel out of control. But I have learned the truth of Luke 18:27: “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”
I leave you with this promise from Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”