In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10
How do you know you can trust someone? You probably base your trust on that person’s trustworthiness. So you ask yourself, is this person faithful? Does this person keep his promises? You probably also ask yourself if the person cares about you or loves you. That’s because trust is born out of genuine, self-sacrificing love.
Let’s apply these questions to God. Is God trustworthy? Yes, he is totally dependable. Is God faithful, does he keep his promises? Yes, he always keeps his promises. “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him” (2 Corinthians 1:20). Does God care about you and love you? Yes, God is love (1 John 4:8). Is God’s love genuine and self-sacrificing? Yes, he loved us so much that he sent Jesus to take our sin, shame, and punishment so that we could experience God’s forgiveness, acceptance, and restoration (2 Corinthians 5:21).
So, the question is: Can we trust God?
The answer from God’s written Word (Bible) and God’s living Word (Jesus) is YES! God is absolutely and completely trustworthy because his love for us knows no bounds. In fact, God tells us that as high as the heavens are above the earth, that’s how great is love is for those who fear him (Psalm 103:11). That means, when trials come our way that leave us grieving and confused, we may not completely understand how a loving God could allow such things. But, we still run to the arms of our loving Father because we still trust him.
A phrase that I have been meditating on a lot lately is this: In our suffering, we must learn to trust the heart of God even when we can’t understand the will of God.
Sometimes we are called to trust people in our lives even when we don’t completely understand them. After eleven years of marriage, I know my wife pretty well, but there are things I don’t know about her and things I simply don’t understand about her. But, I still trust her because I know she loves me and has committed her life to me.
There are many things about God that I don’t know and can’t fully understand. Why he allows suffering is one of those things. The pain of suffering has impacted and shaped my life deeply. And as a pastor, I have walked with many others going through difficult trials. Most often, suffering leaves me speechless. There never seems to be an adequate answer to the why question of suffering.
Processing suffering is like standing on the edge of a cliff of my limited knowledge and understanding of all things. It’s when I find myself there that I realize the only thing I can do is fall back on what I do know. What I know is that God is love. And what I know is that God’s love knows no bounds and God’s love drives out fear. I have seen God’s faithfulness over and over again. And even when all else fails, I go back to the cross of Christ and remember that God’s love and faithfulness to me are on full display. Therefore, I must conclude that I can trust a God who loves me that much. I can trust a God who, when I was at my worst, gave me his best.
What about you? Are you convinced that God offers you a love that you can trust? Even when life doesn’t make sense? Even when you don’t completely understand what God is doing?