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Trust God Because He Isn’t Like You

Written by Chris Skinner on

It can be hard to trust other people. Life experiences teach us that someone, at some point, is going to let us down. I am reminded of a scene from the movie Meet the Parents, where Jack (a suspicious former CIA agent) is discussing the topic of trust with his daughter’s new boyfriend, Greg (who desperately wants to impress Jack):

Jack: I mean, can you really trust another human being, Greg?

Greg: Yeah, I think so.

Jack: No. The answer is you cannot.

I empathize with Greg. I want to be able to say I can trust others! But if I’m honest, many days I see the world the way Jack does. While scenes like this are meant to be entertaining, they touch on a hard truth: We’re not sure we can trust people.

This instinct to mistrust causes big problems with how we interact with God. Why? Because God repeatedly asks us to trust him by faith. If we are going to be people who trust God, we must understand that he is not like the people who have failed us. In fact, God is the safest and most trustworthy person we can know!

How is God like this? A great place to start is Exodus 34:6-7:

The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”

In this passage, God reveals his name to Moses. When he does this, he is saying more about himself than a name alone. He is revealing his character, the essence of who he is. What does this name reveal? His name reveals that he is:

  1. Merciful
  2. Gracious
  3. Slow to anger
  4. Abounding in steadfast love
  5. Abounding in faithfulness
  6. The forgiver of sin
  7. Just

Read that list a few times. What an amazing God we serve! He is merciful and gracious, loving, slow to anger—all things we desire in ourselves and others. In fact, God is the very center of these attributes, the very definition of them. If this is true and there is no other person in existence who can claim to represent these characteristics so perfectly, then that would mean God is the safest person we can know. We never have to worry that we’ll lose his love or that he’ll fly off the handle in anger or that he’ll abandon us or that he won’t eventually right the wrongs of the world. He is completely, perfectly trustworthy.

What great news! However, even knowing this, it can still be hard to trust God. Why? I believe it comes back to our human experience. Almost every other person, situation, or institution has let us down in some way. Humans can often be:

  1. Merciless
  2. Vengeful
  3. Quick to anger
  4. Fickle
  5. Unfaithful
  6. Unforgiving
  7. Unjust

No wonder we grow to expect disappointment. No wonder we fear abandonment or rejection. We have seen justice thwarted so many times that we believe we must defend ourselves to the bitter end. It is hard to trust that God will be so good when life conditions us to expect the opposite.

So, we don’t trust him. And when we don’t trust him as God, we keep looking for someone, anyone, who can be the protector we long for. We look to relationships, money, status, possessions, control, etc. But those things will only keep disappointing us, and the cycle will continue.

Friends, what would it look like for you to trust God more today? How could it impact your most important relationships, your decisions, your careers, your finances, your parenting? What if you didn’t need to strive for control or success in these things because it doesn’t all depend on you?

God is good. And he is trustworthy with all these things if you would only place them in his capable hands. He’s the only one who really can be trusted because he’s not like you and me. Thank God for that!

Chris Skinner

Chris serves on the College Park Church Worship Arts Team as the Production Director. He is passionate about encouraging the church to gather and worship Christ. Chris enjoys spending time with his wife, kids, and Small Group.

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