Can You Trust God?

Can you trust God?

Can you trust God?

Author Jerry Bridges presented this laser-guided question in his book “Trusting God,” which focuses on faith in our Creator in the midst of crisis, and trauma. Sadly, the Christmas season is too often marked by despair-inducing incidents that put to the test the faith we say is within us.

During my seventeen-year career in law enforcement, the SWAT team I was a part of always kept its gear prepared for an immediate response to a high-risk scenario. The general rule of thumb was that the holiday season had a knack for creating in what we called Emotionally Disturbed Persons thoughts and feelings that could lead to potentially deadly situations.

While those dramatic occurrences were actually far and few between, the truth is that no matter the time of year, life in a fallen world leaves us all subject to various trials and tribulations that can produce a very real crisis of faith. Familial and marital difficulties, health issues, death, job loss, and related issues can leave us gasping for our spiritual breath.

There’s never a good time for crisis and trauma, but when it happens in the middle of the Christmas season, it simply feels like the height of injustice.

But, suffering is no respecter of persons or the calendar. It strikes the rich and the poor, the Christian and the non-Christian, in the summertime and when the snow falls. Suffering is entirely unconcerned with our preferences.

Suffering is also more than willing to ride into our lives on the back of seemingly uncontrollable circumstances, or the sins committed against us by others. It’s fond of the sins of those we’re supposed to trust the most, but it can be equally devastating when introduced by a complete stranger.

Suffering, in its entire myriad of forms, leaves us asking the question---can I trust God?

As ambassadors for Christ, it’s vitally important that we prepare to witness to others the treasure of the Gospel in our own suffering, and to minister to the world the hope of the Gospel in its suffering.

This is what theologians refer to as a “theology of suffering.” A strong theology of suffering leaves no room for religious platitudes when hurting strikes, but is grounded firmly in the cross of Christ, and in the mission of God.

A strong theology of suffering is not afraid to say, in any circumstance---God is indeed in control in the darkness.

A strong theology of suffering, in between the fears and tears of the very real pains of life, answers in the affirmative that we can indeed trust God, because our trust in God is not dependent upon the circumstances we face or the condition of our lives.

The Christian’s trust in God is grounded entirely in the unchanging character of God, and in His promises.

Questions for reflection: 
  1. Have you spent time praying about and searching the Scriptures in preparation for suffering? 
  2. How are you prepared to minister to others in their times of suffering with words that extend beyond religious platitudes, and into the pure Gospel, itself?
Resources from the Biblical Counseling Coalition on grief and suffering.