Will I Trust God?

It’s one thing to believe that God can be trusted, it’s another thing to actually choose to trust Him. There was a time when David was running for his life because King Saul had ordered him killed. Till this point in his life, everything was going well for him. He was anointed the next king by Samuel. He defeated the giant Goliath. The people of Israel were singing songs about him on the streets of the city. Life couldn’t be any better. Until Saul gets jealous and won’t rest till David is dead. For about 8-10 years of David’s life, David spends running and hiding from Saul.

Reread that last paragraph. You are anointed king. You defeat your nations greatest enemy single-handedly. You are a national hero. But it takes almost a decade before God puts you on the throne. And that entire decade you are hiding because you don’t want to be killed.

Think David ever had to trust God? Do you think David ever had to wrestle with the circumstances of his life and wonder what is going to happen to him? You can bet that he did and Psalm 56 gives us a small glimpse into his life and struggles.

In this psalm, David gives us four observations as it relates to whether or not we will trust God.

Everyone of us will encounter circumstances in our life that will require of us to choose to trust God.

All of us will. David, the man after God’s own heart, was no exception and neither are we. Chances are that none of will ever experience the type of hardships that David faced. But without a doubt, everyone of us will encounter our own.

Maybe you are in the midst of a major challenge in your life that demands that you trust God. You have no choice You are in the middle of a challenge, just like David was.

Maybe life is good for you. Marriage is good. You have a roof over your heads. You aren’t starving for food. There is money in the bank account. Things couldn’t get better. By the way, if that is you, praise God for that. However, understand that there will come a time where your circumstances will challenge, stretch, move and compel you to either trust God or turn from God.

We need to recognize that there are times that God will allow trouble in our lives to grow us and to make us into the people that He has called us to be. It doesn’t mean that God doesn’t care. It just means that God has a greater purpose. Because the lessons that David learned while he was running and hiding, God used them to prepare him for the day that he would be leading. The same is true of us. If God allows it, we got to trust that He is going to use it to prepare us for something greater.

God has this pattern that He uses with the people that He loves and calls. It’s pretty simple: God works in us before He works through us. God wants to work in you before He will fully work through you.

God was preparing David. He was using the circumstances in David’s life to teach him something. The most important thing that God wants to do in our lives is to teach us to trust Him. There is no better place for us to learn that than in the midst of circumstances that require that we trust Him.

[pl_blockquote]Our circumstances will either be an obstacle to our faith or an opportunity to demonstrate our faith. The determining factor of whether it will be an obstacle or an opportunity is our choice. It is whether we will choose to demonstrate our faith by trusting God.[/pl_blockquote]

That’s what David did, He chose to trust God. He chose to turn his circumstances into opportunities to demonstrate his faith by trusting God. He is incredibly transparent in the psalm and says, “God I have no idea what is going to happen to me, but I am choosing to run and cling to you.”

You will not trust someone we do not know.

One of the reasons that David could trust God in the midst of all that he was going through was because He knew God. This entire psalm screams intimacy with God. Not only because David pours out his heart to God, but also because of what David says in the midst of his struggle. “In God I trust, I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? (vs 4). He affirms God’s protection and power.

I love verse 8, “You God, you kept count of my tossings. You put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” David is saying is that, every cave I have hid in, every place I have gone, all my wrestling’s, all my struggles, all my doubts, every tear I have shed, God you know them and God you got them. So God, I am going to trust you.

Can I encourage you to hold on to that verse, especially in times of trouble? In times of trouble when we are struggling to trust God, we don’t always feel that God knows us. And if He does know us, we don’t always feel like God cares about us. But he does. This is why regular time in God’s word and regular time praying or regular time being with God – these spiritual habits – are so important for us as followers of Christ. Because without them, we are not going to grow deeper in our relationship with God.

Reading our Bibles and praying and going to church, we don’t do those things to get a relationship with God. And we don’t do those things to keep a relationship with God. We do those things to grow in our relationship with God. We need them. Those are the spiritual habits that we need to develop in our lives. Because the outcome is trust. It is trust. And we won’t truly trust someone we don’t know.

Trusting God requires the grace of God

David begins this psalm by asking God to be gracious to him. We hear the word all the time, but the word grace means to bend or stoop. The imagery is of a father bending down to talk to a child at the child’s level. So picture God bending or stooping. In Scripture, grace is used two ways. It is used of God bending or stooping to save us from our sins or it is used of God bending or stooping to sustain us in times of trouble.

Let me give you an example. When God sent Jesus to live and die for our place for our sin, God was bending and stooping to save us. But when God sent the Holy Spirit to empower us as believers, God was bending and stooping to sustain us. It implies divine assistance. This is why the Holy Spirit in John 14 is called our Helper. We need help.

What David does is ask God for grace so that he could trust God. He’s saying, “God, help me to trust.”

It sounds counter-intuitive. We are supposed to ask God to help us trust God? Yes. Because without His help, we never will. Trusting God requires God’s grace and God’s help. Trusting God is the hardest thing we will ever do in life because our natural desire isn’t to run to God when things are rough. It is to run to ourselves.

But this is where the Holy Spirit comes into play. The Holy Spirit is God inside of us whispering to us, “Run to God. Go to God. He cares. He’s good. He’s sovereign. He knows what is best.”

[pl_blockquote]Please don’t assume that we just need God’s grace to save us, because we also need God’s grace to sustain us.[/pl_blockquote]

Trusting God is not a one-time decision, but an ongoing choice.

Over and over in the psalm David repeats and restates his resolve to trust God. He’s not forgetful, but he is being intentional. When David begins to be fearful, he trusts. Every time he thinks about his circumstances, he trusts. Every time he turns around and he sees the enemy on his heels, he chooses to trust. Every time he grows discouraged or every time he wonders what is going to happen to me, he chooses to trust. Trusting God is not a one-time decision. Instead it is an ongoing, everyday, sometimes moment by moment choice to run to God and to hold on tight. That’s what it means to trust.

This is why I love these kinds of psalms. They remind us that God can handle our wrestling. God can handle our struggles. God can even handle our doubts. In fact, I think that God invites that kind of transparency from us. Because when, like David, we go to God and we pour our heart out to Him, what we are really doing is we are demonstrating that our dependence is on God. It is one way that we choose to trust.

Can we trust God? Absolutely. Will we trust God? That’s a choice we have to make.

Can we trust God?

Can I trust God? How we answer this question impacts how we respond to everything in life. If God can be trusted, it changes everything for us. If He can’t be trusted, then we might as well give up on Christianity and figure life out for ourselves.

To be honest, trusting God is one of the hardest things we will ever do. It is incredibly difficult. I been in ministry now for over ten years and a student of God’s Word for much longer than that. I grew up in the house of a pastor, so the Bible was drilled into hour heads. I can quote chapter and verse that teaches us that God is good, that God is in control and that God cares for us. However, I am smart enough to know that there is a major difference between preaching about trust and actually trusting. It’s one thing to counsel someone to trust God, it’s a totally different thing to trust God myself.

[pl_blockquote]Therefore, the issue of trusting God is critical to our lives. And let me cut to the chase by saying the following very important statement: If there is a single event that occurs in our lives outside of God’s sovereign control, then we CANNOT trust God. If there is anything that surprises God, if there is anything that catches God off guard, if something shocks God, then we can’t trust Him.[/pl_blockquote]

So when we ask the question, Can I trust God, the question we are really asking is whether or not God is in control of our lives.

In Scripture, an unknown author wrote a beautiful song that emphatically emphasizes that not only can God be trusted, but He gives three reasons why God is worthy of our trust. The song is found in Psalm 121.

He describes a journey that he is taking to Jerusalem to worship. This journey was filled with anticipation, but also a sense of trepidation. There was anticipation because they were going to worship God. However, there was also trepidation because they didn’t know what was going to happen on their journey to Jerusalem. They could be attacked, robbed or killed.  And so he begins his journey with a prayer to God and acknowledges that He is dependent on God to reach his destination.

Then he begins to list three important truths about God of why we can trust Him.

God is the creator; therefore, nothing is too big for him.

The first thing that the author acknowledges is that “my help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (vs 2). He declares that God is both personal and He is powerful.

There is a common view of God today that acknowledges that God created us, but then He took a step back and left us on our own. He doesn’t care about us unless it is to judge or punish us. This is an unbiblical view of God. The word for God that the psalmist uses is Yahweh, the most personal name of God. It points to the fact that God loves His people, God wants a relationship with His people and God wants to be involved in His people’s lives.

God is also powerful. He made the heavens and the earth out of nothing. Don’t miss this! The God who created EVERYTHING out of nothing is the same God who wants to be our help.

This one verse points not only to God’s willingness to help us (because He is personal), but His ability to help us (because He is powerful).

God never sleeps; therefore, nothing surprises Him.

The psalmist then makes the statement that God “will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (vs 3-4).

The imagery there is of a God who is watching over us, caring for us and protecting us. That’s why the psalmist can say that God will not let our foot be moved.

Please don’t read this and think that this means that you will never experience heartache, hardship or difficulty in life. The reality is that you will. What it does mean is that no matter what we encounter, God never takes His eyes off of us. He never lets go of our hands. He is always sustaining us.

[pl_blockquote]How do we know? Because God never sleeps. He never doses off. He never needs to rest. You and I would never be able to make it without rest. We also couldn’t make it if God rested. In fact, the reason we can rest and sleep is because God never does.[/pl_blockquote]

What this means is that we will never hear God say, “I missed that” or “can’t believe I let that slip by me.” We won’t hear that because nothing catches Him off guard and nothing surprises Him.

Reality check: Could it be that the reason we are a restless people is in reality a trust issue between God and us?

God is always at our side; therefore, nothing will touch us unless God allows it.

The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life (vs 5-7).

This is my favorite part of this psalm. I love this because it reminds me that I can endure anything life throws at me, because God is in it and God is with me.

God is a shade at our right hand. What a beautiful imagery. In order for something to provide shade it has to be both big and close. And the idea of right hand means a place of strength and favor. The writer says that God is big, God is close, God is our Savior, but also that God is on the one who fights for us. He fights our battles for us.

Reality Check: God’s presence in our lives is a game changer. Because it tells us that not only are we never alone, but also that nothing can happen to us unless God allows it.

This is where we have got to settle in our mind that God is sovereign over EVERYTHING, or he isn’t sovereign over ANYTHING.

[pl_blockquote]Either things happen to us apart from God knowing or God knows it and allows it because He has a greater purpose behind it.  Does this include the loss of a job? Yes. Does it include being hurt by a friend? Absolutely. Does it even encompass a bad report about your health? Yes. The death of a loved one? Yes. Nothing can happen to us, unless God allows it.[/pl_blockquote]

Back in the beginning of the blog I made the statement that if there is a single event (just one) that occurs in my life that God doesn’t know about, then we can’t trust Him. However, after reading through this psalm, I am confident that there is not a single event (not one) that will occur outside of God’s sovereign control; therefore, we can trust Him.