Summary: When things don’t go our way, we sometimes catch ourselves not only wondering what God is doing, but if God can be trusted to care for us and cause the circumstances in our lives to have a positive impact upon us.
Psalm 37:1-6, 25-33 “Can God Be Trusted?”
Trust is one of the most fragile items on the planet earth. It is difficult to build up and it can be destroyed by a careless action. Once trust has been broken, it takes an even longer time to piece it back together. There are times when it will never be the gift that it was once.
Each and every one of us knows the pain of being told, “I can’t trust you,” and the anguish we feel when we must tell someone, “I no longer trust you.” Trust is a basic necessity of life. A life without trust, paranoia, is a mental illness; it is an intolerable way to live.
As people who live in a relationship with God, this basic question must be answered. “Can God be trusted?”
THE PSALMIST’S INVITATION
In this psalm, the writer invites the people to trust God. The writer understands that trust is an essential element in a person’s relationship with the divine. If a god can’t be trusted, that god isn’t much good for anything.
The writer of this psalm develops the case that God can be trusted because of how trustworthy God has been in the past. In verse 25 he writes, “I was young and now am old and I have never seen the righteous forsaken.” God continually proves himself worthy of trust.
In Israel’s history, God had been trustworthy, even when Israel had broken God’s trust. God heard their prayers and brought them out of slavery in Egypt to life in the Promised Land. God even forgave them when they turned to idols during the wilderness experience. God protected them against their enemies while they were in the Promised Land and continued to forgive them and to be trustworthy, even when the Israelites turned against God and started participating in the worship of other gods. Over and over again God proved trustworthy.
There are times when I have felt that God has betrayed my trust. I suspect that we have all felt that way. This happens to me when I become confused about what God has promised.
I sometimes think that Christians should lead charmed lives. When bad things happen to good people I question if God is a trustworthy God. A truly trustworthy God wouldn’t allow such things as tragic accidents, untimely deaths, painful diseases, lay-offs, unwanted moves, and general discomfort to take place. When these things happen it sometimes takes me a great deal of time to once again trust God.
I return to trust when I remember what God has promised, and that God has never reneged on God’s promise.
· God has promised to love us with a steadfast love.
· God has promised to forgive us, because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and to give us new life.
· God has promised to never leave us or forsake us.
To me the image of being held in the palm of God’s hand is an image that I frequently use to enable me to deal with the challenges of life. God never turns God’s hand over and drops me. I am always held tenderly in God’s hand.
Trust is important in the days that we face. These are difficult times. The war in which we are involved is a great unknown. It gives us great unrest.
In the middle of the dark days, the struggles of life, and the occasional painful experience, one thing remains true; God is a God who can be trusted, and God is the same yesterday, today and forever.
God can be trusted. You can bet your life on that—which is exactly what God invites us to do.