I grew up in west Beirut, Lebanon, during one of the worst civil wars my birth country has gone through. I was taught from a very young age not to trust anyone. That pattern has followed me throughout much of my life. When I hear the words “trust me,” I roll my eyes.
Maybe you’re like me. You struggle with trusting others. You’ve given away your trust too quickly and have been deeply burned because of it.
Sadly, our trust issues have a tendency to erode our relationship with God. We’ve been trained to keep our guard up.
What I’ve observed in my life is that I believe in God but lack trust in Him. Intellectually, I agree with all that God says in His Word. Yet there is a canyon a mile wide between my head and my heart.
God understands our struggle, which is why He gives us His promises to hang on to on our journey through the deserts of life.
Psalm 100:5 reminds us, “For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” Yet God’s faithfulness does not mean our lives will be problem-less. In fact, God makes no apology for how difficult the road will be.
In John 16:33, Jesus tells His disciples: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” The promise we hang on to in our desert places is that God is faithful to us even when life is hard.
We see that lived out in Abraham and Sarah’s life in today’s reading from Genesis. If I were Abraham and Sarah, I would have expected God to fulfill His promise for a son right away. I would have expected to receive the promise of the land not long after giving up my home in Haran. I would have expected at least some immediate gratification.
Instead, God invited Abraham into the desert.
It turns out that God’s idea of building our trust in Him is different from ours, but it is worth so much more.
Have you ever felt disappointed in God for allowing you to suffer even though He has informed you of the difficulties ahead in desert places? As you deepen your understanding of God’s faithfulness, how can you confess to God how you might have misjudged Him and reached wrong conclusions about His goodness to you?