Love cannot live where there is no trust.
I never thought I had a problem with trust because I’ve been fairly trusting in my interactions with others throughout most of my life. However, a number of years ago I crashed into a situation with someone I deeply cared about and discovered that I had been lied to repeatedly. As I tried to process my frustration, anger and hurt, I discovered that my struggle with trust was not focused just at the individual who betrayed me, but also at God.
I found myself asking, “Are you REALLY good? Can you REALLY be trusted? My head knew that the answer was “yes,” but my heart kept whispering “no.”
What I learned through that situation, and have continued to believe since then, is that because God is ALWAYS love, He can ALWAYS be trusted. Coming to grips with that reality has changed my entire outlook on life. Love and trust go together, and starts with a belief that God’s love is good and that He is always for us. Because He loves me, He will use every situation in my life to grow both my love and trust for Him.
Let me explain what I mean. There are many circumstances in life that are hard, in fact very hard, and they can cause us to question the love and goodness of God. We tend to question God’s existence and care in the hard times, while at the same time neglecting to thank Him during the good times. It’s interesting how easy it is to blame God, and how hard it is to thank Him for His love and care. Our actions stem from a wrong view of love and trust. Because we believe that God’s love is conditional our trust toward Him becomes conditional. Ultimately, that belief system taints our ability to love and trust others.
We need to remember that God can’t ‘fake love.’ His love is always real and genuine. He is absolutely committed to our good, our growth and His glory. The circumstances of our lives are always opportunities to grow in our love and trust of God which in turn, help us overcome mistrust in our relationships with others.
That situation that I mentioned earlier was really hard; it caused much dissonance in my life and built a wall in my relationship with that person. I was cautious in my interactions after that point with that particular individual and asked God to give me discernment in how to recognize truth. I wanted to be smart in how I trusted.
But the bigger issue was that I was able to maintain an overall attitude and perspective of trust because my beliefs became even more deeply rooted in the truth that God is love and He can be trusted.
When situations are hard and people betray you, will you run to God, your good and perfect Father to allow Him to renew your love and trust?
Deb Hinkel is the Director of Spiritual Formation and Family Ministry at Hershey Free Church. She joined the church’s staff in 2015 after spending fourteen years as an assistant professor in the Church and Ministry Leadership department at Lancaster Bible College.
Deb holds a Master of Arts degree in Ministry from Lancaster Bible College; and prior to her work there, she spent fifteen years in church ministry, developing programs in Christian education, children’s ministry, and women’s ministry.
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