Sometimes life throws us a curve ball…and sometimes this is the understatement of the day. Pain, suffering, disappointment and grief are no respecters of persons for they come to us all. And when the pain is so real and the suffering so intense, the human inclination is to become suspicious of God. We ask God that age-old question “why?” while already convinced that He couldn’t possibly have a satisfactory answer. But if these suspicions are ever to be replaced with trust, then we would do well to ask what there is about God that would demand our absolute trust.
A child might learn in Sunday school that he can trust in God because God is POWERFUL. God is big, God is strong, God is mighty! And so He is. Isaiah writes: “Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal. He humbles those who dwell on high, he lays the lofty city low; he levels it to the ground and casts it down to the dust” (26:4,5). And Paul says that Abraham “did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised” (Romans 4:20,21).
We trust God because we know He is powerful enough to do all that He says. He is sovereign and in total control of the universe, and there is absolutely nothing that is too hard for Him — “Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you” (Jeremiah 32:17).
And Jesus said simply: “All things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27). But there is nothing that will destroy trust faster than power that is abused. Power in and of itself will never earn a person’s trust. Satan is powerful. There are many men and women who wield power in this world, but not all are trusted. In other words, we trust God in part because He is powerful, but if God is only powerful, then He is not yet worthy of our trust.
But God is not just powerful, He is also GOOD. And power plus goodness equals a perfect and complete recipe for trust — almost. David exclaims: “How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings…Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him” (Psalm 36:7;34:8). And Nahum writes in beautiful simplicity: “The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him” (1:7).
Those who take refuge in God are those who have trusted in God and so we trust God because He is good and because we know that His power always works to accomplish our greatest good (Romans 8:28). On close examination we discover that power plus goodness is only an “almost” perfect recipe for trust, for someone may be both powerful and good, and still be quite stupid and foolish. The bumbling fool may be both powerful and good and still cause those around him to look upon him with pity even as they run for safety from his foolish decisions. So in the end we find that the only one who could possibly be worthy of absolute and unconditional trust is He who is infinitely powerful, infinitely good, AND INFINITELY WISE.