Is God Trustworthy?

Written by Sue McAlinden


“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me.” Psalm 57:1 (ESV)

How do you feel when your future is uncertain? For months now, our son has been waiting on his college acceptances. He has his favorites, of course. As luck would have it, his “safety school” was the first to admit him. Initially, our son rejoiced! But when his relief passed, I noticed our son quietly retreated into his thoughts. I knew he was thankful for his admission, but deep down, he wondered if something better would come along.

Sometimes uncertainty adds excitement and joyful anticipation to our lives, but many times, uncertainty feels more like walking through a patch of thorns in the wilderness. We want to know why God allowed this situation in our lives, and more importantly, how He will resolve it.

I think it’s normal to resist the uncomfortable, thorny patches of life. We weren’t wired to wrestle with prickly thorns in the wilderness. We were created to live in the perfect garden with God.

When I find myself in the middle of a rough patch of thorns, I start to ask a lot of questions. Deep down, I’m really questioning God. Why did this happen? How and when will it get resolved? What should I do to escape the thorns and return to something better?

If only God would explain His reasons for my condition, that would go a long way toward soothing my dissatisfaction. I could hold out a little longer with tight finances because I would understand when the surplus is due. I could endure worrying medial tests because I would know how and when healing would occur. I want reassurance about the ending because that puts me back in control. I wouldn’t need to have faith because I would have understanding. Can you relate to this? Uncertainty is okay if it comes with an assured solution that meets my criteria.

Unfortunately, if God shared His wisdom with us, we would be like God, and we couldn’t handle that. Our fallen nature would clash with His perfection. We would forever wrestle with our desire for a short-term fix versus God’s long term perfect solution.

So, what’s the answer? How do we cope with our uncertain future when we’re in the middle of a thorny wilderness?

The secret to finding contentment in all circumstances is found in trusting God for our safety, our situation, and our heart’s desires.

That’s easy to say, but hard to do. Fortunately, we are not the only people who have wrestled with thorns in our lives.

Long before our circumstances turned thorny, David who slew Goliath showed us how to endure confusion, discouragement, and uncertainty in the future.

David was only ten to fifteen years old when Samuel anointed him to be King of Israel, but David didn’t assume the throne until he was thirty. In the lengthy time between his anointing and his crowning, David’s life became very difficult

King Saul became jealous of David to the point of trying to murder him. Instead of training to be royal, David was run out of town and became an outcast living in a cave. He must have wanted to know God’s plan for his future because his reality was far different than his expectations.

If I were David, I would be asking why, when, and how, but David doesn’t do that. In Psalm 57, we see David asking God for help. Psalm 57:1 says, “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me.” (ESV) Merciful used in this verse translates into a cry for help. David’s cry for help is so very relatable. He wants to be rescued from his circumstances!

After asking for help, David shifts his focus to the Helper. The remaining verses of Psalm 57, focus on the characteristics of God. David writes about God being his refuge, his vindicator, his Savior, the One who loves him. He remembers God’s love and faithfulness. David is so intent on remembering who God is, that by the end of the short Psalm, David can’t help but praise God and ask that God be exalted and for God’s glory to be over all the earth. He writes this in the middle of his thorny, uncertain, difficult circumstances.

David trusts God with his situation, his safety, and his sanity. David wasn’t more faithful than us. David just knew how to renew his faith. He knew where to look.

Friends, there is a better life for you beyond your present circumstances. Focusing on God’s character renews your faith and provides what you need to wait on his better resolution.

What specific attribute of God do you need to help you wait for God’s better resolution? Start focusing on that today to remind yourself that He will deliver you in the perfect timing and in His perfect way.

Dear Lord, You know I’m struggling with this dissatisfying situation in my life. Hep me focus on your character during my circumstances. Remind me and show me that you are my _________, and help me trust You to use this thorn for good in my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.