As we’ve explored the topic of trust this year, we’ve talked about why trusting someone is one of the greatest gifts you can give them, and also how difficult it can be. We’ve also introduced the idea that when we place our trust in others, we are giving ourselves a chance to practice trusting in God. But that raises the question, why should we trust in God? This is an important question, particularly in the context of chronic illness, when we can be so often hurt and angry, and feel like God is far away and our prayers aren’t being answered.
Now I could throw a bunch of Bible verses at you, which say that God is a trustworthy God, and they would be both helpful and true. You could also look them up yourself with a quick google!
Instead, I’m going to return to the Oxford Dictionary’s definition of trust, which defines trust as the ‘firm belief in someone’s reliability, ability or truth.’ By this definition, is God trustworthy? Absolutely, but let’s uncover some truths which we can cling to when ‘firm belief’ is difficult.
Trust the God who is reliable
In chronic illness, when we so often want a miraculous recovery, we can take reliability for granted. It can even have negative consequences. After all, disease is reliable. It shows up, day in and day out, often reliably getting worse! What we want is a change, an end, a new beginning. We want God to swoop down and bring healing and happiness. And perhaps for you he will, but for many of us, God chooses to show up in smaller ways.
So many of us value the reliable presence of friends and family, those who are unafraid to stand with us as we support our Loved Ones with chronic illnesses. They may not be able to heal us physically, but often their faithfulness can bring healing to our aching hearts. Should we not rejoice and accept the same reliability from God? After all, he is always present, and will not change his mind or give up. He will not become tired, or emotionally-drained, he won’t get married and move away, and his car won’t break down.
It can be tempting to dismiss or overlook the constancy of God. It’s invisible and can seem ‘small’ when we want something ‘more’. Oh my friends! Let us place our trust in him, and not scorn his faithfulness.
Want to know more? See: James 1:17
Trust in the God who is Able
If we believe that God made the earth and keeps it spinning each day, we know and have experienced first-hand his ability. But what about in the context of chronic illness? How often do we stop and reflect on his ability to comfort, to provide hope, to heal and to open up the future? It can be tempting to turn to a million and one other things before we turn to our invisible God.
It’s so easy to place our trust in the ability of friends to support us, rather than the God of all Support; in a new drug, rather than first in the Healer of hearts; in distractions or hobbies rather than first in the Bringer of all Joy.
God is able to bring joy, hope, and contentment. He is able to provide for our eternal future and our lives in the here and now. He promises that one day he will ‘wipe every tear from our faces’ (Isaiah 50) and he alone has the ability to do so.
Come friends, let us trust in the One who is able.
Want to know more? See: Ephesians 3:20
Trust in the God who is Truthful
Truthfulness is so important in chronic illness. Friends who are unafraid to tell the truth (it’s getting worse, the test results aren’t good, this is hard) are invaluable. We trust those who speak the truth kindly, because when we are dealing with the very real realities of life and death, sickness and health, hope and despair, we need to know what is right and what is wrong. We need to be able to see clearly.
We can trust that God enters into our situation with open eyes because his Word is full of truth. The Bible does not shy away from talking about hard things, and it does not sugar-coat, dismiss, or explain away the pain and sorrow of life. As a result, we know we can trust God’s Word when it speaks of hope and promises joy. Should we not trust a God who has proven to be truthful?
Want to know more? See: John 17:17
Missed the previous posts on trust?
A Man who trusted God
Last month my biography of Thomas Clarkson was published as part of the Trailblazer Series. Clarkson was a Christian abolitionist who, after becoming convinced that slavery was wrong, decided to trust God with his future and give his life to destroy the slave trade. You can find it on Amazon, Book Depository and your local Christian book shop! To learn more about the writing process, check out my author website.
//Here are 3 reasons we can trust God during chronic illness, according to the Oxford Dictionary’s definition. But there are many more! What other reasons can you think of for trusting God?
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