Do You Have Trust Issues?
There are lots of things I don’t trust.
Politicians, most drivers on I-75, half the people’s profiles I come across on dating apps, the neighbors across the street from me with a tiki hut in their backyard, and frankly, a lot of other things — some more significant than others.
I’m sure if you sat down and really thought about it, you could make a list as long as a CVS receipt filled with things and people you don’t trust — let alone blindly trust.
Home and workplace design make-over shows do a great job revealing the trust tension we all have. I mean, how many of us would love it if our favorite designer came in and renovated our homes? I sure would, and the people on these shows sure do. Well, until they don’t. Usually, that moment comes midway through the episode. The owners see something halfway finished, and they get nervous. They see a paint color they might not like or a fixture that doesn’t seem to fit. The initial trust they had is slowly diminishing.
Why? Because they couldn’t see the final results.
And what happens when they do? Nine times out of ten, they are astonished, amazed, and in love with whatever transformation had occurred.
Unfortunately, this trust-tension pattern played out on renovation shows plays out in our day-to-day relationships. And not just our relationships with friends, family, or co-workers, but our relationship with God.
Think about it for a minute. We enter into a relationship with God, putting our full faith and trust in Him until something doesn’t go our way or exactly how we planned. Slowly but surely, we begin losing trust in God, somehow believing the lie that the promises He has for us won’t come to fruition. The problem with this is when we fail to trust God’s promises, we find ourselves in serious trouble.
Abram, later known as Abraham, found himself in a similar situation. In Genesis 12, God calls Abram to leave his country for a land that God would show him. God tells Abram that he will bless him, make his name great, and make him a great nation. This is a HUGE promise. Initially, Abram trusted God would do what He said He would.
Until hardship hit.
When the hardship of trial hit Abram’s life, the tension of trusting God’s promises became very real. And while we know the big Abraham trusting God moment that comes later in his life with Isaac, he was not exempt from the sinful and flawed nature we all possess.
Right now, the trial we find Abram in centers around a famine. So, Abram and Sarai [his wife] flee to Egypt to weather the storm of the famine for a season. Upon entering Egypt, he begins to worry that the Egyptians will see his wife’s beauty and kill Abram to get her. So, instead of trusting God’s promise that he will make him a great nation [which involves he and his wife having children and generations to follow and them both needing to be alive for that], he lies and says Sarai is his sister. Here is what happens next.
“When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman [Sarai] was taken into Pharaoh’s house.” — Genesis 12:14–15
Outside of killing Abram, his worst fear comes true. They noticed Sarai’s beauty, and since they think she’s Abram’s sister [see also, Gen. 12:18 & 20:2], she is up for grabs. She is taken into Pharaoh’s house. In this moment, we see two things happening. One, we see the motives of Abram’s heart. He’s self-seeking. He wants to protect his own interests in Egypt instead of trusting the promises of God. Secondly, we see him completely disregard Sarai. Instead of protecting his wife, he puts the promise of descendants at risk. Or in other words, Abram’s deception jeopardizes the prospect of God’s blessing.
Abram chose not to trust God’s provision for him. How often do we do the same?
When we live in fear and fail to trust God, we pivot from living for God and the sake of others to becoming self-seeking, self-preserving people. We think we know best and get ourselves into situations like Abram that end up causing more harm than good. When we fail to trust God, we don’t live lives that display His grace and love to the world around us. We live without gospel distinctiveness and don’t reflect the work of Jesus in our lives.
Maybe today, you find yourself in the same boat as Abram. You’re trying so hard to trust God, but the end promise, answer, or result seems so far away. You’re beginning to lose trust. Let me remind you today that the promises of God still hold true. We can count on them every single day. Whether those days are filled with great joy or immense tribulation, we can trust that God himself will always go before us and be with us.
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” — Duet 31:8