“For the Lord of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it?
And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?” (Is. 14:27; NASB)
A few years ago, the United States Department of Transportation set aside $200 million for research and development of an automated highway system that would alleviate traffic congestion in highly traveled areas.
The process seemed simple enough. Magnets would be imbedded into the pavement every four feet and would transmit signals between the vehicle and a main computer system. This system would then control the braking, acceleration, and steering of each vehicle. When the vehicle reached its designated exit, control would be returned to the driver. The system sounds futuristic, yet all the technology needed to operate it is currently available. One problem remains. Said Mike Doble, Buick’s technology manager at the time, “The only thing we can’t do yet is get people to comfortably trust the system.”
Trust. That’s not merely the issue in driving a car, but in living life — even the spiritual life.
In my “trust” file folder I have articles with these titles:
- “Why should I trust God?”
- “Can God be Trusted?”
- “From Frustration to Faith: Where is God when you’ve been stood up and stranded?”
- “Standing on the Promises: What can we conclude when the promises in God’s Word don’t seem to come true?”
The question of God’s trustworthiness is an issue for today, it seems. But it is also what men have wondered from the beginning of time (Adam and Eve asked about it in the Garden and Job’s friends debated it a short time later), and even during the advent of Christ (remember Peter attempting to walk on the water?). Can God be trusted?
Unequivocally, YES! Scripture is full of the affirmation of God’s trustworthy nature. And this verse is but one of them. Why can God be trusted? Because He sovereignly rules with grace over all the events of man and no one is capable of thwarting that rule. Where is the comfort in that? It is comforting because in His wisdom He knows what is best for us, in His love He desires to give us what is best for us, and in His omnipotence He is able to give us what is best for us. [Jerry Bridges in his book Trusting God expands this idea with great insight.]
And having decreed and ordered what is best for us, no one can then stop God from accomplishing that in our lives. Satan can’t (that is one of the issues that was sealed and settled for all time at the cross). Evil men can’t (despite the sinfulness of men, God’s will is never thwarted; the genealogy of Christ in Matthew 1 is a great example of that). And certainly we ourselves cannot change the plans of God.
So the problem is not that God is not trustworthy. The problem is that we don’t believe it in our hearts. Tozer said it well: “Unbelief is actually perverted faith, for it puts its trust not in the living God but in dying men.” Rather than entrusting ourselves to a faithful creator, we entrust ourselves to our plans. No wonder our hearts become weary so quickly!
Here, then, is a challenge for you this week: when your heart is weighed down with the discouragement of various troubles, ask yourself if you are trusting man or God to meet your need. And then meditate on one of these verses: Is. 14:27; 12:2; Ps. 9:10; 37:3, 5; 62:8; 2 Cor. 1:8-10; Heb. 2:13-15.
When our hearts are discouraged it is not from God’s lack of ability, it is because of our lack of belief in God’s ability.