What Can I Trust God For?


My recent ‘churning’ comes from an increase of interactions I’ve had that feel like a ‘spiritualized lack of compassion’. Conversations insisting that because we are told in Isaiah 53: 5

“He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

Along with God is the God of resurrection and healing.

True faith would have us claim it. Claim the blood of Jesus that covers all things.

What happens in people that they ‘claim full healing’ for some things, but not others? Schizophrenia? Down syndrome? A leg cut off in an accident? Asperger’s? Restoration of homes destroyed in fire? What determines it is okay to claim God’s healing intervention in some things and not others?

What does ‘trusting God’ really mean? I suspect we are prone to interpret these promises from our ‘wishful theology’ rather than tuning in to how God wants to write a story line.

My inner frustration has brought me back to an ongoing question I’ve wrestled with on my own journey. What can I trust God for?

In this world we will have hard times! That is something I can count on!

There will be thistles, thorns, life not flourishing, conflict between people, killing… These are the results of living in the world ever since the first people chose to follow their own decisions rather than follow God. Doing what seems right in our own eyes. And the repercussions are great.

God set it up that if people decided to not follow His guidance, then the full-blown effects of foolishness and deceit would be played out!

Since the beginning there have been horrid acts of atrocities! History is filled with genocide to differing degrees and the ongoing repercussions. I can trust that God will let this continue up until the time He comes back and fully implements His kingdom.

I can trust that I will suffer the impact of wrongs done.

I cannot trust that He will fix it in the manner and time frame I think is right.

I cannot trust that He will make it easy.

I cannot trust that God will heal cancer, although He might.

I cannot trust that God will heal mangled legs from car accidents, although He is capable of doing so.

I cannot trust that God will take away autism or schizophrenia or downs syndrome or innumerable brain disorders.

Or reverse the impact of traumatic brain injury resulting in memory issues.

Or reverse the repercussions of a mother taking drugs while pregnant or fetal alcohol syndrome.

How much can I trust that God will fully restore the impact of a brain that didn’t develop due to lack of nurturing, or early abuse in childhood?

I can be confident that He will continue to give people freedom of choice even when they make horrid decisions that bring trauma to others.

But from there, what can I trust God’s response to be?

Are there promises that God will remove my chronic depression that is a result of developmental trauma?

Am I having little faith or responding to the impact of the laws of nature set in motion back in the garden of Eden?

I need to come to terms with having to live with the impact of developmental childhood trauma. I know God can do miracles, but what if He chooses to not take this approach with me or others?

As I ponder history, the world’s and my own, I am confident that God continues to insert Himself into the messy story lines we create. He takes messy and horrid situations and purposes to bring about differing outcomes that would otherwise happen. He will be writing the final chapter of human history, even if situations are far from brought to justice now.

I am challenged to examine my trust level in God’s goodness and wisdom- regardless of what He does and doesn’t do.

How do I come to an increasing confidence that God is good and ‘for me’ when the suffering continues?
It is vital I untangle the goodness of God from the presence of suffering!

It is too easy for me to base my trust in God’s goodness based on His ‘fixing’ situations and relieving suffering in the way I desire and with the speed I want!

He may be focusing on a different issue than what I am. I want a situation fixed while He wants a sweet connection with me and my character developed. He wants me to be aware of being cuddled in His heart. Sometimes bringing relief will result in this desire of His. And sometimes it would not and thus He will interact differently.

Like David declares in Ps. 23, I can trust God will enter into every aspect of my journey, including my ‘valleys’, interacting in ways to restore my soul and help me ‘suffer well’.

I do not know how it will look, but His heart is about redemption.

My relationship with Him still is not as firm as I want, but I want my trust to be in His character rather than in ‘fixing’ a situation the way I desire.



  • What a beautiful handling of the problem of evil!
    I, too, am ever pursuing this deep trust. “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Or for God’s blessings? It has been asked through the ages.
    Thank you for drawing us back to compassion for ourselves and others while we all live through the process, and for pointing us to connection with God and surrender to His story line.

    • Thanks, Betsy. It is good to hear from you and know that you are on the same journey as me! May we both grow in our confidence in our loving God!

    • Mark, you wonderful friend! I miss having time with you! Thanks for your response, letting me know we are on similar journeys. And I am grateful for you taking time to write me ‘your list’! Boy, am I glad God has a good heart towards us and is an Interactive Presence!!!

    • And isn’t it fantastic every time we get to experience the reality of this!!

  • So interesting Maribeth – I have very much been wrestling with similar thoughts and asking the same question: what can I trust God for?

    I wish I could trust Him as some of my friends do for all to be healed, etc. But it is not what I see. I wish I could see Him making life easier, with less suffering or Him erasing it all together. One day I know that will be true.

    So what can I trust in Him now? I have started a list with things like:

    He is there.
    He is a God who is always present.
    He will never leave or forsake us.
    He is for us and not against us.
    He is leading and guiding us though we don’t always see how.
    He is sovereign over all and has written a story that will come to completion.
    That story ends good!

    Thanks again Maribeth for your thoughts and honesty!


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