God does not lie. This fact is foundational to the Christian faith. Another foundational truth is God can be trusted. I am staking my life on these two foundational Christian truths. If I’m completely honest, though, I lose sight of them. I was born and was raised to believe that God lies and can’t be trusted.
Scripture tells me that I was the one who did not seek for God. I was born a liar and a deceiver (Rom. 3:10–18). Furthermore, I have more bad news—you were also born a liar and a deceiver.
I was a child of wrath, like the “rest of mankind”, and I was following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is even now at work in this world (Eph. 2:1–3). My relationship with God was dead, and your relationship with God was also dead (Eph. 2:1–8).
Satan, the other part of this equation, is known as a liar and deceiver. Eve believed his lies. She had been told not to eat of the fruit of the tree that was in the midst of the garden or she would die (Gen. 3:3). We know from Scripture that Satan told her, “You will not surely die” (Gen. 3:4-5). Eve saw that the tree was good for food and that the tree was desired to make one wise, so she believed the lie and ate. At the moment she and Adam ate, they became dead to God and hid from Him.
God hadn’t lied. Adam and Eve died. Was God at fault? He told the truth. Eve is the one who believed the lie.
In my counseling practice I often hear the phrase, “A loving God would not have allowed ________.” The clients’ trust in God has been affected, but I listen, because their comments are usually steeped in pain.
Scripture says that there are two unchangeable things, and one of the two is this: it is impossible for God to lie (Heb. 6:18). In light of this statement, we know that when Scripture tells us that we will experience trials of various kinds (Jas. 1:2), it is the truth. God never promised we would not suffer.
Humans, on the other hand, do lie. Sometimes they lie to soften the truth. For example, a child needs a shot. The parent may attempt to calm the child by saying, “It won’t hurt. Don’t worry.” The child then receives the shot and realizes it did hurt—and that Mom or Dad didn’t tell the truth. Furthermore, the child may wonder what other times Mom or Dad didn’t quite tell the complete truth.
God always tells the truth. And one of His truths is: you will suffer when on earth. God can be trusted to tell the truth—even the hard truth.
When people ask me where God is when they suffer and why He allowed their pain, I can’t answer the “why”, but I can tell them God hasn’t lied to them. God was in their suffering. In fact, God was beside them and in the midst of it all. God put on their suffering, because He took sin (which involves pain, guilt and death) and died with all of it in His very being. He took the ultimate pain upon Himself so that we would not suffer forever.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith” (Rom. 3:23-25a).
We are told to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and to lean not on our own understanding, but in all our ways we are to acknowledge Him, and He promises to direct our paths (Prov. 3:5–6). Do you believe that God doesn’t lie? Do you struggle trusting Him? God has told you in advance that you would experience pain, but it will not be forever if you choose to believe in Jesus—even though the pain may be so intense it may feel like forever.
With what area in your life are you struggling to trust God? Will you share that area with Him and ask Him to turn your lack of trust into truth and faith? †
Copyright 2016 Life Assurance Ministries, Inc., Camp Verde, Arizona, USA. All rights reserved. Revised November 23, 2016. Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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VOLUME 17, ISSUE 3
Carolyn Macomber was a doctoral student at Andrews University when she discovered inconsistencies between Adventism and the Bible. She withdrew her membership from the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 2009. She is a marriage and family counselor and is the contact person for former Adventists at The Chapel Evangelical Free Church in St. Joseph, Michigan.