“You are trusting God, but can God trust you?

These challenging words recently confronted me when listening to a message by Leith Anderson as he revealed some of our common misconceptions concerning how we have come to understand the ways of God. It was a timely message for me.
“God needs people He can trust when they find themselves in circumstances they would not of themselves choose. He has an abundance of volunteers who are willing to live good and purposeful lives that have prestige and money and fame and an impressive partner and who can take success without being arrogant and self-seeking. But who can He trust to have the poor job, the poor health, is unattractive and is largely unknown. There are plenty who want to have children who are academically gifted and present well and have a straight sexual orientation. But who can Jesus trust to have children who have severe disabilities or who have become prodigals. A thousand times you have been asked, ‘Do you trust Jesus?’ but ‘Can Jesus trust you?’ “

If you are like me, you will go to great lengths to test things out before you purchase them. You will road test the car you are keen to purchase and you will get a builder’s report on the home you would like to buy.

Interestingly, God tests us through the circumstances that we face from time to time to see what is in our hearts. And when we pass the tests He puts His stamp of approval on us and is then able to entrust us with further opportunities He has planned for us. (1 Thessalonians 2:4)
The Bible is filled with stories of such people:

  • God tested JOSEPH’S character until the time came for him to fulfill his childhood dream.
    Psalm 105:19
  • God tested ABRAHAM’S faith when he told him to go and sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah. Genesis 22:1-2
  • JOB could say that when God has tested him, he would come forth as pure gold. Job 23:10
  • On one occasion God withdrew from HEZEKIAH in order to test him, to see what was really in his heart. 2 Chronicles 32:31
  • God tested the whole nation of ISRAEL for forty years in the wilderness, to know what was in their hearts, whether they would obey His commands or not. Deuteronomy 8:2

As I look back on my own life, I can now see more clearly the tests of God that have come at critical times in my life. They have come unannounced, except for the convicting presence of the Holy Spirit and they began from the time of my decision to be a follower of Jesus to this very day.

The first two tests occurred in my school years following my conversion and in my early work experience. I chose not to nail my colours to the mast and attend the Christian fellowship groups that were meeting in these places. I failed the tests and my audience of One was watching.

The next test came when at the age of twenty I was conscripted into the Australian army for two years and began my 10 weeks of recruit training at an army base in Victoria. During our induction, we were informed that a weekly church service would be conducted on a Sunday morning for all those who would like to attend. Again, I felt a familiar prompt from the Holy Spirit, but this time it had a sense of urgency about it.

I had the feeling that I was running out of opportunities to nail my colours to the mast. Under great conviction, I spoke to the other fifteen men in my hut and invited them to come with me to the Sunday church service. Surprisingly, three of them said they would attend and true to their word they came with me. Interestingly, only seven recruits attended church that Sunday out of a total 1200 in the Recruit Training Battalion. I had passed the test and my heavenly audience had taken note because on my subsequent return to my place of employment I was asked to lead the Christian fellowship group, which I did. And so interested has God been in my growth as a disciple of Jesus Christ, that His tests have continued through many and varied experiences in my life to this very day. And each test has often been used to prepare me for a new step in my growing life of service for Jesus.

In 1989, together with Sue and our two young daughters we travelled to America where I undertook study at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. I understood that my study focus would be on 24 subjects that I would complete in twenty months to obtain my master’s degree. But I hadn’t taken into account the big test that God had also prepared for me in my ongoing Spiritual Cardio degree and the subject was, Walking By Faith 101. For Sue and I were required to trust God for our financial needs as I had taken leave without pay from my church where I had been serving. In addition, we needed to trust God for our accommodation. On two occasions our housing rental agreements were within two or three days of ending before we were able to secure ongoing accommodation.

This subject of Walking By Faith 101 would prove to be of inestimable value as we learned to trust God in a deeper way to meet all of our needs. And as we learned to trust God and pass the tests that would reveal the faith level in our hearts, so it would seem that God’s trust in us grew as well.

It is quite possible that as you read this article you will become aware of a particular way that God is taking you through one of His many classes of testing in order that you may be approved to be entrusted in a growing area of service for Him. So let me summarise some of the key issues that emerge from this subject called, “Can God Trust You?”


    James said,”For you know that when (not if) your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:3-4


    “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange was happening to you. Instead, be very glad – for these trials (tests) make you partners with Christ in His suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing His glory when it is revealed to all  the world.”
    1 Peter 4:12-13

  • He withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.
    2 Chronicles 32:31
  • He tests us to prove our character and to find out whether or not we would obey His commands. Deuteronomy 8:2
  • He tests us to refine us. Proverbs 17:3, Job 23:10
  • He will test the quality of our work on judgement day. 1 Corinthians 3:13

    So keen was David to grow in godliness that he actually welcomed and even invited the tests of God.
    “Put me on trial, Lord, and cross examine me. Test my motives and my heart.” Psalm 26:2
    “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalm 139:23-24
    No wonder David was the one person in the Bible who was described as having a heart after God’s own heart.


    It was because Mary found favor with God that she, as an unmarried virgin, was entrusted with the responsibility of conceiving and giving birth to a son whose name would be Jesus. What a test, and not only for her but for Joseph as well. Their lives would forever be changed and they would live with misunderstanding and prejudice because they had been tested and approved and entrusted by God.


    Whenever God tests Christians, it is to be expected that Satan will come to tempt the person being tested. God tested Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden by commanding them not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Then Satan tempted them which resulted in them failing the test, and with serious consequences.

God has great plans for each one of us and part of His preparation involves purposeful tests that come to strengthen our faith, develop our perseverance, increase our obedience, and build our character. And God is constantly watching to see how we are handling the tests of life that come our way, and how they are being used for Him to be able to entrust us with greater opportunities to serve Him.
So remember, that in all we do we have an audience of One and make sure you pass the test.

Can God trust you?