Who can I trust? Your father abused you. Someone spread a nasty rumor about you at work. Your marriage just ended in divorce. After an angry quarrel, you fear your sister will never speak to you again. These and many other traumatic events make a person wonder: ‘Can I trust anyone ever again?”
The Damaging Consequences of Distrust
Flawed human beings may have abused you, abandoned you, or betrayed you. We recognize that as part of life, but it always hurts. The emotional pain of a broken relationship made you afraid to trust others. You wonder if your next relationship will be a dismal failure like all the rest have been. You hate being alone but the idea of giving anyone else access to your heart terrifies you. You can only recover from this kind of emotional damage by beginning to trust someone. In order to do that you will need to find an extremely trustworthy person. You need a friend who will never abandon you or betray you.
The Perfect Trustworthiness of Jesus
No one is more trustworthy than Jesus, the perfect Son of God. He promised to never leave or forsake those who believe in him for salvation (Mark 16:7). Consider how faithful he was to his less-than-outstanding disciples. The twelve disciples were walking with Jesus on the way to Jerusalem—and the cross. But James and John wanted to advance their positions in Jesus’ kingdom. On the sly, they asked Jesus to let them be on his right and left when he became king. They even got their mother involved (Mark 10:37, 40; Matthew 20:20). Jesus didn’t kick them out for being so selfish. He didn’t even tell them to go to the end of the line as they walked along the road. He simply stated that he wasn’t in charge of the seating chart in heaven. His father was.
Jesus also refused to tell Peter to get lost after his dismal failure on the night before the crucifixion. At that time, Peter denied he knew Jesus because he feared—get this—a servant girl. But after he rose from the grave, Jesus sent an angel to invite the disciples, including Peter, to meet with him Galilee (Mark 16:7). While there, the Jesus engaged Peter in a conversation designed to make Peter realize he truly loved him (John 21:15-19). After Jesus forgave Peter, he entrusted him with the task of caring for Jesus’ followers. Peter rose to the challenge, as we see throughout the first half of the book of Acts.
Take God at His Word
Jesus could have scolded Peter, James, and John. He could have replaced them with others who would be braver and less selfish. But he didn’t because he is a trustworthy person who is loving and faithful by nature. He could not cast them out without betraying their trust and that of his Father.
Jesus will be just as gracious to you as he was to his disciples, even though they acted like jerks. Because he is absolutely trustworthy, the Son of God who died for you will never break your heart. He will not abandon you or abuse you. Jesus’ lavish grace and compassion make it possible for you to answer the question “Can I trust anyone ever again?” You can say without hesitation, “Yes, I can trust Jesus. He won’t let me down.”