The 2016 presidential campaign is well underway. Politicians are making promises and setting forth their plans and ideas. A critical lynchpin for each one is this: “Trust me.” Experience with some previous politicians, however, makes us skeptical.
All people, at one time or another, falter in trustworthiness. In contrast, God wants us to trust Him implicitly. Why should I trust God? Psalm 91 provides answers to that pertinent question.
Trust God Because of Who He Is
The psalmist emphasized who God is by identifying Him with four specific names. Each name enables us to know why we can trust Him.
Our God is the Most High, elyone (vv. 91:1, 9). This stresses His prominence, the fact that He is above all and superior to all. He is the one and only Supreme Being, the possessor of heaven and earth (Gen. 14:19). We should bow in awe before Him. In addition, God is also the Almighty, shaddai (v. 91:1). He is powerful, awesome in His ability and of immeasurable strength. If we want someone to trust, who could be better?
Beyond those characteristics, God is also named as the Lord, Yahweh (91:2, 9). As Yahweh, He is the covenant-keeping, redeeming, eternal God. He never fails in His promises or presence. Finally, He is God, Elohim (v. 91:2). He is the Creator (Gen. 1:1), the Sovereign over all the earth (Isa. 54:5) and the God who saves (Ps. 68:20).
Trust God Because of What He Is
God is a shelter (v. 91:1). This word commonly carries the idea of a hiding place. My friends and I often played “Hide and Seek” as children. Whenever I hid, I looked for a place of complete protection from the person who was It. God is our ultimate hiding place. In Him we are safe and secure.
In addition, God is a shadow (v. 91:1). The Old Testament frequently uses this word to refer to protection from harm. Just as a mother bird protects her babies under the shadow of her wing, so David prayed, “Hide me in the shadow of Your wings” (Ps. 17:8). Beyond that, God is our refuge (vv. 91:2, 9). Just as the high hills can be a refuge for goats, a place of safety and security (Ps. 104:18), so God is the greatest Refuge for His people. Finally, God is our fortress (v. 91:2). In Him we find complete safety from all attacks.
Trust God Because of What He Does
God protects His people providentially (vv. 91:9-13). God surrounds us with His angels, and their presence guarantees our total safety. However, troubles do come (v. 91:15). The reality is that life commonly brings us pain, illness and anxiety. Satan quoted this Scripture when tempting Christ to jump from the temple’s pinnacle (Matt. 4:6). Jesus responded, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test” (v. 4:7). God is our Refuge, but we must avoid all that seeks to prove He is protecting us. His providential care is constantly present, regardless of the physical danger, as long as we abide in Him.
In climactic fashion, God speaks in verses 14-16 to assure us that He personally protects His people. When we genuinely love the Lord (v. 91:14), He rescues us. When we acknowledge His name and make Him the priority in our lives, He will protect us. When we call upon Him, He will be with us in trouble. These all confirm that believers have pain, illness and suffering in this life. Yet, through it all, God will satisfy us with His presence and protection and grant us His salvation. That salvation is deliverance through the troubles of life and ultimate presence with Him forever.
Because of who and what God is, and because of what God does, we can trust Him implicitly. He is above and beyond all others, yet He loves us with an eternal love. We must commit our lives to Him, dwell in His shelter, and abide in His shadow. We must make the Lord “my God, in whom I trust” (v. 91:2).
Larry Overstreet, adjunct professor of ministry at Piedmont International University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.