Attributes of God: Faithful

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, September 18, 2015 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Have you ever made a promise and failed to keep it? Or has someone made a promise to you and failed to follow through? It is not a pleasant thing. Some of us may think it is not a big deal because everyone has done it as one point or another. But keeping your word, keeping your promises, is a much bigger deal than we think.

Our word is representative of who we are, it reveals our character. When we keep our word, people can trust us. When we don’t, not many will. If our word is not trustworthy enough, we often appeal to an authority that is respected and honored by both parties. Such a vow not only puts your character on the line, but also the image of that higher authority. So when that authority, if it recognizes the vow, sees it is not fulfilled, that authority will deal with the issue.

But did you know God makes vows as well? Throughout all of Scripture, we see numerous promises that God makes. But God has no higher authority to appeal to because he is the highest authority. If he wasn’t, he would not be God. So when God makes a promise, he must appeal to himself. And with that appeal, everything that describes God is put on the line. All the attributes I have described so far are put to the test when God makes his vows. And for God to not lie, for him to not change, for him to remain the standard of truth, he must fulfill those promises. And he does.

That can be both reassuring and terrifying. Many of us love to quote the promises of peace and protection and deliverance, and it is not a bad thing to have those on our minds. That being said, let us not forget that God makes other promises as well. He promises prosperity and peace when we obey him statutes, but he promises curses and problems when we don’t. So often, when we get into trouble we pray for God to get us out of it, but it does not take a thorough reading of the Old Testament history to see that many times the trouble we get into is our own fault and God is going to let it run its course. Many of the prophets say this as well. And God delivers.

When he lets us fall into trouble, it is not to be a mean judge. It is meant to get us to realize what we did to put us in that position and to stop doing that. Let us not be deceived. God is not mocked. A man will reap what he sows. Many of God’s promises will take place whether we directly follow him or not. There are many non-believing CEO’s that read Proverbs and apply the principles in a completely secular manner, and they succeed because they follow what God has ordained. The rain falls on the just and the unjust and God is not a respecter of persons. He doesn’t treat different peoples or different groups specially because they have some kind of title or privilege. That being said, he does not reject anyone just because of their background or because of some “earned merit.” He honors obedience and curses disobedience. And he does not change.

What are some of the promises God gives us? For us as Christians, he made a few specific promises to those that preach his Kingdom. Jesus said we would encounter trouble and persecution; he never said it would be easy. But he also promised the strength, the grace, and the words to say when we need to say them. He promised he would never leave us or forsake us. And in 22 years of missions experience not including what I am doing now, I can testify that he did not break his word.

But what about those who leaned on him and depended on him to do something significant like save a loved one from cancer? This was the case for the atheist professor in the movie God’s Not Dead. He used to be a Christian (so he claimed) but God did not save his mother when he was a child and he hated God ever since. Was God unfaithful and failed to come to the rescue of those who called on him?

Read back on my post on God’s sovereignty. I cannot answer such a question because I don’t have all the answers. I don’t see the overall big picture. But I do know this: God was there ready to comfort those who suffered the loss. Was God responsible for said person’s death? Again, there are factors that none of us know and only God knows. But consider this: was there a promise that God would spare the person? Or was that just an expectation built on an emotional response? I’ll be honest, none of us want our loved ones to die. Nothing wrong with that. But if reality does not meet our emotional desires, does that mean God is at fault? No it doesn’t.

But what about when God does give us a specific promise? The apostle Paul knew he was to go to Rome. And nothing was going to stop him, including beatings, shipwreck, or even a snakebite. I’m not sure he envisioned he would get there in chains, but he was going to get there. Jesus was so confident of his calling that during a storm he slept. While the disciples were panicking, Jesus had no fear. He walked straight through crowds trying to kill him. Until the time for his crucifixion arrived, he could not be touched. Some of the great missionaries had this type of audacity where they knew their mission and absolutely nothing was going to get in their way to get that done. Some avoided shipwreck, other escaped torture and rape, others endured poison. Two of my friends were in Thailand on a mission trip and some gunmen came to their hotel to shoot them. They hit the wrong room (the clerks revealed later that my friends were the target).

God does not change. He does not lie. He holds true to his word and he will see it through. Let us walk in the center of his will. When we do that, we will see him come through. But remember, even if we don’t follow him, God is still faithful and he will deliver the judgment he promised for sin. He will delay that judgment as long as he can, but we have no promises on how long that will be. Trust God. He is trustworthy. There is none more reliable and more dependable than he. And the one promise that is more valuable than any other he has made is his promise that those who have been born again will join him in paradise. Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. I have, and because God is faithful and because he does not change, I have the assurance that I will be in heaven after my time here on earth is up, not because of anything I have done, but because of what Christ has done. You can have that assurance as well. Will you trust God?

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