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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Dr. Charles Stanley » Charles Stanley — Resting in the Faithfulness of God

Charles Stanley — Resting in the Faithfulness of God

TOPICS: Rest in God

When you find that you're faced being tested and you don't know what God's doing in your life. And your prayers seem to go unanswered for some reason. And the devil just harasses you, and your plans are frustrated, and your friends have all deserted you. And somehow between you and God there seems to be this cloud. What do you do? Where do you turn? How do you respond? Well some people respond by simply saying, "God doesn't answer my prayer. God isn't who he says he is. If he were, this wouldn't be happening to me". And so you get into that victim mode. Or you just trust the Lord when you don't see your way clear and you keep moving forward.

Probably in all of our lives, at some point or the other, there are those seasons when we go through situations and circumstances that we would almost be willing to say, "God really and truly is not genuinely faithful". Now we believe that he is, but look what's happening in my life. And so we are prone to judge God by our environment, by the circumstances that we're facing, and so in the process of doing so, we think about all the things that we've learned. And then when it comes to the reality of the time of testing, that's when we decide whether we really and truly believe it or not.

What I want to talk about in this message, I want to talk about an attribute of the Lord God. I want to talk about something that affects every single one of us every day: every time you pray, every time you find yourself in a spiritual battle, or whatever it might be, you're affected by what we want to talk about. Because all of us face those times when we genuinely, not that we want to, but we genuinely question that God is faithful to me in this incident, in this situation and this circumstance, whatever it might be. So I want you to turn to 1 Corinthians chapter 1, and I just want us to read these first 9 verses together. And it's the 9th verse I want us to note primarily.

So he begins by saying, Paul, as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours: grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ". Then he says, "I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with his son, Jesus Christ our Lord".

So what I want to talk about is simply this: resting in the faithfulness of God. Now I can repeat this. All of us will meet those situations and circumstances at times that will cause us to at least doubt for a moment, "God, where are you"? And as we said, there'll be like some dark cloud hanging between you and him. So, Paul is encouraging his listeners, readers at this point. And I want us to think about for a few moments, all through the scriptures how God is reminding us of his faithfulness. And so, I want us to begin in Deuteronomy chapter 7.

Let's begin in the Old Testament just for a few passages, in Deuteronomy chapter seven, and I want you to look at if you will, verse 9 and I just want to take you through a few of these throughout the scripture just to remind you of how often he tells us this. He says in verse 9, "Know therefore that the Lord your God, he is God, the faithful God, who keeps his covenant and his lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love him and keep his commandments". Then if you'll flip over to the 119 Psalm, just want a few of these, 119 Psalm and the 89th verse, look what he says. He says, "Forever, o Lord, your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations: you established the earth, and it stands". Then move all the way over to 1 Thessalonians and the 5th chapter. And all through the scriptures, 1 Thessalonians the 5th chapter and the 24th verse of this chapter, and notice here again the emphasis on trusting him, his faithfulness.

He says, "Faithful is he who calls you, and he also will bring it to pass. Then if you move over to 2 Timothy the 2nd chapter and look, if you will, in this 2nd chapter and the 13th verse. Notice what he says. He says, "If we are faithless," that is, we don't believe, "He remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself". And then the 1 Peter, for example, and chapter 4. And look if you will in this 19th verse. And again, here's what he says. He says, "Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right". And everybody knows the 1 John chapter 1 and verse 9, "If we confess our sins," he's what? "Faithful and just righteous in forgiving us of our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness".

Now, what does it mean when we talk about the faithfulness of God? It means that he always does what is right. He always does the right thing about everything in every single situation. Not only does he do what he says he'll do, he fulfills every single promise that he makes. All of us have those promises in the word of God that we treasure those promises especially meaningful to us, because of what's going on in our life. And God brings us to a passage of scripture. In that passage God somehow comforts us with it. So when he says that "He is faithful," it means that in all times, in all things, in all circumstances God is always the same. He never changes. He doesn't falter. He doesn't forget. He always is there to fulfill his promise.

And if you think about what your favorite promise in the word of God would be, he's there every single time. And probably all of us have seen those situations and circumstances we, when we come to that verse and say, "Lord, here's what you promised. Why isn't it happening"? Well, is it happening or is it not? Is God doing it a different way than what we expect? Does he always keep his promise? He says, for example, he cannot lie: he cannot fail because he is God and he is a God who is faithful in every single circumstance of life. Now it's one thing to say that. And if somebody said, "Well why do you believe that God is faithful and will be faithful every single time"?

For example, we go through situations and circumstances and we cry out to him, for God to help us and strengthen us and enable us to face it. So what's what is our proof? It's one thing to say that he is. But when you look at the whole idea of God's faithfulness, there are five attributes of God that are absolutely necessary in order for God to say that he's faithful. There are many attributes of God. He's holy, for example, and all powerful and many of the attributes you know. But there are five of them that are absolutely essential if God is going to be faithful to me and to you in every circumstance of our life.

And the first one is simply this: he must be omniscient in order for him to be faithful to me. That is, he must know everything there is to know about me. He must know things ahead of time. He knows present, past and future. He knows about every single need that we have: our wants, our desires, our weaknesses, our frailties. He knows everything. If he did not know every single thing about us, he could not be faithful to meet all of our needs, whatever they might be. So his omniscience, he knows everything. One of his attributes is that he's omniscient. The second attribute is that he is omnipotent. He cannot promise me to be, or promise you, to be faithful in every circumstance of life if he's not all powerful.

Because there could be some situation, some circumstance, well what would God do? If he's not all powerful, then that means he cannot under any such, situation or circumstance fulfill every single need or protect us in every situation. So he not only knows everything and he is all powerful, but likewise, he must be omnipresent, which means that he, listen, he is always within reach, and we're always within his reach. That is we'll never see a situation whereby he's not present, ready and able to do whatever is needed in your life. So when you take those three attributes alone, somebody says, "Is God faithful"? Yes, he is. "Well how can he be faithful in every circumstance"? Because he knows everything. He has all power to change anything he desires to change or move. And, he is always present.

Now those three we can possibly accept and say, "Well I can, I can understand that". But there demands something else. He must always be truthful in every circumstance. For God to be faithful, he must be truthful. Because if he's not truthful, then I have a problem. And so when we think about his truthfulness, I want you to look at a couple of passages of scripture, one of which is in titus. And look if you will in this 1st chapter and 2nd verse says, "In the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago, would God ever lie"? No, he cannot lie: because if he lied he would be violating his own character. And the very character and nature of God is such that he cannot lie. He is always going to show us and tell us the truth.

And if you move back over to 2 Timothy look, if you will, in chapter 2, and if you look in verse 13, he says, "If we're faithless, he remains faithful for he cannot deny himself". He's always truthful. That is, God would never mislead us. He would never say anything that would cause us to head in the wrong direction in life. He is all-knowing, all-powerful, always present, and when you look in these passages, he's always truthful. So whatever he promises, for example, he says, "I'll never leave you nor forsake you". Is that the truth or is it not? And so, when we talk about the faithfulness of God, every single promise that he makes he is going to fulfill. If he's not fulfilling some promise in your life to suit you, for example, you have to ask yourself the question. "Is this a promise of God, is, or is this something I conjured up"? If it's a promise of God, you have, listen, the very nature of God is that he cannot prove to be unfaithful, untruthful, inadequate, unknowing, mistaken, in error about anything.

So the very basis of my belief that he is a faithful God is his very nature. And he says, "As, he cannot lie". And even when you and I are unfaithful to him, he says, for example, that he's still going to be faithful no matter what. And over and over and over again he says, for example in 1 Peter chapter 4, "Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right". So ask yourself the question: do I really and truly believe that God is absolutely, unquestionably, always, without exception faithful to his word and faithful to us as followers of Jesus Christ?

Now we'll come to this a few moments later but he's also faithful to the unbeliever. And I'll show you why in a moment. But what I want you to see is the very basis of your believing that he is faithful to you, that he'll always be there, is his very nature that cannot change. That's who he is. But there's one other thing, another one of his attributes, and that attribute is simply this: his immutability, which means he cannot change, that God does not change. Now I know what some of you may be thinking about some passage of scripture. We'll come to that in a moment, but he cannot change. If God is a changing God, then he may change something about himself or about some situation that it will prove to be unfaithful. But he's a faithful God and he is a God who only tells the truth. He's a God of truthfulness, but he is also a God who does not change.

For example, in Malachi the 3rd chapter and the 6th verse he says for example, "I do not change". He's always been the same, he is the same now, and he will always be the same. It is his nature that he's unchanging. And apart from those five attributes, you can't have a God who is faithful. He must know all things, he must have all power, he must be available at all times, he must be a God only of truthfulness, and one who does not change. Many things around us change but he doesn't. He treats us just as he's treated people all throughout eternity past and eternity future. He'll never change. It is his nature. It cannot change. If he change, everything would be uncertain. If God changed anything about his promises, then we would have uncertainty. If he changed anything about the way he operates, we would feel uncertain.

So you and I come to him in prayer. We make our case for him, our needs, whatever the needs may be. And the issue is do I believe it or do I not? And so we know that the scripture says, for example, he says, "This is the confidence (that we have in) him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us, we know that we have the petition that we desired of him". If he is a faithful God, he cannot change that. If he's a faithful God, then he's not gonna say, "Well exceptions, if, ands, and buts. Notice what he says. He says, "When we call upon him," if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if he hears us, then we know that we have the petition that we desired of him.

So can God change that? No, because if he changed that, he would change his truthfulness. And he cannot change his truthfulness. This is a promise he's made, and the promises of God are powerful. And if he did not have promises, we would be walking in uncertainty all the time. He promises, for example, to heal. Does he promise to heal every person? No, he does not. And so he is truthful. Notice what he says. This is the confidence, this is the basis of my confidence, that if I ask anything according to his will, who knows all things, has all power, who loves me unconditionally, if I ask anything according to his will, he's going to hear me. And if I know that he hears me, I know that I have the petition that I desired of him. If I ask something that's not his will, then he is under no obligation to answer.

So if somebody says, "Well, God isn't truthful because here's what he said. I made this request. God says he answers prayer. 'ask and it shall be given you: seek and ye shall find: knock and it shall be opened unto you.'" but what's the issue if I ask according to his will? He does not change. He does not falter. He does not hesitate. He does not fail to keep his word. He's a God of truthfulness and a God who does not change. And the fact that he is unchangeable is a great source of comfort and assurance for every single one of us. For example, he says, "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, you will be saved". Confessing him as Lord and you mean that, you'll be saved.

Now, is that sometimes or all the times? All the time. "If I confess, I agree with him that he is the Lord and master of my life, I will be saved". Now, is that all the time? Is that just certain people? "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved". What does that mean? And when somebody says, "Oh, I believe in Jesus Christ". But they believe that he was, that he is, that he is somebody, that he's a Savior, but not believing unto the point of accepting him as atoning for their sin and acknowledging him as the Lord of their life. It's a whole different story.

So somebody says, "Well I believe in Jesus. You mean to tell me I'm not going to heaven"? If you do not believe in Jesus Christ with the meaning of what that it is a word of action, something must take place. If you believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior, something has to take place. The forgiveness of your sins, repentance of your sins, and accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and master of your life. He's truthful in every single aspect. And so when somebody says, "Yes, but God this". No, no, no, no. He can't change his truthfulness because it's his nature. It's his nature to be all-knowing: his nature to be all powerful: his nature to be always present: his nature to be always truthful: and his nature continually always there doing exactly what he promised to do. He's unchanging.

Let's eliminate all five of those attributes of God and what kind of God do you have? If he doesn't know everything: if he doesn't have all power: and if he's not always in reach: and if he's not always truthful: and if he's changing, what confidence do you have? See what an awesome God we have? And if any of that's missing, you don't have any assurance about anything in life. You say, well, I trusted Jesus as my Savior and I'm going to heaven when I die. Well, but suppose God's changed the whole plan. He hasn't changed the plan. Everything is the same. God doesn't change. And if he did, we would be hopelessly and helplessly confounded in every single area of our life. Every promise would be up for grabs. Every promise would be questionable. Here's what he said, but God does change his mind. No, he doesn't. Somebody says, yes he does.

And so I want to bring up a passage of scripture. Let's go back, let's just take Jonah, for example, this is a good example. God said to Jonah, I want you to go to Nineveh and preach the message that judgment is coming. Judgment is coming. So he goes and he preaches judgment is coming, and the scripture says they turned to the Lord and the king calls for a fast and they turn to God, and so there is no judgment. Somebody says, see there, God changed his mind. No, he didn't. Now listen carefully. It's one thing for God to make a statement that is conditional. And though it is not spoken here, this is exactly, it was conditional. Because why would God have them, have him preach the truth of the message of God's imminent judgment and they all, at least a big, large part enough of them repented of their sins, turned to the Lord and then God wipe them out.

Well what was his purpose? His purpose wasn't to destroy them. His purpose was to bring about a repentance and a revival throughout Nineveh and that is exactly what happened. So God didn't change his mind - it was conditioned upon that. And he says he doesn't change his mind. Listen, why would God change his mind, first of all, when he knows past, present, and future? Some of you already know, say he doesn't change his mind. He makes some promises conditioned upon certain things. He makes some that are unconditional. And then you think, for example, what did he say to Abraham? I'm gonna make you a great nation. He didn't say if you obey me or if you do not. He said, I'm going to make you a great nation and all the nations on the earth will be blessed, period: unconditional. When he said to Jonah to preach there in Nineveh, what happened? On what God's goal was, not to destroy them but to bring them to repentance, and the reason Jonah didn't wanna go to begin with is because he didn't like them, he didn't want them to be saved.

And do you remember, he ends up sitting under a tree, and moaning and groaning and complaining to God at the very last part of the book because God did what he said he would do. Did God change his mind? No. God accomplished his purpose and Jonah was the person through whom God spoke. So, he doesn't change his mind. And the reason I emphasize this is because I think we believe a lot of things but we don't have any basis for them. But I want you to see again the character of God cannot change. If he's perfect, how would it change? He is the the ultimate in knowledge and wisdom and power. What, how could you change the very ultimate. And so therefore you and I have a God, when he says that he is going to be faithful, he is faithful and he cannot change because it's his nature not to change.

And so when these things happen in scripture, and that's just one incidence... we could give you some more. He said, for example in first Samuel chapter fifteen, when Samuel said to Saul, Saul, God, is, he is ripping the kingdom from your hands and you will no longer be king. And the passage simply says, God will not lie or change his mind, is what he told him, and he didn't of course. So when you think about what's the basis of your faith? Why do you believe him? Why do you trust him? What is it about God that you can think about this: you're trusting your whole eternal life on a promise. And the reason you're trusting your whole eternal life on a promise is because you believe that the God who made that promise is not going to change his mind.

And when he says it's through, the shed blood of his son, Jesus, you don't believe he's, you don't think he's going to change his mind. You accept his promises based on the fact that he is God and that he's a God that doesn't change his mind, who knows all things and has all power. Everything that's within his reach and it would be absolutely totally completely unacceptable to try to describe God as one who changes his mind and who thinks this today and that tomorrow. So, you have to look at all five of those attributes. That's the basis by which you and I can say, God is a faithful God. If he makes a promise, he's going to keep it. If he gives us a warning, he's going to fulfill it.

And so when you think about your faith, we're talking about the basis of your faith. And you think about the basis of your faith, your whole faith is based on your understanding of who God is. What is he like? And when people say to you, well i, I don't believe all that stuff. Well, what do you believe? And you listen to somebody who doesn't believe in God, and it sort of tickles me at times and I'm thinking, they're just going round and round and round and round. Nothing is certain, nothing is, nothing is really solid. It's just, it's just gibberish. Because when you eliminate the one true God and you eliminate the character of God, there is no assurance of anything and no hope. And so when it comes to life and death, you either believe he's faithful when he says, absent from the body, present with the Lord. Is that once in a while? Is that an exception? No. It is the promise to every single believer. And Jesus said he would come for us, receive us unto himself, that where he is, that's where we're going to be.

How many of you are expecting one day to die and go to heaven? On the basis of what? One simple promise of the son of God, who never changes his mind and who has all power to make it a reality. When I think of people who are not believers, and they talk about what assurance they which is none... and think about if they would just stop and think. Well now, now, what is it out there? How am i, and they just hem-haw around. They have no hope. That is they may have a hope, but it's totally unfounded. Our hope isn't just a hope. It is a hope with the assurance given to us by God whose very character is such that he does not change. And every single promise he's given us in the scripture, he's going to keep.

Now, this is demonstrated throughout the scripture. Let's just take, for example, run through a few of them quickly. When he said to, Adam and eve in the garden, in the day that you eat of the fruit of this tree, you're going to die. Did God want them to die? No. Did he change his mind? No, he did not. He made a provision for them through the shedding of blood. That's why they had skins. To have skins, you've got to have death and you've got to have blood. So he said, you're going to surely die. They didn't die physically, but they died spiritually.

For example, when he said to Noah, Noah, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to destroy every living thing on the face of this earth. I want you to build this ark. You take you and your family and all these animals and I'm going to put you in the ark and I'm going to destroy everything on the earth. That's exactly what he did. Then he says, I'll never do it again that way, and he hasn't. That's why he gave us a rainbow. You see, God hasn't missed anything. God is a God of promise and assurance and confidence. He wants his people to be confident. That's why our testimony ought to be bold.

The reason most people don't have a bold testimony is they can't defend their faith. And they say, well here's what I believe. But why do you believe it? Why do you believe that God will answer your prayer? Why do you believe he's going to take you home to heaven? Why do you believe that he'll empower you? Why do you believe,? In other words, because you believe the promises of God. Well watch this. You can believe those things, but then when you get in the midst of a big trial and things are tough and looks like you're not going to make it: you're going to lose everything, or your family's falling apart, do you still believe it? He hasn't changed. Watch this. Our emotions oftentimes, sort of run counter to the promises of God. And we have to decide, am I going to believe what I feel, or am I going to believe what God said? And that's where faith and doubt clash.

So, I think also about what he said to Abraham, that twelfth chapter of, Genesis. He said, Abraham, I'm going to make you the father of a nation that'll be like the sands of the sea. And he says, all the earth is going to be blessed out of your loins. Is that what he did? It's exactly what he did. And so you have the nation of Israel, you have the coming of the Messiah, everything that God promised. And notice that he didn't say, if you do thus and so. That was an unconditional promise of God. Here's what I'm going to do. Now watch this. When God makes a conditional promise, it's conditioned upon something we do or do not do. When he makes an absolute, unconditional promise, nothing can change it because it is unconditionally the word of the living God.

I think, for example, in his promise of the virgin birth in Isaiah. That's what he said, and that's who Jesus was, born of a virgin. I think about, for example, what Jesus said in the 16th chapter of Matthew, when he was talking to his disciples and he said to them, he said, "I'm going to be persecuted, I'm gonna be crucified, and I'm gonna rise from the dead". Well, that didn't make any sense at all to them. But he was--and he didn't say it was conditioned upon anything, this is what's gonna happen. And that is exactly what happened. No one can point to anything God's ever said and said, God lied. He is a God of truth and power and knowledge and understanding and unconditional love. He wants us to believe him because believing him is our entrance into life eternal.

And so God doesn't just simply give us some light-hearted promise or light-hearted invitation, well if you'll just believe this, that or the other. Put your trust in me, he says, for the gift of eternal life. And our eternal life is conditioned upon our acceptance of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our past, present and future. We have hope that's not just hope, but it's hope grounded in the very nature of God, himself.

So, let's think about, for example, if God is not a faithful God with all these attributes, when you get down to pray, what would you think? You'd think, I hope so. I hope so. If all these things are not true, you'd pray, well Lord, I hope so. And the truth is, our relationship would be meaningless. How can you have a relationship with somebody you don't trust? And if God's changing his mind, not exercising his power: you don't know how he's going to operate. Then there is no assurance, no confidence in our life. And how would we respond to life if we do not have unconditional promises of God? And you face storms in life. When you and I go through storms in life, what get's us through them? The promises of God is what gets us through them. Lord, you said here's what you would do, if I would pray and trust you: if I yielded my life to you. It is the unconditional promises of God that gets us through the storms of life. And if he's changing, if he alters his course somehow, then what happens? We have no assurance, none whatsoever, of what's going to happen.

So it's all based on his faithfulness, that God is who he says he is and that it does not change. It would certainly be impossible to have any kind of real true genuine assurance and confidence if God was not absolutely faithful. So, let's think about why we can rest in his faithfulness for a few moments. We said we're talking about resting in the faithfulness of God. How can we rest in that no matter what we're facing? Well first of all, turn to lamentations chapter three for a moment. Just turn there for a moment. Go past Isaiah and Jeremiah and look at this third chapter. He says, verse twenty-two, "The Lord's kindnesses indeed never cease, his compassions never fail. They are new every morning: great is your," what? "Faithfulness". Great is your faithfulness. So first of all, we can rest in his faithfulness simply because he's not going to change and he's a faithful God.

In first Thessalonians five twenty-four, one of the reasons we can rest in his faithfulness is because he, here's what he says. He says whatever he calls us to do, he will empower us to do it. That is a promise of God that's an unfailing promise. Whatever he calls us to do, he will empower us to do it. So for example, you say, well, maybe God is calling me to be a Sunday school teacher. What's my promise? My promise is this. He says, if I call you to do it, I will empower you, I will enable you. Watch this. It wouldn't even be honest with God if he called you to do something and then did not enable you or to help you bring it to pass. Likewise, he says if we confess our sins, he's faithful and just to forgive us of our sins. If you don't believe that he's faithful, then how will you ever know? And, I've heard people say this and I've said, okay, we deal with something about sin in their life.

Say, let's ask God right now to forgive you of your sins. Are you willing to ask him to forgive you? Yes I am. All right, let's ask him. So they pray and I say, well has he forgiven you? Well I hope so. Mm-mm-mm, wait a minute. You, well read that verse. And sometimes I've had people read that verse up to ten times because every time before that they would say, well I think so. Well I hope so. Maybe so. I'm not sure. Now wait a minute. If God is who he says he is and he says, if we confess our sins, that is, we agree with him about it, he says, he's faithful and just, righteous that he has the right to forgive me for my sins because of what Christ did at the cross. He's faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If God is not faithful, I would never know where I am. The only reason you and I know that we're saved is because we believe that he's true to what he says. Likewise, I think about, first Corinthians chapter ten verse thirteen. He says, maybe you should turn to this one. First Corinthians ten thirteen, it's all about temptation. And you'll recall the promise, the awesome promise he makes in this passage. Listen to what he says. He says, "No temptation," whatever the nature of it is. "No temptation has, taken you but such as is common to man," that is, all of us are tempted alike in many, many ways, "No temptation , taken you but such is common to man: (but) God," look at this, "(but) God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able (to bear), but (will) with the temptation (he) will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it". Here's what he's saying. He has put a limitation on your temptation.

Now, if that passage of scripture were not in the Bible, we'd say, well God, listen. That temptation is so strong, God, you're the one who tempted me. No, God doesn't tempt us. He says he doesn't. And here's what else he says. This is his promise. He says, I will not allow you to be tempted more than you can bear, if we'll trust him. He puts a limitation on temptation and trials in life... not just temptation, or temptation to do wrong, but trials in life. He has a limit. Why? Because he loves you and me unconditionally. And it wouldn't, it wouldn't even be righteous in the eyes of God to require us to do something that he knows that there's no possible way for us to do it and he doesn't come to our rescue and help us do it. He says he will make a way to escape, that whatever we are dealing with, he will help us to bear it.

He says, for example, in Psalm one nineteen, look at this passage a moment. In Psalm one nineteen, in the seventy-fifth verse, I want you to notice, what the Psalmist says. He says, "I know, o Lord, that your judgments are righteous," that is, they're always right. And then he says, I also know, "That in faithfulness you have afflicted me". That is, sometimes the affliction that comes upon us is God doing what? He's being faithful to his word. And so he loves us enough that he doesn't want us sinning against him and living disobediently before him. And so what does he do? He sends enough affliction to get our attention, to change our attitude, change our mind to start living obediently before him.

And so what he's saying is, I'm grateful that you love me enough: that you're faithful. Listen to that. He says you're faithful, I'm glad you're faithful in afflicting me. And sometimes we, we think afflictions and difficulties and hardships are all bad: none of it's from God. Yes discipline is from God. It is an act of his faithfulness to get us back in line doing what he would have us to do. And of course we've talked about his answered prayer. And let's think about what, what Jesus said in the sermon on the mount. He said in that sixth chapter, he says, our Heavenly Father knows our needs before we even have them: and that he'll meet our needs.

Is that a promise? Yes it is a promise. And you say, well is it conditioned? I think it is conditioned. It's conditioned if a person's lazy and slothful and doesn't care. That's a whole different issue. But God is willing to, he's willing to meet our every single need, because he's a God who loves us unconditionally. And that's, that's the kind of love he has. His love is unconditional for his children: and therefore he's going to meet every single need that we have. And he says, for example, that in Romans eight twenty-eight, you know that by heart. God causes all things to work together for good, to those who love him, to those who are called according to his purpose. Is that a promise? Yes it is. And if, and if we didn't have that promise, think about the frustration we would have in difficulty and hardship.

If God is allowing us to go through difficulty, he's a God of purpose. He is a righteous God. In other words, he isn't just sitting back and watching things happen in your life and mine. He is involved in our life. We have been indwelt by the Spirit of the Living God. And indwelt by the Spirit of the Living God, we have been sealed forever as a child of God. So when somebody says, well I know I've been saved and I know I've been sealed, but I think, I think you can still be lost. Then what you're saying is that God who indwelt you and said that he saved you for all eternity, he lied. Now, you tell somebody who believes you can fall from grace, then they don't like that at all. I can tell you they don't, but that's what they're saying. I know that's, I know that's what it says, but I believe that you sin against God, you're going to be lost.

Now what you're saying is that God did not tell the truth. Now I know that it's a misconception they have, but ultimately that's what it says. Either he's righteous in everything or he's an unrighteous God. This is an awesome God. For example, in the first verse of the first chapter of the Bible, when it says, in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, the God word there is Elohim - infinite in power, infinite in power, absolute in his faithfulness. That's the God who is unchanging: who has all power, all knowledge, all understanding. Who loves us unconditionally: who has the best for us: who comes to our rescue in any and every situation: who limits the trials and heartaches he allows in our life. And he has promised us a resurrection body.

Well, so you say, well, I don't know about that part. Well, let me ask you this. If you're willing to trust your salvation on a single promise of God, based on the cross, it's a single promise of God, will you not trust what he said about your resurrection body? And I think people, sometimes they get their emotions all mixed up in it all and they stop, they don't stop to think, wait a minute. I'm trusting my whole, when I come to death, I'm either going to be screaming in fear or I'm going to be rejoicing in the Lord that I'm about to meet him. Now if you don't have any certainty about it, you're not, it's going to be a sad time. You base your whole eternity on what you believe about God, that he is faithful to keep every single promise he's made without fail.

And here's the issue. You can look at this book. You can go from Genesis to revelation, and you're not going to find any verses in here or anything God does that he makes a mistake or he is in error or he forgot. God never says, oh I thought. He never says, oh I see. He doesn't say any of that. Why? Because he's this infinite, indescribable, awesome God who loves his children and who is committed to us for all eternity. Now, there's one last thing I want to say about that. He's also faithful to the unbeliever. Up-pup-pup-pup, now wait a minute. How can that be true? Well turn to Matthew chapter seven for a moment. Turn to Matthew chapter seven and, let's look at this, twenty-first verse.

Now remember what he, what we said. He is a God of truth. He does not lie. Not everyone who, verse twenty-one chapter seven, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles?' and then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you: depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.'" what is he saying? He says, listen, he is a faithful God who keeps his word. People who pretend to be Christians and pretend good works and think that's sufficient and boast that it is, he says they're going to be separated from God for all eternity.

Look if you will in John chapter three, and look in this, if you will, we know John chapter three sixteen and all that. But when it comes down to verse thirty-six, he said, "He who believes in the son has eternal life: but he who does not obey the son will not see life, but the wrath of God," watch, not will, but is abiding in him, or, "On him". That is, people who are lost are under the wrath of God. And this is what he says. He's a God of truth. And so he's going to be faithful to that. Look in the twentieth chapter of the revelation for a moment and look at this terrible passage of scripture: because it is terrible. What's going to happen to people who, die without Christ.

And the twentieth chapter, beginning in that eleventh verse, and notice what he says. He says, "Then I saw a great white throne and him who sat on it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and, small, standing before the throne, and books were opened: another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, death and hades gave up the dead which were in them: and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and hades were thrown into the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown in the lake of fire". You say, do you believe all that?

Well let me ask you a question: does God lie? No he doesn't. What I want you to see having never trusted Jesus as your Savior, do you understand that it has nothing to do with the love of God. God loves you unconditionally, but he is a God of truthfulness. He's a God who keeps his promise. Listen. He is a God who keeps his promise and his warnings, that if you disobey me, there will be consequences. You obey me, there are great wonderful consequences. You must choose what to believe or not to believe a God who is a God of truth, who does not change his mind: who has all power, all knowledge, always present: and a God who loves you unconditionally. Will you reject him? You may still say, I don't believe all that.

But let me just remind you. Your unbelief does not change the promise of the living God. That puts you in a pretty bad spot. You can change that. You say, well how? By acknowledging that Jesus Christ is the son of God who went to the cross, and when he went to the cross, he laid down his life on the cross, shed his blood for you and me. That is, he paid our sin debt in full with his life. And the moment you and I ask him to forgive us of our sins and surrender our life to him, it isn't just something you say. You yield your life to him. In that moment your sins are forgiven. The Bible says you are sealed with the seal of the Holy Spirit of promise. Your name is written in the lamb's book of life. You are forever a child of God.

Now you have this awesome faithful God indwelling you in the presence of the Holy Spirit to enable you to live a godly life: to enable you to achieve and accomplish everything that God has in mind for you. It's a choice you make. But let me just say this. It is an eternal choice. To say no to God is an eternal disaster. To say yes to God is an eternal blessing that is yours for the asking and the receiving. And that's our prayer for you.

And father, how grateful we are that you're who you are - awesome, indescribable, holy God. Would you sink this message in every one of our hearts? Would you remind us daily who you are. And let us live on the basis that we have you living within us. Trustworthy, trustworthy God, faithful God, dependable, reliable in every way - what an awesome blessing. I pray the Spirit of God would enrich each one of us: deepen our understanding of you. And take this, Father, and apply it to our hearts in such a way that our faith rises: our sense of confidence increases. Everything about us begins to change when we recognize whose we are, whom we serve, and who loves us unconditionally. In Jesus' name, amen.

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