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Resting in the Faithfulness of God - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
November 23, 2022 12:00 am

Resting in the Faithfulness of God - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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November 23, 2022 12:00 am

Dr. Stanley shares five attributes of God that make it possible for Him to be faithful.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Wednesday, November 23rd. Today you'll be encouraged to cling to God's trustworthy character as a light in your darkest hours. Today's podcast brings a lesson in resting in the faithfulness of God. 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, in this circumstance, whatever it might be. So, I want you to turn to First Corinthians chapter one, and I just want us to read these first nine verses together. And it's the ninth 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 Sophanese, 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 in 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're 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. 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 seven. He says in verse nine, know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps His covenant and His loving kindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments. Then if you flip over to the hundred and nineteenth Psalm, just want a few of these, hundred and nineteenth Psalm and the eighty-ninth verse, look what He says. He says, forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations.

You establish the earth and it stands. Then move all the way over to 1 Thessalonians and the fifth chapter and all through the Scriptures, 1 Thessalonians the fifth chapter, the twenty-fourth 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 second chapter and look, if you will, in the thirteenth verse. He says, if we are faithless, that is, we don't believe, He remains faithful for He cannot deny Himself. And then to 1 Peter, for example, in chapter four, and look, if you will, in this nineteenth 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 one and verse nine. If we confess our sins, He's what? Faithful and just, righteous and 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. Now, don't 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 are 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.

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, but God to help us and strengthen us and enable us to face it.

So, 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, He's omniscient. He knows everything. One of His attributes is that He's omniscient. The second attribute is that He is omnipotent. He cannot promise me 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's needed in your life.

But that demands something else. He must always be truthful in every circumstance. For God to be faithful, He must be 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 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, is 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 First Peter chapter four, Therefore those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right. 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. He's always been the same. He is the same now. 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 in life 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 changed, 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, 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, then we know that we have the petition that we desire out of Him. If He is a faithful God, He cannot change that. If He's a faithful God, then He's not going to say, well, exception ifs, ands, and buts.

Notice what it says. He says, when we call upon Him, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. If it's His will, He hears us. And if He hears us, then we know that we have the petition that we desire out 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.

Notice what it says. 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 desire out of Him. If I ask something that's not His will, then He is under no obligation to answer. So, 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.

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. 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 questionable. Well, 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 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. So, he goes and he preaches judgment is coming. And the Scripture says they turn to the Lord.

The king calls for 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 him preach the truth of the message of God's imminent judgment and they all, at least a big, large part of the city, enough of them repented of their sins, turned to the Lord, and then God wiped 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. Why would God change His mind, first of all, when He knows past, present, and future?

So, He already knows. So, He has to change His mind. He makes some promises conditioned upon certain things. He makes some that are unconditional. And many things, for example, what He said to Abraham, I'm going to 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 of the earth will be blessed. Period.

Unconditional. When He said to Jonah to preach there in Nineveh, what happened? They repented. That's what God's goal was, not to destroy them, but to bring them to repentance. And the reason Jonah didn't want to go to begin with is because he didn't like them. He didn't want them to be saved. And you remember, he ends up sitting under a tree and moaning and groaning and complaining to God 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.

So, I ask you again, and the reason I emphasize this is because I think we believe a lot of things, but we don't have any basis for it. But I want you to say again, the character of God cannot change. If He's perfect, how would it change? He is the ultimate of every single thing, the ultimate in knowledge and wisdom and power. How could you change perfection?

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 answer, we can give you some more.

And I want you to think about this. When you think about it, you think about it, and the question that I'm asking you is, well, what's the basis of your faith? 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. You can absolutely, 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 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 who doesn't change His mind, who knows all things and has all power, everything is 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. When 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 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 thing, the promise of the Son of God, who never changes His mind and who, listen, 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 have, which is none, and think about if they would just stop and think, well 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. Thank you for listening to part one of Resting in the Faithfulness of God. If you'd like to listen to more faith-filled messages like these, visit our 24-7 web radio station at intouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-23 03:43:03 / 2022-11-23 03:51:37 / 9

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