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Resting in the Faithfulness of God - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
November 24, 2022 12:00 am

Resting in the Faithfulness of God - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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November 24, 2022 12:00 am

How do you respond when your faith is tested?

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Thursday, November 24th. Today you'll hear rock-solid promises from Scripture to firm up your faith, even during a torrential storm. 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. 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 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, 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 has a God of promise and assurance and confidence. He wants His people to be confident. That's why our testimony ought to be bold. Listen, 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 it looks like you're not going to make it and 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 crash. So, I think also about what He said to Abraham in the 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. He said, I'm going to make you the father of a nation that'll be blessed out of your loins. He said, I'm going to make you the father of a nation that'll 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, He doesn't change it because it is unconditionally the word of the living God. No one can point to anything God's ever said and said, God lied.

He's the 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. So, God doesn't just simply give us some lighthearted promise or lighthearted 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 sins, past, present and future. We have hope that's not just hope, but hope grounded in the very nature of God Himself. 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 are facing? Well, first of all, He says in Lamentations chapter three and verse twenty-two, the Lord's kindnesses indeed never cease. His compassions never fail.

They're 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 here's what He says.

He says whatever He calls us to do, He will empower us to do it. 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 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. So, okay, 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. Wait a minute, 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. No, 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 and 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 are 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 is all about temptation and you 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 is as 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're able, able to bear. But will with the temptation He will provide the way of escape also so that you'll 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 that 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 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're dealing with, He will help us to bear it. He says, for example, in Psalm 119, look at this passage a moment. In Psalm 119, 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, He says, I'm grateful that You love me enough, that You're faithful.

Listen to that. I'm glad You're faithful. I'm glad You're faithful in afflicting me. And sometimes we think afflictions and difficulties and hardships are all bad. None of it's from God.

Yes, it is. 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 answer in prayer.

And let's think about what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount. 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 meet our every single need because He's the God who loves us unconditionally and 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, in Romans 8, 28, you know that by heart, God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him, to those who call upon His purpose. Is that a promise?

Yes, it is. 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 entwelt by the Spirit of the living God. And entwelt 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 you can still be lost. Then what you're saying is that God who entwelt you and said that He saved you for all eternity, He lied. Now, you tell somebody who believes you can fall from grace there, 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 what it says, but I believe that you sin against God, you're going to be lost. Then what you're saying is that God did not tell the truth.

Now, I know that it's a misconception they have, but that's 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, 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.

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 we said. He is a God of truth. He does not lie. 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 in 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 does He say? 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 this, not will, but is abiding on Him. That is, people who are lost are under the wrath of God. And listen, 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 of what's going to happen to people who die without Christ, and the twentieth chapter, beginning in that eleventh verse, 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 the 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 the lake of fire, and if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown the lake of fire. He said, 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 warning that if you disobey Me, there will be consequences. You obey Me, there are great and 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, and saved His life.

You say, Well, how? By acknowledging that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who went to 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 a seal, the Holy Spirit says you are sealed with a seal, the Holy Spirit says you are sealed with a seal, the Holy Spirit says you are sealed with a seal, the Holy Spirit says you are sealed with a seal. 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. It is a blessing that is yours for the asking and the receiving. Thank you for listening to Part 2 of Resting in the Faithfulness of God. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or InTouch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-01 17:06:14 / 2022-12-01 17:14:20 / 8

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