How well do you know God? Is He someone you come to when you need help but give little thought to otherwise? The truth is that most people don’t know Him very well. Even those who say they believe in God and have trusted Him with their eternal life may not have an accurate understanding of Him because it’s not based on what the Bible says. Furthermore, what some
people claim to believe about God is contradicted by the way they live.
We can count on God to do what He says in His own time and way. His promises are sure, but they are not always positive. His faithfulness applies not only to His commitment to show lovingkindness to those who are obedient followers of Christ, but it also includes a promise of judgment and retribution for those who hate Him.
God’s faithfulness is grounded in His unchanging nature. He is the same God in Genesis 1:1 and throughout the sixty-six books of the Bible until the last chapter of Revelation. He is the inescapable, awesome, and righteous Judge of all mankind, and we must all stand before Him to give an account of our lives. Yet so many people have a lesser view of God:
They think they are free to live as they please, but when trouble comes, God will bail them out.
They believe God doesn’t pay attention to sin unless it’s something really bad like murder.
They are confident that God understands their faults and failures and will overlook their sin.
All these perceptions of God are contradicted in Scripture. He sees all our sins and takes them very seriously. There is no such thing as a secret sin before the Lord. He says, “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Num. 32:23). Because He is holy and just, there is a penalty for sin. God in His faithfulness not only blesses us with His best but also confronts us with our worst.
People who don’t know God personally may see him as a distant deity who resides in heaven but can be called upon for help when needed. If asked to describe their God, they might be quick to defend their nebulous perception of Him by saying that He’s too big for words. But in reality, they can’t describe Him because they don’t really know Him. They have an unscriptural view of God; and therefore, they have no confidence in His faithfulness but can only hope that He will answer them when they need Him.
As humans, we tend to make our own version of God, but if He’s not the one described in the Bible, we don’t have the one true God because all others are false. Without the Bible, we’d have an excuse for our inaccurate ideas, but the Lord has given us His Word so that we can know Him and have a relationship with Him.
How closely does your perception of God align with who He reveals Himself to be in His Word? Are you more likely to view God according to your circumstances and experiences, others’ ideas, or Scripture? Be sure you know who God really is, because He’s worth trusting at all times.
This article is adapted from the Sermon Notes for Dr. Stanley’s message “Our Faithful God,” which airs this weekend on TV.