As we have bee exploring the friendship and intimacy of God these past weeks, we have covered His faithfulness, His love and His compassion. There is one more area for us to study today, and that is His dependability.
Many people – especially those who have been hurt in the past – express a great difficulty in trusting others. They have a very deep-rooted fear that the person they trust will let them down or not be there when needed. This very well may be true in past relationships with people, but there is one friend whom this will never be true for… and as we learn about God’s dependability today, we will see just how wonderfully trustworthy He really is.
For this study to be beneficial, there are a few basic facts about God that we must understand. First of all, God’s words are always true. When He says a thing, it is always true and never a lie. If God were a liar, He could never be God because His word would always be in question.
So whenever you see God speaking in the Bible, it can always be taken as a definite fact. We may not always fully understand what He is saying at that exact moment, but it is true.
Secondly, God never actually needs to promise anything. As previously stated, when He says a thing, it is always true. So when God actually goes through the effort to make a promise, He does so purely for our benefit. This accomplishes two things: It shows His love and compassion for us… The God of the universe actually cares enough about us to make promises to us; and it also acts as a double-confirmation to us of what God is saying – again purely for our benefit.
Establishing these basic facts about God allows us to better receive what we are about to read in scripture. We can appreciate more of what we see in the Bible, not just today but in all of our scripture reading both here and personally as well.
Let us first take a look at John 10:27-30, as Jesus spoke these words:
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
And I give to them eternal life; and they will never perish, neither will any man pluck them out of my hand.
My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
I and my Father are one.”
There is an amazing picture painted here. For those of us who are trusting in Christ Jesus, we are resting securely between the hands of God. Not hands of judgment, but hands of protection and love. They are strong and mighty hands, able to fend off any evil and to shield us from any pain… yet they are also very gentle hands toward us.
We also have another important point here, Jesus again declaring that He and the Father in Heaven are one. This is important because many believers still have this idea that the Father is somehow a mean judge, while Jesus is like our “defense attorney”. My friends, this is not the Bible reality at all. The same loving Jesus who cares about us so deeply is the same as the Father in Heaven. We are loved equally in the very same way by Jesus and The Father – they are one!
Now let’s examine Jeremiah 32:40-41:
“And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they will not depart from me.
Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.”
Immediately I must point out that whenever you see the “fear of the LORD” in the Bible (in this case “My fear”), do not think of it as being afraid. Because Jesus Himself translated the “fear of the LORD” as “worship” in Matthew 4:10. So this fear is actually better translated as worship of the LORD.
This Covenant that God is talking about here is the New Covenant of Grace which we have today in Christ Jesus. We see here that God has promised to never turn away from us, that He will always do good to us. Also we can see here that He will actually rejoice (celebrate) over us every time He blesses us. We will be securely planted in His land of promises, and He invests His whole heart and soul in us!
Are you seeing the wonderful picture of God being described in these scriptures? Some of you may be thinking right now: “James, this is great and all, but I have done terrible things and God hates me now.”
My friends, it does not matter what you have done because Jesus Christ came to forgive you and to wash you. Today as you put your trust in Christ, you are clean and God sees you with the same righteousness as Jesus has. You don’t need to believe me, instead you can believe the very words of God Himself in Isaiah 54:9-10:
“For this is as the waters of Noah to me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with you, nor rebuke you.
For the mountains will depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness will not depart from you, neither will the covenant of my peace be removed, says the LORD that has mercy on you.”
Here God is saying that with the same everlasting promise that the earth would never be covered with flood waters as in Noah’s time, so too will God never be angry with you again or rebuke you! This is a promise from God’s own mouth to you.
God has not only helped you to turn over a new leaf, He has given you a whole new tree with all new leaves on it! And nothing else needs to be done on your part! He does it all, simply put your trust in Him and believe what He says. My friends, He makes it so simple for us!
I want to leave you today with this wonderful quote from Hebrews 13:5-6, another wonderful promise from our loving God:
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.
So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man will do to me.”
We have these wonderful words from scripture, reminding us that we need not wrongfully desire anything, we already have the most wonderful gifts of all. God has promised to never leave or forsake us. And this security of resting safely in His embrace, destroys any fear of what evil would try to do to us. We are protected by God Himself… and He never leaves us.