In times of crisis and fear, we look for a leader in whose courage we can rely and in whose words, we can trust. The problem is, of course, that human leaders are fallible. Though their words inspire us, their lives are imperfect. Their oratory may inflame us, but their thoughts are finite.
We need a leader who never falters, whose words are true, whose power is wisely administered, and whose promises never fail. We have such a leader, for we have the Lord! We can trust Him completely, and this kind of faith drives out fear. His plans and purposes can be relied upon.
First, we rely on an eternal person. Don’t misunderstand me when I say our faith isn’t primarily in God’s Word, but in His person. Yes, we do trust the Bible. But the reason the Bible is trustworthy is because its Author is unfailing. The reason we rely on His promises is because He cannot lie. Our God is eternally unchanging, truthful, omniscient, and faithful, so His promises and precepts are the same. Scripture didn’t breathe out God, but God breathed out the Scripture; and the reason we study the Bible is to learn more about Him.
When we rest in the Lord like that, we can rely on His plan. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in Daniel 3 didn’t know for sure how events would turn out when they were thrown in the fiery furnace. They believed God could deliver them from the furnace, but they wanted their testimony to stand even if they perished in the flames. When we rely on the Lord, we trust His plan to be best for us, even if our lives unfold differently than we’d expected. Someone said, “God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him.” Psalm 33:11 says, “The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations.”
God does nothing in a haphazard way. He plans every detail, and He has plans for you. His plans are intended to bless you and give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
When we rely on God and His plan, we have full reliance on His eternal promises. Charles Spurgeon wrote, “God never gives His children a promise which He does not intend them to use. There are some promises in the Bible which I have never yet used; but I am well assured that there will come times of trial and trouble when I shall find that that poor despised promise, which I thought was never meant for me, will be the only one on which I can float.”
We never face a situation for which God has not supplied specific promises that provide mercy and grace to help in time of need. J. I. Packer ably wrote: “In the days when the Bible was universally acknowledged in the churches as ‘God’s Word written,’ it was clearly understood that the promises of God recorded in Scripture were the proper, God-given basis for all our life of faith, and that the way to strengthen one’s faith was to focus it upon particular promises that spoke to one’s condition.”
Are you currently facing a problem or pressure? Between the covers of your Bible, God has a specific promise to aid you. Search the Scriptures, find that promise, and focus your heart on its truth. Rely on His realities.
As we rely on our Lord and His plans and promises, we’ll increasingly look forward to heaven—our eternal home. Here we have no enduring city, house, church, or kingdom. Here all that’s tangible is temporary. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen as we await the city with foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Faith is relying on things eternal—on God, His Word, His plan, and His prepared place. This eternal reliance helps us face down our fears and stand upright, firmly established with our confidence and hope in Christ.
Dr. Jeremiah is the founder and host of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of
Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California.
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The word “always” is frequently misused in our everyday conversations, simply because the definition and its application often do not match. The definition of “always” is “at all times.” If you think about it, no one is “always” late or “always” on time, but when we speak of the faithfulness of God, always is the correct word. God is always faithful to His promises, and understanding this attribute is the key to the life of faith that we long to experience.Winning Numbers
Some days we feel like winners. Other days we feel like losers. But for the child of God, there’s never really a losing season. It’s important to know what the score is. I’d like to point you to the great scoreboard of the Word of God and show you some winning numbers.
If you know Christ as your Savior, the score is always 13-5, as in Hebrews 13:5: For He himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Those words were penned to a group of Hebrew Christians who were growing discouraged by opposition and threats of persecution. In writing to them, the author of Hebrews reminded them of a thrice-given promise made to Joshua.
In the Book of Hebrews, we learn that this wasn’t just Joshua’s promise. It’s a universal promise for all God’s children. The writer of Hebrews told his readers they could claim it for themselves, and so can you.
Know the One Who Knows!
Sometimes in life, it’s not what you know; it’s who you know. Of course, what you know is vitally important. But think of it this way: The less you know, the more important who you know becomes.
Think about some examples from biblical history:
•A New World: God wanted Noah and his family to be the ones to populate the new world after the Flood. It meant building an ark, loading the animals, collecting food, floating for 150 days, then establishing a new human order. It wasn’t what Noah knew that was important; it was only important that he “walked with God” (Genesis 6:9).
•A New Nation: When it came time for God to create a people through whom to bring a Savior into the world, He chose Abraham. God told Abraham and his family to leave their home and travel to a land called Canaan where God promised to do something great through him. So Abraham left “not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8). It wasn’t what Abraham knew that was important; it was only important that he was “the friend of God” (James 2:23).
•A New Calling: Jesus told Andrew and Peter, James and John, and others to follow Him, that He would make them fishers of men. They didn’t know where Jesus was going, which meant they didn’t know where they were going. But they laid down their vocations and took up His. It wasn’t what the first disciples knew that was important; it was only important that they had “found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote” (John 1:45).
•A New Faith: Paul was confronted by Jesus and commissioned to carry the Name of Christ “before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15). Paul had been called to a new faith and had more questions than answers. It wasn’t important what Paul didn’t know; it was only important that he had come to “know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings” (Philippians 3:10).
In each of these instances, people were given a new vision to consider—and very few details. But more important than what they knew was Who they knew. And the same is true when God gives us a vision for a new venture.
Looking back on The Jesus You May Not Know, are you wondering what to do with all that you learned? Today, Dr. David Jeremiah shares practical tools for building a deeper intimacy with Christ than you’ve known before.All Sermons by Dr. David Jeremiah