How Good Is God's Word?

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The Bible speaks extensively about the power and holiness of God’s name. Not only that, but it also details God’s nature by the use of many names such as El Shaddai, Jehovah Jireh, Adonai, and more. When we consider these things, there can be no doubt that God’s name is important.

That’s why I’m so fascinated by a phrase I came upon in the book of Psalms. Yes, once again one of the verses I’ve read a thousand times reached out and smacked me. Thankfully, it was a good slap. The kind that made me stop and read the verse again and then meditate on its impact on my life. Check it out.

I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
— Psalm 138:2

Notice the last part of that verse: “thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” That’s exciting, people! Knowing how marvelous and holy and mighty the name of God is, it pales in comparison to God’s Word. Do you realize what this means for us? It means God’s Word can be trusted. If He’s made a promise, we can know, without a doubt, He will fulfill it. He has staked His name—His reputation—upon it.  

Yes, if God Himself magnifies His Word above all His name, then we can too. We can know if God said it, it’s settled. He doesn’t lie. He never makes promises He can’t keep. He doesn’t exaggerate or water down the truth. It is sure. It is powerful. And in it, we can be confident, no matter what our feelings or circumstances may want us to believe.

How good is God’s Word? According to the Author Himself, it’s even better than His name. How’s that for a confidence boost!!!

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
— Numbers 23:19

Stepping Out in Faith

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As we already established in our study on confidence, God can be trusted.  His promises are true, and He never goes back on His Word.  We see evidence of this throughout the Bible, but today, I want to look at a couple of particular verses that bear witness to God’s faithfulness to do what He says.

For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
— Luke 21:15
And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.
— Acts 6:10

In Luke 21, God makes a promise to His disciples that He will give them the words of wisdom to speak and no one will be able to resist or contradict them.  They may try, but their disputes will have no grounds.  Then, in Acts 6, we see that promise fulfilled in the story of Stephen.  Now, whether Stephen was there in Luke 21 when God made His proclamation, I have no idea.  But, it seems to me that God’s promise wasn’t only for the twelve disciples but for all who proclaim His Word and seek to glorify Him.  Yes, the world may try to resist our testimonies and witness, but their arguments have no validity and, most of the time, don’t even make sense.  Since they can’t justify their beliefs, they lash out in anger, just as they did with Stephen.  That is why Christians are hated throughout the world.  But that’s a point for another day.

What I want to stress today is the fact that God is true to His Word.  Nearly one year ago, I had to make a decision.  When asked to speak at a ladies’ retreat nearly 4,000 miles away, I hesitated.  Where would I get that kind of money?  Would my health allow me even to make such a trip?  Am I willing to step THAT FAR out of my comfort zone?  I agreed to pray about it, but in the back of my mind, I was already planning to say, “Nope, I don’t think so.”

Funny how God can change my mind. . .and my plans.  I felt so convicted about the trip that I had no choice but to agree, still having no idea how things would work out.  But here’s the thing—God made me a promise.  He said if I stepped out in faith, He would provide everything we needed to make the trip.  So, I did my part, and then I waited.

For several months, very little happened, and I began to doubt my decision.  Did I hear God correctly?  Did I make the right call?  Should I try to back out and hope they can find someone else?  But time and time again, God reminded me to trust Him, so I did (most of the time).  We are scheduled to leave one week from today, and only in the past few days was our financial goal met and other factors (like finding someone to care for Barnabas) taken care of.  From an earthly standpoint, it seems God waited until the last minute, but when I think about it, He met the need right on time.  Any sooner, and I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to continue practicing my faith.  Any later, and worry would have set in.  God came through right on time!

And as if that weren’t enough, He provided above and beyond.  We received more money than our goal.  We discovered that our lodging was going to be much more beautiful yet much less expensive than we were planning.  And not only did we find someone to keep Barnabas, but the Lord directed us to a Christian couple who fell in love with our anxiety-prone pup, ensuring that we can be confident he’s being cared for in the best possible way.  Oh, and did I mention that a caring, generous friend offered to pay for his boarding cost?  See what I mean?  Not only did God do what He said He would do, but He went above and beyond. . . just because He could.  That’s how much God loves us!

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
— Ephesians 3:20-21

Stepping out in faith is seldom easy, but I can guarantee you it’s always worth it.  And what better way to see the faithfulness of God in action?  Whatever decision you’re facing today, if you know it’s God’s will but fear is holding you back, I urge you to take that first step.  Yes, it’s scary.  Yes, there are a million questions, doubts, and fears.  But take it from someone who has experienced this first-hand.  God is good and faithful.  Where He guides, He always provides.  If He’s made you a promise, you can trust Him to keep it.  It’s impossible for Him to do anything less.  Take that step, and watch God work a miracle in your life!

Confident When We Don't Understand - A Series on Confidence, Part 20

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Wouldn't it be easier to trust God and follow His commands if we could see the outcome?  Let's face it, God's directions don't always make sense to us, do they?  Like when He told me to leave my teaching job to go into a full-time writing ministry.  Or when He convinced me to agree to speak in another country when I didn't have the funds and really wasn't sure how willing I was to leave my comfort zone. Yes, it seems to me that if we could see the other side of our decisions, it would make them much easier.  But that wouldn't be faith, would it?

God made Abraham a promise, a covenant that must have sounded absurd to a 75-year-old man.  God promised to make him the father of many nations.  He told how Abraham's family would extend to be more numerous than the stars in the sky and the sands on the seashore.  A mighty claim to a man who had no children and, in his old age, probably had no hope of ever having children.  Five years passed, but God's promise was not fulfilled.  And then ten years.  And then fifteen.  If I had been Abraham, I would have begun to doubt, but God kept reassuring him that His promise would come to pass.  Finally, twenty-five years after first declaring His promise, God gave Abraham the promised son, Isaac.

Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
— Romans 4:16-21

My, oh my, how I love those verses!  Notice a few of those phrases:  

"who against hope believed in hope,"

"being not weak in faith,"

"he staggered not at the promise of God,"

"strong in faith,"

"fully persuaded"  

We could summarize all of those statements into a single sentence:  Abraham was confident that God would do what He said He would do even when it didn't make sense.  There was no way Abraham could understand how God would give them a son at such an old age.  It seemed impossible.  That wasn't the way the world worked.  Surely, God knew that, right?  But God doesn't play by the world's rules; He makes His own.  And the sooner we realize that, the better off we'll be.

The world system says if we're struggling financially, we should hold back our tithe and refrain from giving to others.  But God says, if we'll be faithful to give, He'll give back to us.

The world system says if we set goals and have a plan, we cannot fail.  But God says, if we'll submit to His plan despite how impossible things look, we cannot fail.

It's so easy to argue, "Well, sure, I'd like to be confident in God, but how can I be?  How can I trust Him with my life when I don't see Him working or don't understand what I'm seeing?  How can I know He's not making things worse?  How can I trust Him when everything around me is falling apart, when I bounce from one catastrophe to the next?  How can I trust what I don't know?"

It's not about trusting the what.  It's about trusting the Who.  We view Abraham as a spiritual giant, and I agree, he was a remarkable man, but he was just that--a man.  He was no different than we are.  He had faults and failures.  He made mistakes.  And we know that, at least at one point during his wait, he grew impatient and tried to "help God out" by having a son with Sarah's handmaid.  Abraham wasn't perfect, but he is an example to us of what is possible.  He proves to us that it is possible to be confident in God even when we don't understand what He's doing, when the wait grows long, or when we simply don't see Him working at all.  Against all hope, we can have hope.  We can be strong in the faith and stagger not at God's promises.  How?  By placing our trust in the One who made those promises to begin with.

Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;
— Deuteronomy 7:9

There are a lot of promises in the Bible, and all of them have come to pass or will come to pass.  God keeps His word.  If He said it, we can believe it.  The promise may not come to fruition today, next week, or even next year, but we can trust that the God who sees the whole picture will bring things about in His perfect timing.  And that timing, while we may not understand it now, will make sense one day.

Confidence in God doesn't mean we understand everything He's doing.  Confidence in God means we continue to trust that He is working for our good even when there is sufficient evidence to the contrary.  Confidence is standing strong against all odds, hoping against hope.

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
— Numbers 23:19
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
— II Peter 3:9