How Good Is God's Word?


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

Sailing the Seven C's - Claim God's Word

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For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.
— Acts 27:23-25

After encouraging his fellow sailors and ensuring them of their safety, Paul explains how he knows all will be well. First, he urges them to not be afraid, which I imagine caused a few looks of ridicule and even caused some men to question Paul’s sanity. But he clarifies why and how they can have peace despite the raging storm. God had sent an angel and told Paul that all the people would be saved, and the word of the angel was enough for Paul. Catch that phrase, “I believe God.” Hallelujah!

How much different would our lives be if we made that statement every time doubt came knocking at our door? How much easier would it be to stand fast if we didn’t allow the waves of fear to shake us because we believe in the One who reigns over the rain? When was the last time you stood up to your feelings of insecurity, disappointment, and despair and said, “I know things look bleak, but I believe God, and I know we’ll get through this”?

Jason and I had an interesting conversation about my anxiety a few days ago. On the whole, my anxiety has improved over the past year, but there are still days (and sometimes even weeks) where it grips me so hard I can barely function. As I tried to explain this to my understanding husband, I realized something. I have a wild imagination. My thought process is creative and unique. And, as a writer and speaker, the creativity and unhindered imagination are wonderful attributes to have. However, my mind seems to have no “off” switch, nor does it have a lever that I can flip so that only positive thoughts run wild. The same brain that creates devotions from everyday events and weaves stories of intrigue and adventure also contrives some of the darkest nightmares and scariest scenarios. A simple walk in the woods can turn into a horrendous bear attack with blood and screams and hopelessness. That’s the downside of creativity, I guess. It doesn’t distinguish between good and bad, positive and negative, hopeful and hopeless.

But here’s the thing: those thoughts and feelings are not now nor will they probably ever be real. Most of the things my mind comes up with are events that haven’t happened and most likely never will. It’s just my imagination running wild and taking my feelings along for the ride. But it’s during those times more than ever that I need to return to what is true. I have to look beyond what I feel to what I know. For the sake of my sanity and overall well-being, I must turn to God’s Word.  

And, if you noticed the wording I used at my title, “Claim God’s Word.” Claim it. Don’t just read it. Don’t simply recite it. Don’t merely memorize it. All of those things are admirable, but they will do us little good if we don’t claim it. We need to take God’s promises and say, “Here’s what God said, and I believe it!” We should tell ourselves that over and over until we finally get it. We should tell our fears. We should tell Satan. We should tell anyone and everyone who will listen. I BELIEVE GOD!

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

Why can we trust God? Because he’s not like us. He doesn’t twist the truth when it’s convenient or tell us only what we want to hear. He doesn’t make empty promises or waste words. If He said it, it’s true. It is not in His nature to lie. He is truth itself (John 14:6); therefore, it is impossible for Him to say or do anything untrue. His promises can be trusted.

So, because God said in Jeremiah 29:11 that He intends peace and not evil toward us, we can know that whatever storm we’re facing is not God’s idea of a cruel joke.

When He promised in Romans 8:28 that all things would work together for good for those who love God, He meant all things, including the current storm.

Since He assured us repeatedly throughout the Scriptures that He would never leave us or forsake us, we can trust that we’re never alone no matter how lonely we may feel in the midst of our trial.

Every promise. Every word. Every assurance. It’s all true, and we can put our trust in that. We can’t count on our intelligence or our strength to get us through. Those things fail. But God’s Word never fails. It is forever settled in Heaven, and it is never-changing. Trust. Claim. Stand up, face your storm, and shout with conviction, “You cannot destroy me because I believe God!” Then watch in wonder as the God of the storm does what only He can do. Watch Him fulfill His promises to you.

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