CAN GOD BE TRUSTED
A THOUSAND TIMES, YES!
By Pastor Max Solbrekkken, D.D.
“Shall not the Judge of the whole earth do right?” (Gen. 18: 25) Can God be trusted? The answer is: ‘Yes, God can be trusted’!
YOU MAY ASK: “What assurances do we have of His credibility, reliability and benevolence? Is there any possibility that He may waver in His commitment to the human family? Or renege on His promises to us?”
The answer is a definite resounding, ‘No! He cannot waver or change, ever’. What are His promises and commitments to His human creatures? Is He responsible to any of us? And does He have the wherewithal and resolve to carry through with His commitment?
The answer is, ‘Yes’! God stands behind His Word and is duty bound to keep His plans and purposes for us. And He has the resources and the resolve to keep His Word to us!
Are we asked to trust Him on a ‘leap in the dark’ basis? Is faith only ‘blind chance’ or do we have something substantial to stand on? Is He consistent or does He change with the ever- changing times?
Are His claims true? Do His promises hold water? Does the Gospel really work? Or is it all so much window dressing and rhetoric? Does He answer prayer and is He available when we need Him?
After more than 50 years of declaring the Gospel across the world, reading reams of materials on theology, philosophy, history and sociology, and praying for tens of thousands of people, I have come to the following conclusion.
Without doubt, God can be trusted to keep His Word. He can be trusted to do that which is right, in all instances! He can be trusted to hear our prayers and answer according to His Own will and in His Own way.
He will not, nor can He ever fail us, because He is infallible, invincible, immutable, all-wise, all-good, all-knowing, all-powerful, everywhere present and eternal!
1. GOD LOVES US ALL!
His great compassionate heart embraces all who call upon His name. His mercy is available to all sinners, including His enemies! Jesus Christ prayed for those who ridiculed and blasphemed Him and nailed Him to a rugged cross! In His great suffering, He prayed “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23: 34)
Right up to the very last, our loving Saviour never missed an opportunity to minister to people’s needs – For example, healing the severed ear of the High Priest’s servant in Gethsemane (Luke 22: 50) and forgiving the repentant thief hanging beside Him on Golgotha’s Hill! (Luke 23: 34)
St. James very implicitly pointed out that Almighty God is a benevolent Heavenly Father, Who allows the sun which He created to shine on the “just and the unjust” and that He is “no respecter of persons” (Acts 10: 34-35; Rom.2: 11), and with Him is “no variableness or shadow of turning.” (James 1: 17)
The Bible says: “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God. In this was manifested the love of God toward us because God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved Him but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (expiation, mercy seat) for our sins.” (1 John 4: 7-10)
The word propitiation means that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross for us satisfied God’s demands of Divine Justice for the sins of the world!
The Bible’s Golden Text tells the story better than anyone can: “For God so loved the world that He gave His Only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3: 16, 17)
2. THE WORLD STANDS GUILTY BEFORE GOD!
The Bible says: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3: 23); “As it is written, There is none that is righteous, no, not one.” (Rom.3: 10); “The Scripture hath concluded all under sin.” (Gal.3: 22). The Word of God states: “All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned everyone to His own way and the Lord hath laid upon Him the iniquity of us all.” (Is.53: 6)
The very fact that God sent His Son - Jesus the Christ- into this wicked world in search of rebellious sinners, to suffer humiliation and death on a cruel cross proves the great COMPASSION of our loving Heavenly Father, who was intent upon reconciling lost humanity with Himself.
His desire to improve the lot of fallen mankind was so great that He gave His only begotten Son to pay the penalty for our redemption, which provides hope, peace, joy, harmony, health and eternal life, to all who call upon His name in sincerity and truth!
These Bible passages tell us the truth about Almighty God, who is compassionate, merciful, gracious, kind and totally benevolent. St. John stated unequivocally: “God is love.” (1 John 4: 8). How wonderful to know that our lives are in the hands of the ONE who made us, loves us, sustains us, heals us and watches over us!
SIN IS AN OBSTACLE TO FELLOWSHIP!
The main obstacle to fellowship with our Heavenly Father, Creator, Saviour and Deliverer - who keeps and sustains us - is sin which in essence, is transgression, disobedience, rebellion and unbelief.
After our first parent’s disastrous fall from grace, God put into place an elaborate sacrificial system, with innocent animals substituting for sinful mankind.
The penalty for sinning and the price of reconciliation was the shedding of blood, because “the wages of sin is death.” (Rom.3: 23). Every sacrifice pointed to God’s own Son Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the sins of the world as “the Lamb of God”. (John 1: 29).
The Bible states: “He that covereth his sin shall not prosper, but he that confesseth and forsaketh his sin shall have mercy.” (Prov.28: 13)
“Surely, He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and with His stripes we are healed.” (Is. 53: 4-5)
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy Name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy Name. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases, Who redeemeth thy life from destruction…” (Psalms 103: 1–4)
3. JESUS’ BLOOD ATONED FOR OUR SINS AND SICKNESSES!
“When the even was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils; and He cast out the spirits with His Word and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities and bear our sicknesses.” (Matt.8: 16, 17).
“Who His own Self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: By Whose stripes ye were healed.” (1 Peter 2: 24); “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3: 16, 17)
“He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also FREELY give us all things?” (Rom.8: 32): “Is any sick among you, let him call for the elders of the church. And let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick and the Lord shall raise him up and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven them.” (James 5: 14, 15)
“God is not willing that any should perish but come unto repentance but that all should come unto repentance.” (1 Tim.2: 3-6); “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, saith the Lord.” (Ezek.33: 11)
“If we deny Him, He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Tim.2: 12): “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all righteousness.” (1 John 1: 9)
When Jesus died upon Golgotha’s Hill, He suffered the most inhumane humiliation, suffering, torment and death that was possible to be exacted on a human being!
A crown of Jerusalem thorns - the Arabian Nebulae - was placed upon His head and beaten down with a rod until the more than 100 speculates dug into His scalp. Instead of losing His mind as often happened during such a cruel ordeal, He purchased our peace of mind!
4. HE TOOK AWAY OUR FEAR, SHAME & DISGRACE!
The Romans always crucified murderers, thieves, slaves and traitors naked. It is assumed that a man condemned to be crucified was further humiliated by being hung on the cross totally naked. It is evidenced that our Saviour died in the greatest of physical degradation and humiliation in this manner also.
All of us have said or done things that we are ashamed of. I believe the reason Jesus died naked on the cross was to bear our shame so need not to be ashamed. He bore our SHAME on that tree!
The Bible says: “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the mother of Cleophas and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple standing by, whom He loved, He sayeth unto His mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then sayeth He to His Disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto His own home.” (John 19: 25-27). The other Gospel writers specifically state that with the exception of Mary, Jesus’ mother and possibly His aunt Mary, the mother Cleopas, the other women, “were there beholding a far off.” (Matt.27: 55, 56); “were looking on a far off” (Mark 15: 40); “stood a far off, beholding these things.” (Luke 23: 49) When Jesus saw His mother, He beckoned her to come near with John so that He as the eldest son could make arrangement for her welfare!
He bore our shame so that we do not need to bear it! He does not make a habit of humiliating anyone or making sport of anyone! God is gentle and kind, long suffering and full of compassion!
David assumed that same posture when he heard about the tragic death of King Saul and Jonathon. He said: “Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph…” (2 Samuel 1: 20)
THERE IS NO GOD BESIDE ME!
The Bible says: “I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is NO God beside Me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known Me. That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is NONE beside Me. I am the Lord, and there is none else.”
“Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons, and concerning the work of My hands, command ye Me.
“Look unto Me and be ye SAVED, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by Myself, the Word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto Me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall swear (confess).” (Is. 45:5,6,11, 22,23)
“God is not a man that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent (CHANGE): hath He said, and shall He not do it? Or hath He spoken, and shall He not Make it good?” (Numbers 23: 19)
“But the end of all things is at hand; be ye therefore sober and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for (charity) LOVE SHALL COVER THE MULTITUDE OF SINS.” (1 Peter 4: 7,8)
ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!
“And Jesus said unto him, All things are possible to him that believeth.” (Mark 9: 23); “And Jesus looking upon him saith, With men this impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. (Mark 10: 27)
“And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall BELIEVE that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall whatsoever he saith.
“Therefore, I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” (Mark 11: 24)
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find,; knock and it shall be opened unto you” For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
“Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone; or if he ask fish, will ye give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in Heaven give good things to then that ask Him?”
“Believest thou not that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? the words that I speak unto you, I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works.
“Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; or else believe Me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the WORKS that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father.
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in My Name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in My name, I WILL DO IT. If ye love Me, keep My commandments.
“And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of Truth; Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him, for He dwelleth with you and shall be in you.
“At that day, ye shall know that I am in My Father and My Father in Me, and ye in Me, and I in you.
“He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him…
“If a man love Me, he will keep My WORDS: and My Father will love him, and we will come unto Him, and make our abode with him.” (John 14: 10-23). Amen.