Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Faith Honors God

Nothing upsets me more than to tell the truth and not be believed. I realize that some people have to check things out for themselves and I try to be patient, yet I still feel as if, in their opinion, my word has no merit. This sense of being disregarded is worse if what I say is directly from the Word of God. Then their unbelief is not about me, but about Him. Can God lie?

I’m trying to imagine how God feels when He is not believed. I’m sure He doesn’t take it personally in the sense of being offended. His focus is instead on the doubter’s welfare. It is good for us to believe Him.

Yet it seems to me that believing Him also honors Him. It is a proclamation that He is true and correct in what He says. In Psalm 51, David wrote, “I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.

In his confession, David agreed with God about his sin (taking Bathsheba and arranging to have her husband killed in battle). By believing God’s word about the sinfulness of adultery and murder, David honored God’s judgment about these matters. He justified God by confessing what he had done, and by also repenting and trusting God to forgive Him. These are acts of faith, acts of saying that God is right and His words are true and to be believed.

Feelings can get in the way of faith. I might sin and not feel that I did anything wrong, but if God says it is wrong, it is wrong. On the other hand, when I do something that God calls sin, I am sometimes so upset about it that even when I confess, I don’t feel forgiven. However, the Bible says my salvation is by faith. Therefore I must believe before I feel, and often against my feelings—if I am going to honor God by my faith. Truth is not about what I feel or think, but about what God says.

When someone does not believe what I say, I am frustrated. Their unbelief could even make me look bad to others. When someone does not believe what God says, what effect does that have on Him? Paul answers this in Romans 3:3-4: “For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar.

Really, I’ve no ground for frustration with people who do not believe me. Who am I? It is far more serious when they do not believe God. They are saying that God is a liar, deceitful, a fraud. In my life, I have lied and deceived, but God? No way! God is God. What people think cannot change who He is or how He feels.

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