A Brief Meditation for the Month

August 2019

One of the Saviour’s instructive statements to his disciples, is recorded in Mark 11:22, when he said to them “Have faith in God.” Jesus directed the disciples to exercise personal faith in God. Because Jesus said it, this was not an option but a requirement. It was their duty to put their faith in God. What was required of the disciples is required equally of every child of God. Applied to each of us, the question then arises, how much confidence do we have in God? How much faith do we place in him? Does our faith in God waver or is it consistent? Do we ever reach a point where we begin to doubt whether God is in control of affairs because things are not going our way? Perhaps there are times when we need to come to God with the petition of the disciples on another occasion, “Lord, increase our faith.” (Luke 17:5)

Having faith in God obviously requires that we know God. It is not possible to put confidence in someone of whom we are ignorant. This leads to the question then: how well do we know God? How intimate are we with him? The importance of knowing God is evident from what the Saviour stated: “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3) Simply put: spiritual life and the knowledge of God are inseparable.

Let us consider the revealed fact about God, who and what he is. We read in Hebrews 11:6, “Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Unbelief never pleases God. Distrust or mistrust of God dishonours him. It is required of us when approaching God, to believe that he is: not only that he exists, but that “he is.” The emphasis is upon the fact that “he is.” God always, constantly is. He does not and cannot change. What he is, he has ever been, and will continue to be. What therefore God has been to his people in the past, he will be presently, and in the future. Whatever God is in the first century, he is equally so in the twenty-first century. In a very real sense, God has ever been or will be as—“he is.” It is because he is, that he is totally reliable, and we can trust him. He is Holy. He is the Almighty. He is omniscient. He is all-wise. He is immutable. He is merciful and gracious, etc. This is the God we are to have faith in. There is no substitute for him. To put faith in any other is futile.

Putting faith in God means trusting him to act always according to his immutable nature. There cannot be any contradiction between the character and nature of God, and his actions. If God is good, his actions are always good. If God is just, then all his actions are perfectly just. If God is wise, it follows that all his actions result from the application of his wisdom. It is the knowledge that this is so, which brings contentment to the heart of the believer. Whatever the believer experiences in providence, he or she feels assured that everything is unfolding in such a way as ultimately serves and fulfils God’s holy purpose, which is always good and wise. The one who puts faith in God may not understand what he appears to be doing at a particular time, nevertheless, he or she is satisfied that “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God:” Deuteronomy 29:29. A true believer does not attempt to pry into the secrets of God. He or she views the outward manifestations of God’s power and wisdom as proceeding from his secret and flawless purpose and is content with whatever role they have in its fulfilment.

G. G. Hutton.