If we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.—2 Timothy 2:13
He Is Trustworthy
This verse pictures a radically different way of living, one not natural to most of us. Most human beings buy into a view of life characterized by the “life is on your shoulders,” “you make or break your life,” “pay your money and take your choice,” or “ you have no one to look to or blame but yourself” outlook.
In this view, you are the master of your fate. You have little to rely on other than your instincts, your strength, the wisdom that you’ve collected over the years, your ability to anticipate what is around the corner, your character and maturity, and the natural gifts that you have been given. It is a scary “you against the world” way of living.
But your welcome into God’s family turns all of this upside down. God not only forgives your sins and guarantees you a seat in eternity, but welcomes you to a radically new way of living. This new way of living is not just about submitting to God’s moral code. No, it is about God covenantally committing himself to be faithful to you forever, unleashing his wisdom, power, and grace for your eternal good.
Think about this. The One who created and controls the world, the One who is the ultimate definition of what is loving, true, and good, and the One who alone has the power to finally defeat sin has chosen, because of his grace, to wrap his arms of faithful love and protection around you, and he will not let you go. You can take your life off your shoulders because God has placed it on his. This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t matter how you live, but that your security is not found in your faithfulness, but in his.
He can be trusted even when you cannot. He will be faithful and good even when you’re not. He will do what is right and best even when you don’t. And he is faithful to forgive you when convicting grace reveals how unfaithful you have been. Rather than giving you license to do whatever, this truth should give you motivation to continue. His grace calls you to invest in the one thing that will never come up short, and that one thing is the faithfulness of your Lord.
The Effects of Your Sin
Sin does two very significant things to us all. First, it causes us all to insert ourselves into the center of our worlds, making life all about us. In our self-focus, we are all too motivated by our wants, our needs, and our feelings, and because we are, we tend to be more aware of what we don’t have than of the many wonderful blessings that we have been given. But there is more; because we are self-focused, we tend to be scorekeepers, constantly comparing our piles of stuff to the piles of others. It’s a life of discontentment and envy. Envy is always selfish. There is a second thing of equal significance that sin does to us. It causes us to look horizontally for what can only ever be found vertically.
He can be trusted even when you cannot.
So we look to creation for life, hope, peace, rest, contentment, identity, meaning and purpose, inner peace, and motivation to continue. The problem is that nothing in creation can give you these things. Creation was never designed to satisfy your heart. Creation was made to be one big finger pointing you to the One who alone has the ability to satisfy your heart. Many people will get up today and in some way will ask creation to be their savior, that is, to give them what only God is able to give.
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Ps. 73:25–26). These are the words of a man who learned the secret to contentment. When you are satisfied with the Giver, because you have found in him the life you were looking for, you are freed from the ravenous quest for satisfaction that is the discouraging existence of so many people.
Yes, it is true that your heart will rest only ever when it has found its rest in him. Here is one of the most beautiful fruits of grace—a heart that is content, more given to worship than demand and more given to the joy of gratitude than the anxiety of want. It is grace and grace alone that can make this kind of peaceful living possible for each of us.
This article is adapted from New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul David Tripp.
The most outrageous acts of penance in the world are powerless to do what needs to be done—radically transform your heart. So you and I are left with only one final option.
As sinners in need of grace, we can find comfort and rest knowing that God’s mercy toward us is new at the break of each day.
As we savor the good news of the sin-bearing servant of the Lord, we learn to enthuse. The gospel of a surprising salvation can only make us laugh, sing, and cheer.
Perhaps one of the greatest misunderstandings concerning the Christian faith is that God is only concerned with “good people.”