Sunday, February 6, 2011

Trustworthy And True

My yellowed and tattered old Bible - the Word of the only true and trustworthy God I know
    While I was writing my last post on the pain of loss, a phrase in one of the verses that I referenced caught my eye: "...these words are trustworthy and true" (Revelation 21:5). They've been in my head for the last three days, even as I've been trying to keep up with change as my life undergoes major transition.

    It has occurred to me that anything that is presented to me in the form of a statement, fact or person, also carries with it an associated appeal to believe in those things or people. In essence, I'm being asked to trust that what is being presented to me is true. Relationships, conversation, family, friendships, advertising, buying/selling, the kind of world in which we live, this happens incessantly in every aspect of life - "Great dollar value! Save up to 50% off!"; "Satisfaction guaranteed!"; "We'll do what's best for you!"; "Trust us to take care of your money!"; "Good job! You're awesome!"; "I'll get the job done";  "You're incredibly beautiful"; "You mean everything to me"; "I love you with all my heart"; and perhaps that most used and abused sentence of appeal for trust in one's trustworthiness:

    "I, so-and-so, take you, so-and-so, to be my my lawfully-wedded husband/wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part."

    With the cacophony of voices that call out to me every day, from every side, it becomes increasingly difficult to figure out who to believe, in what they say. I believe that this is the case for the rest of society too. Isn't it interesting that the more we desire trustworthiness and truthfulness in people, the more we find that it becomes nearly impossible to enforce? Our laws become longer and more complex. Giving one's word is useless now, we must sign reams of paper. It isn't enough to state things simply either - the fine print of clauses and conditions at the bottom of agreements grows ever larger. We can't trust anyone to keep their mouth shut, so we create non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements. It's not enough to keep doors closed; they have to be locked, bolted and security systems with cameras installed to keep people out. Even the hallowed wedding vows aren't spared, for pre-nuptial agreements must become a necessity in case people decide to jump ship. Evidently, 'until death do us part' doesn't mean much anymore.

    Truth is that which best describes things as they really are. The credibility or truthfulness of anything said to me is only as good as the trustworthiness of the person uttering it. And the trustworthiness of the person is only as good as their fundamental strength of character.

    And that is why I can and will believe in Jesus so much, with all the issues of the heart that I've been writing about on this blog, especially that which I've been thinking about in the last month. What He says is credible because He is trustworthy, and He is trustworthy because He has more than strong character; He is truth itself. That is why John, His beloved Apostle, describes Christ as "...glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14, ESV) in the opening verses of his Gospel. That is also why John, in the book of Revelation, introduces Him as "...Jesus Christ the faithful witness" (Revelation 1:5, ESV). He is faithful because He is trustworthy, and He is trustworthy because He is truth. That is why Christ can say of Himself, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me" (John 14:6, ESV). The evil behind a lie isn't some damage done against some person, society or nation's laws. It is the violation of the person of God, because He is truth and a lie is everything that He is not. Evil is more than an abstract term for hypothetical discussion around tables or fireplaces; it is that which rises up from within the human heart with the desire to be the God of God, and in the process turns a person into everything that God is not.

    The words of John 3:16 say that "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." Christ did more than say "I love you." He proved the truthfulness of His Words with action - by dying on His Cross for the curse of my sin and resurrecting from His grave three days later, to break the curse of death that would have been my fate. My dear friend, may you find His forgiveness for your sin, His companionship in your loneliness, His fellowship in your suffering, His joy in your sorrow, His strength in your weakness, His transformation of your character and His promise of new and eternal life by the power of His Word and Spirit.

    I love my Christ because of who He is. Matthew Henry expressed it brilliantly when he said: "The greatest and best man in the world must say, By the grace of God I am what I am, but God says absolutely....I AM THAT I AM." God bless. See you soon.
- The Wisdom Seeker